God and Sexual Assault

Identity in Christ

How do you define yourself?

Throughout my life I have called myself a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, student, babysitter, Christian, church member, teacher, patient, retail associate, tutor, flute player, and sexual assault survivor. For the first part of my life I identified myself as a person related to others. The daughter, sister etc. titles applied.

As I have grown up I labeled myself mainly with my job. I was a teacher and it was definitely my life at the time. I lived, breathed, and slept teaching and the kids I taught. My life revolved around all of it.

Once my memories returned and I eventually lost my teaching job I didn’t know who I was anymore. I spent so much time defining myself through what I did that I was lost.

I told myself I was nothing without my job and teaching kids. Never married and with no children I don’t have the automatic titles of mother and wife to fall back on and that our society uses to define us.

Instead, I found myself at a loss for who I was. It has taken me the past 10 years to finally realize who I am and where my identity is. I have written before that I learned my PTSD, depression and anxiety labels don’t define me, or you. That is simply what we are experiencing not who we are.

It’s the same with other worldly titles we place on ourselves. That does not make us who we are. It does not identify us. We can have a thousand titles and still not know who we are. For several years after I lost my job, I labeled myself and found my identity as a sexual assault survivor, and though I am, it isn’t who I am.

What I have learned is that when I asked Jesus to come into my life at 17 I gained the one identity that matters in life. It’s not even that I’m a Christian, though I am, it is that I know Jesus Christ the living God. Because He died for my sins through His mercy and grace I am clean and blameless in God’s eyes.

My name is written on the Lamb’s Book of Life in Heaven and when I die and stand at the gates my entry has already been paid by Jesus and His death on the cross. In God’s eyes I am His child and He is my Father.

I honestly didn’t think I would come to a time that I thought of God as my Father because of negative associations that has. However, with much prayer and God continuing to show me who He is I know He is my Father who will never hurt me or leave me.

I have come to realize my identity is only found in Christ. Other titles are okay, but that one is the one that counts toward my eternity. It is who I am in Him that makes life worth living and His strength that gets me through each day.

It was not an easy conclusion to come to and only through the steadfast guidance of my Christian counselor and God showing me through His word that I understand my identity now.

How do you define yourself? What things are you using to define you? Are you a child of God or would you like to be? You can and He is waiting arms open wide for you. Just ask for forgiveness for you sins and let Jesus know you believe He died and was raised from the dead, and you want Him in your life.

Romans 10:10 tells us, “For it is with your heart that you Believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Then, I promise God will begin the process of helping you know exactly who you are and where your identity lies. Because as soon as you ask Him into your life your identity is that you are a child of God.

child of GodWhere is your identity today?

Father God,

Thank you for saving me. I need You above all else in my life. I need you to be the Father no one else has been to me. Help me to define myself by who I am in You and not the titles of this world. Nothing I do or that was done to me defines me. Help me remember that each and every day.



© Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.



Susan is an author and speaker who loves to share her journey of God's redemption and encourage others as they look to God. As a former elemetary teacher with a passion for teaching, Susan also owns her own tutoring and consulting business where she empowers students and parents in reading. Susan lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her adorable and grumpy Persian cat, Mia.

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