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)