Published on February 9, 2021
Chasing the Creator
Abusive childhood can further confuse one’s identity
By Shirley Prihoda
Many years ago, when I ate ketchup sandwiches, the paternal side of my family called me “Fisherman.” The story goes, as a baby, I was propped up on the riverbank while my mom and dad fished.
As a child, I didn’t like the nickname, but it has turned out to be a prophetic declaration over my life! Growing up in an abusive home often left me wondering where I fit in, and who I really was. My thoughts were, “Certainly, if I were valuable to someone, life would not be this way.”
In the struggle to fit in with other kids, I assumed the opinions of whomever I was with, yet all the while longing to know who I really was and if I even had an identity.
Most children lacking identity have a “take whatever comes and try to survive” attitude, which usually means the elusive brass ring of longing to find their own identity is always just beyond their reach. Have you ever noticed that deep longings of the heart often remain a secret?
Reasoning is, there wouldn’t be a need to ask for it in the first place if someone cared. Wishing in the dark is like that; but then, there are many conditions in secret longings!
I like the TV show “Blue Bloods.” We bleed blue in our family since our son is a cop in Alvin, and my husband is a former sheriff’s officer who is often asked if he’s an off-duty officer. I guess the constant alertness and sweeping of the eyes is a dead give-away.
Anyway, back to why I like “Blue Bloods.” If you haven’t watched it, it’s about a family in New York: grandfather, father, and three sons. All cops! They do have a daughter, but she’s an assistant district attorney. However, they forgave her for that. Their last name is Reagan.
I don’t know if they are of the Ronald Regan clan, but you never know! The overriding theme of the show always comes down to: they know who they are, and what they are called to do. Their identity is family. That identity carries them through the difficult things in life, because they have a foundation of knowing they are Reagans!
Knowing your identity is not unlike the foundation that supports the weight of a large skyscraper. Just as the surety of the building’s footings determine the building’s integrity, a person’s understanding of where they came from is the foundation for their knowing who they were born to be.
A person can never know their real identity without knowing the One who made them. They can live, breathe, and accomplish mighty exploits, all in an attempt to make a name for themselves. Some of the loneliest people on earth are those who have reached the world’s pinnacle of success to learn the elusive brass ring of identity was once again, beyond their reach.
Identity is linked to belonging and connection and expressed naturally with families. The parents’ expectation after the wedding is that children will be born out of their love for each other. They want to pour their love into the child and be loved in return. It is no different in the supernatural. Our Father, God, didn’t appoint an angel to form us in our mother’s womb. He did it Himself.
He knit us together and counted the hairs on our heads. He desires that we know He had an active part in our design and that we are inseparable from the One who made us.
When we finally get it that the Creator of all things made us, loves us, and knows exactly who we are, it’s only then we can begin to really live. The Father says, “I have placed value on you, and I want you to be with Me forever.” Knowledge about Him does not give us a relationship with Him, but knowing and accepting that our DNA comes from Him does.
Your identity didn’t begin with the two people listed on your birth certificate. This comforts me greatly, because the man listed on my birth certificate said he wasn’t my father as he was walking out the door.
I am fairly certain who is, but neither one ever stepped forward to claim me as theirs. I was fatherless until the day Jesus claimed me.
So, the philosophical questions for the day: do we accept this gift, and after doing so, do we live in such a way that we are identifiable as His offspring? What directs our lives, to be the loudest voice in the room, or to hear others? Do we walk into a room to be seen, or to see?
The Prihoda family is Czech, and baking was their way of loving.
Sugarless Applesauce Cake
(To contact Shirley, please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)