Who is DC?

Our second blogger in the Identity Series is David-Chad Svenson

Having joined the leadership team for Mosaic, you may be wondering: "who is this DC guy?" Together, we're working to answer that question with each other. In other words, we all are working together to figure out who we are. So, who am I? This question can haunt us, make us despair or distort our reality.

For most of my life, this was the truth. I was haunted by an identity that I was unloved and had no value. I was desperate to be someone else and it shaped my reality negatively. I saw the world as dim, cold and Godless. My constant depression was agonizing and I was one step away from the edge…

I teetered on the brink for so long and took for granted all of the blessings. All I saw was the negative, but I called myself a realist. Though I had spent my younger years in the church, my parents divorced when I was in the first grade. Our time in the church seemed simply to fulfill our religious duty. It seemed phony. Unreal. On top of the divorce, I had an increasingly cruel older brother and the depression began to overwhelm me. The last straw before I stopped believing and really clung to my identity of worthlessness was when my aunt passed away from breast cancer. I can remember praying for her, because if the God I had heard about existed he would save her. Well, she passed away, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t saved. I didn’t know that at the time and nobody explained it to me. I spent the next six or so years diving headfirst into the darkness and feeling my way blindly through it. It’s hard to walk through the darkness without stumbling, without painful collisions and overwhelming doubt.

So, this question can obviously be soul-crushing if you live in that kind of reality...

Or, it can encourage us, bring us hope or challenge our worldview.

After about a decade of living in the darkness, a ray of light shined in and shifted my worldview. During my high school years, I was one of the 25 students in my district to go to a school with advanced Math and Science courses and there was a lot of pressure to perform. We had just been given a new group assignment and my partner, one of the only people I considered to be a friend at the time, told me that he would never work with me again if I messed up. I was a notorious slacker, but I felt the pressure. I was overwhelmed with stress and as I was driving home from school, my blood sugar dropped and I rolled my car into a power line pole. One of those big wooden poles running on the side of the road. How is this a burst of light? Well, I had a dream while I was unconscious and it challenged my perception of life. I awoke for a moment to see the reality of the inside of the vehicle and passed out right after. When I came to next, I was outside the vehicle spitting up dirt and in complete peace. I saw my car and knew that I survived a miracle. And so I realized there was a God. I didn’t know who he was yet. However, I began to realize I had a purpose and my true identity was bound in that.

Several years later, my older brother had came to Christ through a campus ministry at OU and he began to reach out to the family. He gave some of us bibles and invited us to study them with him and more. As I was finally in college myself, he invited me to one of his meetings on the campus and I went reluctantly. I wanted to know God, but I still struggled with my brother. I am so thankful for my brother’s persistence and the way that group showed me the love of Jesus Christ. I realized then that Jesus was the God who saved me in that car wreck and I came to realize later that he saved me from all of my sin and the hopeless identity I had.

So, who did I become? I realized that I am a beloved son of God and I have a greater purpose to serve with my time on earth. How appropriate that my first name, David-Chad, means “beloved warrior.” I am loved and I am so grateful. My purpose is to fight as a spiritual warrior, to battle the enemy by helping others learn and know the truth more deeply and to encourage those who fight alongside me. I see the world as a spiritual battleground and my mind is set on God’s kingdom. Do you know the truth about yourself and this world we live in? Our time here is limited, but we can walk together in eternity. If you aren’t sure who you are or don’t know what truth even is, I would love to help you discover it. You too are his beloved and you mean so much more to him than we can fathom without the power of the Holy Spirit. As Paul prays this for the church in Ephesus, I pray that you too would be able to “grasp how wide and long and high deep is the love of Christ,” a love that “surpasses all knowledge. (Eph. 3:17-19)

Who am I?

Our first blogger will be by one of our adult leaders Lynda Glasgow on the topic of identity.

 

Who are you?

For me, my "me's" have changed much over the years.

Being a student for so long, I wasn't sure who I was for a year or two after college. After I finally settled into acting regularly, I was an actor! Identity again! I was a wife. Then a divorced wife. A Chicagoan enjoying her Irish roots. A depressed sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome. An "enlightened" new age follower. A practitioner of "white" magic (yes, I know how that sounds, but I got me some Jesus now...) Successful business owner and painter. Wife again, fearful of another divorce and becoming "that woman." New mom. Casualty in a failing economy (losing home and business)... Will the list just go on, ‘til death do us part? 

Life was good as long as I knew who I was. Except when I wasn't who I wanted to be. But then, I wasn't a Christ follower yet. 

Can I tell you what I've learned since then? Knowing who we are in Christ is absolutely key to living out our faith and experiencing His promises. No substitutes. 

Hopefully you're regularly hearing that your true identity is in Christ. But do you believe it? Do you live it like it's true? And what does that really mean, practically speaking?

There are so many good discussions on that last question, and people write whole books on it. Read one. Or five. But for right here, right now, let me share one significant transformation in my life, simply from having my identity in Him.

If you spend any time around me, you will come to realize I love Galatians 5:1:

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (NASB)

I've made a lot of messes in my life, experienced a lot of pain and shame and fear. So much so that, when I first came across Gal. 5:1, I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking right to my heart. And from that day on, I made it my mission to seek Him for real so I could experience this freedom He wanted me to have, freedom from my own thoughts and emotions and the flaming arrows of the enemy. 

In Him I have found release from my old prison. Day after day. No matter what junk flies into my life. And it definitely flies in. 

The degree of freedom I experience, however, relates directly to how willing I am to trust Him in every situation that arises. Will I let fear grip me or will I look past it to His hand reaching out for me? Will I be haunted by my past mistakes, or will I believe I am forgiven and new. Will I focus on all I have not accomplished in my life, or will I let my pursuit of Him be enough? Will I live in guilt when the path I'm on doesn't live up to others' expectations of me, or will I believe He is sovereign and has a good plan for my life?

Do I experience fear? Yes. Do I feel a sense of failure or guilt at times? Absolutely. But I'm not marked by those things anymore. I'm marked instead by how quickly I'm willing to turn around and believe His promises and His truths about me. And when I do that, I always find freedom.

If my identity is not in Him, my happiness will always be tied to what I do or don't do. That's a pressure I just can't live under.

While people can still label me as many different things, the list of who I am no longer goes on for me. I am a Christ follower. Period. 

Everything I am has become bendable in view of what Jesus wants of me. I could tell you how I'm currently a homeschooling mom, a feisty redhead, a house rehabber. Yes, I am these things, loosely speaking. For now. But these things are all subject to change based on how He sees fit to direct my life. My primary desire is to be used by Him, no matter where I find myself, because first and foremost I am a child of God, grateful for the riches I've been given in Christ. 

Yet by default, I am also now a fighter. Every day this world tries to take away who I am in Christ. But I fight, because in the end, I love the freedom He offers far more than the counterfeit feel-good the world offers.

 

Who am I? His. Are you?