Campus Blog

Back to the Future

Erika Ruch

Is Facebook actually some sort of time travel portal?

A few days ago the invitation to my high school reunion arrived via FB and it was as though the space-time continuum had actually been breached. Suddenly I had insecurities that I hadn’t felt in ____ years (actual number of years not relevant; let’s just say I graduated at some point during the Clinton years. Bill  Clinton). My high school experience was probably pretty typical, which is to say I constantly worried about my social standing and had moments of excess drama and paralyzing angst. So yeah, normal.

Anyway, it’s just a reunion, not a referendum on my worth, right?

Yeah . . . right.

Seems the grasp I thought I had on my current identity isn’t that grounded after all. Not in Truth anyway. In high school, my personal encounter with God was a few years away, so I had no spiritual grid for what I was experiencing. But I’ve been walking with the Lord for a while now. So why is my value still tied up in how a few classmates (or several hundred, in my case) defined me when I was sixteen? What’s the deal?

Positionally, I now belong to the Lord. Scripture says that I’m his  child , that my life has been  hidden in Him , that He  created me  and  knows me deeply , but my response to this particular rite of passage (and all its accompanying baggage) reveals that I don’t experience Him as a God who is near. He tells me I’m his chosen one, but I still feel like a reject.

Now, Jesus didn’t come so I would feel good about myself. That’s nowhere near His biggest concern. But an established identity in Him means a renewed heart and mind and a reprogrammed way of thinking. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.” Whereas before God looked at us with only judgment, it means he now looks at us and sees right through us to Jesus. We’re that forgiven.  It also means that I can look at myself and see someone other than who others thought I was or decided I was.

I think I’ll skip the reunion. I’d just be low-hanging fruit for the beasts of self-doubt and uncertainty. Instead, I’ll take this whole experience and sit with it for a while. Now that I know how fragile my hold on Truth is, I can ask Him to strengthen it. He’s the only One who can.

Can you relate?  Are you letting others define you?  Who does God say you are?

* Photo courtesy of Amir G. (Flickr Creative Commons)

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