Who am I?
By Maretha Retief
For a long time in my life, I have struggled with eating disorders because I lost the one thing I thought defined me. I failed myself in so many ways and felt like I had to punish myself. I was borne with only a pinkie and a thumb on my left hand (a lobster hand) and tried to earn my approval from people through my performances in sports. The world teaches that what is most important is what a person does or has, not who a person is. I was lost.
At the age of 17, I was in the top 50 U/18 age group in the world and I played in Junior Wimbledon, but as a result of a wrist injury my tennis career was brought to an abrupt end. I felt like I lost control over my life and my eating habits were the one thing I could control. I started running and became a good marathon runner, but during my biggest race Comrades 2010 (an 89km race), only 2km from the finish line, I collapsed while suffering from a heart attack. After two hours of sub consciousness, I was by the grace of God given a second chance. I reached a point of no return before I called out to Jesus. I was already a Christian, but He brought me back to the beginning. I accepted Jesus as my Saviour, but I stopped there. I never looked at all the blessings I have in Him or who I am in Him the only question I truly needed an answer to. It was when I turned to His Word that He enlightened me about who I am in Him.
I am a new creation in Christ, my past no longer matters, it is only about my now and the wonderful future God has in store for me. Jesus died for me on the cross and through the shedding of His blood I am cleansed. Today I am the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It does not matter what I do, I will always be righteous in Him. God now looks at me through Jesus because as Jesus is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17).
I am loved by God with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). It is a love that captured me and I had no desire to escape. It created a need in me, one only God could satisfy. It was only when I realised that I cannot make myself happy, only God can that I surrendered all my problem and eating disorders to God and as time passed, He came and delivered me. God called me by my name from the day I was borne and it became clear to me that He was not going to give up on me, no matter how far I have gone off the track (Isaiah 43:1). I am the apple of God's eyes and He is thinking of me all the time because I am valuable to Him a thought that made me want to carry on with my life (Luke 12:24).
The Bible tells me that God considers me good enough to do everything He has planned for my life. I am not sufficient in myself, but my sufficiency comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:5). There is nothing that crosses my path that I cannot do through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). God equips me with His Holy Spirit to guide me in everything that I need to do, therefore I have no need to fear (1 John 2:20). I am more than a conqueror in Christ (Romans 8:37). Nothing can keep me from the divine destiny God has for my life.
Who I am is established in Christ. It is not about what I do, but who Christ Jesus is. I had a choice to make this truth a reality in my life. When someone told me I was not good enough or that I will become nothing, I had a choice whether I was going to believe that lie spoken over me or whether I was going to stand on the truth of God's Word over my life: I am more than able through Christ, I have the wisdom of Christ in me, and I am valuable. When I have done something wrong, I could either feel guilty and condemned or I could choose to believe that there is no condemnation for me in Christ, I am the righteousness of God in Christ, because He already took the punishment for my sins so that I can have a life of victory in Him.
When I realised my value and identity in Christ, I believed I am destined to live a life in God's glory and abundance. Disorders and insecurities no longer had a place in my life. No weapon that forms against me will prosper because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
As believers in Christ, we are ambassadors of Christ in this world with a heavenly calling on our lives (Hebrews 3:1). A calling that is grounded in our identity in Christ. With Him we are everything, but without Him we are nothing. Everything we become are of Christ and the sooner we surrender ourselves to Him, the sooner we experience His promises as a truth in our lives.