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Who Am I?

As a young boy growing up in a very difficult environment, I often wondered, "Who am I?" I had a stepfather who was ill equipped to fulfill the responsibilities as the head of the house and serve as male role model to those in his care. Alcoholism and other demons controlled his life, leaving little time to cultivate a relationship and invest in others, though I desperately longed for a dad to be my hero.

I realize my childhood reflects the similar experiences of millions of other children in the world, and the question, "Who am I?" can easily haunt them throughout their lives. Without a secure answer, feelings of being lost and lack of validation can become pervasive.

The Christian band Casting Crowns wrote a song titled, "Who Am I" that answers the question for all of us. Whether you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior or not, the lyrics provide assurance that someone knows, and it is our choice to accept it, own it, and live it or not:

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name.
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading.
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.
I am Yours, I am Yours.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

I struggled with understanding that my value did not come from whether an earthly man played ball with me, showed me how to tie my shoes, put his arm around me, or said, "I love you." It was not until I realized my value comes from something — someone — much higher that I was able to begin the journey of becoming the person I was called to be. Is it easy? No. Frankly, it is pretty darn hard, especially in a world that is so broken.

I stumble, slip, and fall, as if I am trying to learn to snow ski for the first time. Knowing that I have an advocate who is constantly committed to me provides assurance that I will ultimately arrive safely and removes much of the doubt and fear that permeated my life when I was younger. Just like learning to ski, you will likely get bumps, bruises, and maybe a few scars along the way, but if you stick with it, it becomes easier, and you are able to enjoy the ride.

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