Tag - identity

Our Story Is Not Our Identity
Which Kid From Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Are You? The Value of Stuggle
“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

Our Story Is Not Our Identity

Photo Credit: pixabay cc

This post was originally published on the Chris Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.nosuperheroes.com/our-story-is-not-our-identity/ and is re-posted with permission.

A few years ago, our family completed a journey to adopt and emigrate our son from South Africa. This process took over four years and included custody, name changes, countless documents, and finally culminated in him receiving his U.S. citizenship and passport.

My son’s identity has changed. He has a new name, a new country, and a new family heritage.

This does not change his story. Where he came from will always be a part of his life, but how he is known is completely different.

It is this way with all of us. Our past is a part of who we are, but we have a new identity through Christ.

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Which Kid From Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Are You? The Value of Stuggle

Photo Credit: Leeroy from Life of Pix

5 Weird Kids…

5 Unique Struggles…

You May Identify With All of Them.

(I do.)

“Struggle carves out the space within us for deep desire…”

– Father Richard Rohr

“Struggle shows us what our true desires are.”

– Me (after reflecting on Rohr)

I’m just going to apologize for how my brain works up front. As I write, I have a friend who just lost his dad, another going through a divorce, and yet another betrayed by a disciple she poured her life into. At this moment a tornado of deep struggle swirls all around me, and I started thinking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! (Oompa Loompas? Golden Tickets? You know the one. I already said sorry.) The author, Ronald Dahl, wrote some brilliantly, dark children’s books, full of quirky, sometimes disturbing characters. (Real life Willie Wonka would have restraining orders against him. Am I right?) Dahl was not afraid of the shadowy side of the plot, and that’s what makes his tales so fascinating, so full. In that way, he’s a bit like the Author of Life. Yep, I’m now talking about God. While our Heavenly Father may have no darkness in Him, He’s sure not afraid of ours. Even more surprising, He doesn’t overcome our struggle by solving or expelling it; rather, he enters into it with us and writes the shadows into the plot of our lives, using all of it to call us toward Life.

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“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

Photo Credit: Painting “Spring Again” By Gaylin Downie

The above painting shows the winds of change blowing away the darkness of winter and the old season. Colour is released from heaven to earth bleeding life back into the hills, which become covered in spring flowers. Words: “Wrong will be made right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” ~ From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

{This painting is by Gaylin Downie, local artist and YWAM Muizenberg staff of Bethesda House, and we are blessed to feature it here. Her main art expression is prophetic art, which is a visual form of what God is communicating to people to encourage them and highlight aspects of who they are and what they are made for. You can view her art on Facebook here: CrimsonHeart by Gaylin.}


My heart breaks and bleeds as I contemplate the extent of the brokenness of humanity. Murders, shootings, gang rapes, molestation, drug abuse, theft… Is there no end to the evil of mankind?

I wish that my thoughts were merely theoretical, but they are not. On a weekly basis I am faced with the troubles in some of the communities in Cape Town, South Africa. It is even sadder that I seem to be more heartbroken than the actual people who live in these traumatic situations.

It’s not that they do not feel the pain, but that the pain has become their normal experience of existence. They are beyond pain. The pain is so deeply entrenched in their culture and identity that they don’t see it anymore.

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