Tell me about yourself. Has anyone asked you this question?
People have asked me this question quiet a number of times.
I would say, “I’m Annie, I come from India. This is my culture, and this is my family background.”
I paused one day and asked myself, “Is this really what I am?”
“Is this my identity?”
I mean, think about it. None of us got to choose our names. Did you choose your name? Of course not. You didn’t choose the country you are from, did you? You didn’t choose that you want to come from India, or France, or Spain, none of us chose that. You didn’t get to choose the culture that you come from, or the family you were born into. You didn’t choose the school you went to.
Everything was decided by our parents, by school, our culture, and our country. Everything was chosen for us.
And all of these things, your name, your country, your culture, are your identity.
Growing up these were my identity, and on top of these, some people placed new identities on me; lazy, good for nothing, dumb, ugly- and I started to accept it. I lived each day with these identities attached to me like a leach.
What about you? Are you accepting these negative identities that people have placed on you?
Now is the time to choose your own identity.
I remember sitting down, wondering why I was bearing all the identities that I didn’t choose, and why was I carrying the negative ones that people placed on me.
So, when I sat down, I wondered. What is God telling about me? I took out my Bible and I found out that He called me, “His beloved friend.” That “I am chosen. I also found out that I was a “Women of Valor. A Warrior, a Leader, that you are incredible. You are amazing.”
He didn’t call me ugly or dumb, He said that I was smart, and beautiful.
I chose to change that, I chose to give myself a new identity, not my country, my name, not my culture. But I looked deep within myself and asked myself, “Who am I? What do I want?
I have a bookmark that was given to me by my friend from Australia, and written on the bookmark are these words. “Like a tree planted by the waters, I shall not be moved.”
Just like a tree I am flourishing, like a tree near the waters I will flourish in every situation, in any challenge. This is such an amazing and beautiful identity.
While we may have not chosen our beginning, we can for sure choose our ending. We can write an ending that we desire and see that through.
Because I know that if I had chosen to stick with the identities that were given to me, instead of finding out for myself, my ending would probably end in disaster.
I want to pass a legacy, that even after I pass away, my identity will be known for a very long time.
There was a little boy named Stevie, one day at school his teacher asked the students to write down who they are, what they want to be, and who they want to be. Excited little Stevie wrote down who he is and what he wanted to be.
He submitted the paper, the next day the teacher called him and said, “Stevie come here.” Stevie thought, “Wow, my teacher is calling me to be an example in front of all the students”, so he excitedly went up to the teacher. The teacher asked him, “Stevie, what is this? Are you calling yourself a TV star? You want to be a comedian and you want to make people laugh? Is anyone in your family a TV star? You are very normal and come from a normal family, go back and change you answer.”
Stevie was dejected, and his confidence was broken. He went home and told his dad, what his teacher had told him. And his dad told him, “Stevie don’t change your identity, this is your story and who you are. You go after what you want to be.” Stevie decided that he would keep this story, and keep his identity.
Stevie is now known as Steve Harvey. He is an author, speaker, he has his own TV show “The Steve Harvey Show,” he makes people laugh. And he is doing a wonderful job impacting by telling his story.
It doesn’t matter how your life started, you can start changing the direction of where you are headed.
Just as Steve Harvey chose his identity and made it his own, so should you.
Ask yourself this, “Who am I? And where do I want to go?”