Who Am I?
A Story of Self-Discovery at Camp.
The dictionary defines identity as a noun: “what a person or thing is.” For 19 years, I defined my identity based on my circumstances—who do others say I am? What do my grades, my appearance, my results say I am? I was confident only when an ‘A’ was plastered to my tests, when I received praise from peers, when I started in volleyball or swam faster than the girl next to me. I was devastated when I failed to measure up. And boy, did I fail. As a result, my identity was ever-changing. I was wrapping my identity around mist.
My entire life, I heard stories about how epic four years of college would be. When I finally went to college, it was not at all what I had envisioned. Instead of endless friends, I had one roommate. Instead of rambunctious parties, I watched HGTV in my room. Instead of breezing by in classes, I wasn’t understanding the material. Instead of pouring my energy into sports, I struggled to find an intramural team. No one knew who I was. It seemed as though the only people who cared about me were on the other side of Colorado. All of the things I had wrapped my identity around were nonexistent. I knew I wanted something more—something I could stand on that would not crumble beneath my feet.
When I was at the lowest point I had ever been, I genuinely cried out to God for the first time.
And He heard. He answered. It was so beautiful. When I asked for friends, God gave me the Navigators ministry. When I asked for love, He revealed Himself.
Throughout freshman year, God continued to transform my heart. The more I learned about Jesus, the less I strove after the things I had been infatuated with. The more I learned about Jesus, the more I began to find joy in the little things.
All year I had planned on going home for one last summer, but God had other plans. I made a last minute decision to go to Eagle Lake as a counselor for On-Location. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t think that God could use me—who was I? I had only been a Christian for 6 months. I hadn’t even read the book of John.
All I knew is that I wanted more of the God who answered my prayers, of the God who had become my joy.
My decision to be a counselor for Eagle Lake was the best decision I could have made for my walk with Jesus. God showed me what unity within the church looks like through my loving co-workers. He showed His provision by giving me strength on the tough days. He showed my team safety when we were in a dangerous part of town. He showed His faithfulness when I messed up.
God turned my darkness into light. All of the doubts I had about myself, my faith, and the summer were overshadowed by His love.
I had always heard that Jesus “died for my sins,” but at Eagle Lake, God revealed something profound about that statement.
Every day I shared the Gospel with campers without realizing its full extent. During worship one day, I sung the line “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,” from “Revelation Song.”
That’s when it hit me—Jesus is worthy. His act on the cross was worthy enough to give me a new identity—one that is not defined by my mistakes, but by His grace.
Jesus didn’t just die for my sins; Jesus died as me, so that I may have His righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Woah. That sure changed the way I thought about identity.
God doesn’t define identity the same way the dictionary does. Identity isn’t a noun. It’s a verb—our identity comes from the living act of Jesus’ death on the cross. When we are in Christ, we are accepted. We are secure. We are significant. We are God’s children—chosen to do His work.
So yes; despite my flaws, my lack of experience, my doubts, and my mistakes, God worked through me. He did more during Eagle Lake than I could have ever imagined.
“The Weaver,” by an unknown author, describes what it is like to reminisce in the ways God showed His love through circumstances in college:
“My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside…”
I had been looking at the jumbled and fringed threads from the “underside,” while God was weaving a beautiful pattern that would lead me to Himself.
And just like last year, I thought I would be working or doing an internship for the summer. God had other plans. When I was asked to be a Program Coach for On-Location, similar thoughts ran through my head. “But, I’ve never led a Bible study before! How do you disciple five girls? What’s leadership!?”
The difference between this time and last time is that I know my identity rests in Christ. God will work through me. It means that I am His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), that I have been approved (2 Corinthians 1:21-22), and that I can go into summer with confidence (2 Corinthians 3:4).
I can’t wait to see the pattern He weaves this summer—not only in my own life, but for everyone involved in this beautiful thing called camp.
Jordan grew up in Montrose, Colorado and is studying Psychology at Colorado State University. She is excited to serve as a Program Coach for On-Location this summer (yellow team!). She loves the outdoors, coffee, and laughs pretty hard at puns. She aspires to someday drive a Zamboni whilst giving high fives.