While talking to my mentor recently, we realized that we had the same irrationally scary nightmare from time to time. In such dreams, we would find ourselves at the end of a collegiate semester with the realization that we had completely forgotten to complete a registered course. What is hilarious about our similar fear is that: 1) neither of us had ever encountered such a situation; 2) we have both been college graduates for quite some time now.
Though that fear may seem silly and irrational, it is actually much more complex when you peel back the layers. Failing a college course would have obvious ramifications—wasting money, having to reschedule the class for a later date, etc. But more so, that fear is rooted in a worry of being seen as irresponsible or as someone with a poor work ethic. The underlying issue isn’t actually failure; it’s identity. Fear threatens to take from us the things we love and the things that we believe make us who we are. We’re rocked by fear of losing our identity.
And yet time and time again, I am reminded through Scripture that my identity can never be threatened because it’s unchanging: I am a beloved daughter of God. Period. Not a beloved daughter of God + wife. Not a beloved daughter of God + employee. I am simply His. And when He alone is the object of my identity, I find a different emotion in my life: peace.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” -1 Peter 2:9
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'” -Isaiah 43:1
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” -2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.” -Luke 8:47