That’s how much space you have to sum yourself up in an Instagram bio. 150 characters – that’s somewhere between 20-40 words, and in it, we each get to decide how we want to present ourselves to the public eye.
Of course, it would be impossible to condense a whole life and a dynamic, complex, human being in that many characters. But regardless – we try.
What am I?
This leaves us with a few options:
1. Fill the space with something unrelated. A funny quote, a reference to your love for coffee, a Bible verse.
2. Leave it blank. Keep ’em guessing.
3. Fill it with whatever seems to be the most important.
And here, in option 3, we find ourselves facing the most universally weighty and pressing question that people ask – WHO AM I?
Who are you?
Whose are you?
What would you say?
Forget the Instagram of it all – if you had to sum yourself up, right now – what would you say?
I asked myself this question a few months ago, and in the spirit of full transparency, my first thoughts were not what I wish they’d been. Immediately, my mind went to: writer, author, blogger, girlfriend, friend – and instantly, I felt convicted.
It’s not that those things are bad, or even that they’re unimportant. I am proud of those titles, and while I am always learning, I try to do those things well.
But none of those things matter without the source of my identity. And my identity isn’t grounded in what I do for work, or based in my relationships with the people I love.
The source of your identity?
First and foremost, I am always a Daughter of the Creator God. I am loved by Jesus, known by the Father, and saved by a Grace I don’t deserve.
And if I don’t start there, nothing else makes sense.
It seems to be a universal thing – the craving and desire for identity. In all areas and places and things, we want to know who we are and what we’re here for. Identity is comforting, it’s clarifying, and it gives us a sense of purpose and meaning.
The search for identity is deeply human and not a bad thing.
But finding it in anything other than Jesus leads to disappointment.
A job or career path might bring some satisfaction and provision. It might give you a sense of accomplishment and pride, help you build a successful life, and feel like a contributor.
A relationship can make you feel safe and wanted. It can be healthy and happy, provide love and comfort, and exceed even the most glorious Pinterest boards.
Hobbies, passions, social media followers, sexuality, friends, church, ministry, food, another person.
None of these things are bad, in fact, many of them are good, good gifts that we’ve been given by God Himself. But they aren’t home. They’re not you. They’re not what you belong to.
They can’t save you from your sins, redeem the broken parts of your story, or make you whole.
Who are you, really?
This brings us back to the question: Who are you?
Not your work, not your relationships, not just a list of interests or things about you – who are you, really?
Maybe you have an answer. Maybe not.
As I’m writing this, I know that I can’t possibly know what you’re walking through right now or the details of your situation. I don’t know what you do for work or who you love or how you fill your free time.
But I know you are loved. // John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-5
I know you were created with purpose. // Ephesians 2:10
That the God who knit you together is the same God who sent his Son to die for you.
The same God who knows every bit of your past and future, and knew it even then.
Instagram bios are, in the grand scheme of things, very unimportant.
But how you define who you are is not.
If you’re feeling far from God or lost in your identity, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s something almost everyone struggles with at some point or another. Everyone connects best to God in a different way, but I have found it immensely helpful during these periods to dive deep into what God says about me. Nothing beats spending time in scripture.
Journaling, reading, and listening to worship music can all help too. Above all, keep showing up. When you are present and eager for God to meet you, He will. Know that you are loved, treasured, valued deeply by the Father.