Labels. We see them everyday and there isn’t much we can do to avoid them. It’s not like you can go to the store and see aisle after aisle of boxes and cans with out the description of what the product is on the inside. We kind of need those labels to tell us the difference between potato soup and a can of pickled beets. Or looking in our medicine cabinet and seeing bottle after bottle of pills and not knowing what is the pain killer and which one is the vitamin. Let’s face it we need labels.
Unfortunately, we have not stopped at just products on a shelf when it comes to putting labels on everything around us. We even put labels on people. Labels are attached to us at birth. Boy or Girl. And we don’t stop there. There are multiple labels assigned. “Oh isn’t he a big boy.” Or “What a sweet little girl.” Sure, theses words are how some describes what they see, but they can so easily become a label.
The labels keep piling on as we get older. When we hit our school years we hear labels like athletic, smart, gifted, slow, short, fat, weird just to name a few. We can’t help but put a label on everything in sight regardless of what we know about the person.
We humans have this unstoppable need, compulsion even, to categorize things and people. You’re gay. You’re straight. You’re a woman. You’re a man. You’re black. You’re white.
If my transition has taught me anything, and it has taught me loads about the human race, it is that labels don’t always describe the true identity of a person. For me, many people want to continue to label me as a guy. “You have XY chromosomes so you are a guy.” They say. Regardless of what that person may know, some refuse to drop that label for me. And, at times I will admit it really does bother me. I get too wrapped up in that label and others that get placed on me.
I have to stop and look past the labels that I and society place on myself and truly ask my self what is my true identity.
I’m a daughter.
I’m a sister.
I’m a mom.
I’m a professional framer.
I’m a photographer.
I’m a writer.
But all those are still labels to me. They are no doubt a huge part of who I am, but are they the things I should be hanging my identity on?
I will be the first to admit that I am not the perfect Christian. I swear (yes mom I do swear just try hard not to do it when you area around) and even drop the f-bomb on occasion. I gossip. I do any number of things that God hates. But I know, that as any child that comes to their parent and asks forgiveness, that my Father in Heaven will forgive me. The Bible calls anyone who loves Christ and follows him a child of God. That’s where I find my identity. Who I am in the eyes of the one person that matters above all else? Who am I in the eyes of God? Who does he see me as?
He sees the child he crafted with his own hand.
He sees his daughter that he loves enough to die for.
I am a lot of things and I take pride in being a photographer, being a writer and especially being a mom to two great kids. But my identity is not in those things. None of those thing will get me to Heaven. One day God could take all these things away from me, but he will never cease loving me. Even after those years where I turned my back on him, he never stopped showing me he cared.
If there is anything in this world that I want people to know about me, it is that God sees me as HIS daughter and that I am a child after His own heart.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God”1 John 3:1a
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
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