As a black woman, I’ve always lived with the burden of having to prove myself to people. From trying to prove that I’m not just typically ‘loud obnoxious and intimidating’ to my white peers, or even trying to prove I wasn’t a “ boujee oreo” to my black friends. Most of my life has been spent trying to impress those around me, dancing to an invisible tune that would leave me feeling empty, used and exhausted.
Because of my intense desire to prove that I was ‘more’ to people, my identity was constantly changing, one day I was a fiery pop punk princess, the next day I was a nonchalant R&B Queen, a Hip-Hop Diva the day after that, and by the end of the week I’d be looking for banjos on amazon and considering starting a Mumford & Sons style folk band. But whenever I put on these various personalities I never felt like myself – I never really felt comfortable or at peace with who I was. I didn’t feel like I could rest. I was constantly moving and running, trying to stay one step ahead of people’s preconceived notions.
Galatians 3: 26 – 29 says “ So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
This verse is so important because it demonstrates the importance of understanding our identity in Christ, and it highlights how when we are in Christ there are no specific groups of people, there is no us or them, me or you. There’s no need to try and be something or anything because we are ALL ‘heirs’ of the King. Instead we align our hearts with the knowledge that we “belong to Christ”. If our identity rests in that truth, then it should not waver and change with the fickle minds of people.
What God says about us always stays the same, it never changes. This give us a chance to REST in the knowledge that when our identity is in Christ, it is solid and it is safe.
This is something that I hold onto dearly as a black woman – a need to understand that I shouldn’t view myself through the lens of those around me, but to instead firmly understand who I am in Christ and to place my identity in him. I’m not completely there yet but it’s safe to say that I’m not any closer to buying a banjo and starting a folk band.
Views expressed by guest writers do not reflect that of Black Sisters Network.