Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hidden Identity

I am a girl who has grown up within the world of ministry, and as a natural result, my identity is found in my relation to those who are in the ministry--my great big pastoral clan.

As I have previously mentioned, I've always been known as the grandchild of Rev. Ang, the daughter of Rev. Reyes, the niece of the junior Rev. Ang, and so on. My position in relation to these ministers molded me to be everything I am today, and it is also this position that defines my identity.

As I grow up, therefore, there is oftentimes an impulse to desire more personal recognition. I tell my parents and friends that I want to be Wenslyn, not merely the daughter or niece of this pastor and that pastor, not just a living homeschool testament, not just a ministerial starlet of the United Evangelical Church of Malabon. I am discontented that "I" should be recognized only in relation to others.

Yet God convicted me with an unexpected reminder this past week. As I was reading Elizabeth Elliot's book Let Me Be a Woman, I came across a chapter wherein the author reprimanded young wives who would be unwilling to be known only in relation to their husband. These young women argue that they want to be known as someone in themselves, not merely as "Mick's wife" or "Dave's wife." They want personal attention.

While I might not be able to directly apply that lesson in my life right now, the principle hit close to home. Like these young women, I am dissatisfied to have my identity hidden in that of others. Out of my pride, I am too selfish to be happily known by the position God has given me.

If I cannot be contentedly associated with the reputation of my family, how could I ever rejoice in being hidden in the glory of my King? If I am so concerned that people should recognize "me," how would I point them to Christ?

It is a lesson to learn indeed.

"He must increase, I must decrease," my life verse reads. May God continue to teach me this lesson. Let me be hidden, Lord, in Your glory.


Bonnie said...

Hello! Somehow a while back I discovered your blog and now I'm finally deciding to comment. :-) Thank you so much for this post. What a wonderful...and necessary...reminder. Praise the Lord!

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I deeply understand your sentiments. Living in the shadow of such big names is really a challenge, and to break free and stand on your own is a natural struggle. I am blessed with your thought on how we must learn to live under another's glory, for we all must live under His. But i find no harm in you yearning for your own identity, as long as that identity is in relation to God. By this it is my prayer that may people not just see Rev. Ang's grandchild, Rev. Reyes' daughter or Rev. Ang's niece. Nor may they just see UECM's wonderchild. But may they see God's glory in you... and say "Her Heavenly Father is an awesome God!". To God be all he glory...Ü