Home / Relationships / What’s Your Answer When Asked: Who Are YOU?

What’s Your Answer When Asked: Who Are YOU?

When Magdalena Schwalb left her youngest daughter, Edith, at the children’s home in Mossaic, Southern France, in March 1943, her last words were, “Don’t forget who you are Edith, never forget that.” A refuge for Jewish children from the incriminating attentions of the Nazis, Edith, at just a tender age of eleven, was left to be raised by the loving care of Shatta and Bouli Simon, house parents, who were Jewish sympathizers.

Edith remembered her mother’s parting words. Especially when the refuge was threatened by Nazi raiding parties and the operation had to be completely abandoned. No longer could Edith live openly as a Jew -but had to take on a new identity. A new birthplace, a new name, a new past history, a new faith, all fabricated to dismiss the investigative eye of the Nazis. Edith had to learn by heart all the details of her new identity and be prepared to move to a new home, away from the safety of Mossaic, until the war was over.

Edith did not like the idea at all. How could she become someone else? How could she pretend she was someone she really wasn’t? How could she not be true to God, her Creator, who had made her and given her the name, Edith Schwalb? No matter what the identity papers may say, I will not forget who I am Mutti, she promised.

Who are you? This is the question asked by a grade 6 girl recently who was interviewing me for her media arts assignment. I gave the question some thought. My mind jumped to obvious conclusions. I am a mother of three adult sons, a wife of one dear husband, a grandmother to one little boy, a chaplain to this school community and the list continues. But before answering her, I thought again. Yes, these hats I wear are true for me, but who am I really?

When we lay aside all the roles that identify us, who are we? We are not what we do, but our identity at the core, is primarily about whose are we. Who we belong to identifies who we are. Edith Schwalb belonged to her Heavenly Father: she was a child of God. Yes, she was a girl on the run-in war-torn Europe, yes, she was someone’s daughter, sister and friend, but at the very core, she was God’s dear daughter, and that fact alone framed her true identity.

My answer to the grade 6 girl waiting patiently for me to respond, seemed so simplistic. I knew what answer she wanted, but to me it hardly seemed honest, and instead, trite and superficial. Still despite the struggle inside I obliged by offering a rote and expected answer.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

After the interview ended and she left my office, I felt challenged. To reach down inside and reexamine who I really am. Scripture makes it clear who we are. We have been created by God, and we are His. We belong to Him and are His precious possession. God does not call us to a profession first or a particular role: He calls us to Him. Our identity must be in our LORD first and foremost.

When we forget this crucial fact, we will allow the other hats that we wear to manipulate and dictate who we are. However, there is no lasting satisfaction and fulfillment found in those roles that give our days shape and form. Our need, our joy, our wholeness is found in our relationship with God, through His son, Jesus Christ. He is our sufficiency.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Who are you? Have you given that probing question deep consideration? Is your identity found in a joyous and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, then your identity will be shaped by the hats that we wear. This is not enough, because these roles are like shifting sand depending upon the season of our lives. And when that role changes or becomes obsolete, where will we find ourselves? Only those who have placed their hope and identity in the LORD Jesus Christ will be unmovable and remain steadfast when the circumstances of life alter the roles that we perform.

Father, my hope and identity must be formed and grounded in You alone. The roles that I have been given are a blessing from You, they shape my days. But I do not want them to dictate who I really am. I am Your child, and I am so grateful for this. Keep me close to You dear LORD, so that my true identity will always be in You alone. Amen.”

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

Check Also

Mary Jones And Her Bible

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my ...

One comment

  1. Jennifer,
    I simply loved this message and article! It is so enlightening and thought provoking. A great reflection and meditation for all of us to delve into. Great questions and thoughts! Thank you!
    God Bless~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *