In the 1980’s there was a TV show called ‘Miami Vice’, about two undercover police officers from, surprisingly enough, Miami. The image & clothing of the police officers, and it’s location, gave it a particular image which made it an iconic show of the 1980’s.
Toward the end of season 2, one of the principal characters, Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson, left in picture), poses undercover as a drug dealer ‘Sonny Burnett’. This is a false self with his own backstory.
But when Sonny gets hit on the head and gets amnesia, he only remembers the identity of Sonny Burnett. So he goes ahead and lives out that identity, not remembering he is an undercover police officer, existing solely as Sonny Burnett.
He’s not Sonny Burnett. It’s not his true identity. However, he continues to live and act like he is. And this story, and it’s resolution, is a great example of a fundamental truth about identity. In the words of Rob Bell:
“What we do comes out of who we believe we are”
In other words, our identity defines our reality.
For the longest time I believed I was doomed to fail. That God’s destiny for me was to underachieve, fail, never reach my potential, and die fat, lonely and forgotten. And because of the difficulties I had gone through, there seemed a lot of evidence to back this up.
And guess what happened? My weight ballooned. I stayed single. And I barely put any effort into my work, which meant I underachieved and didn’t reach my potential.
What I did came out from who I believed I was. And it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But the problem was, voices kept nagging away at me. God kept telling me
‘You think you’re worthless, but you’re worth everything to me’
I also had many friends who kept encouraging me, supporting me, loving me. And others complimenting me on my writing, telling me I had a gift I needed to share with others, and they believed in me. And saying I was capable of far more than I gave myself credit for.
And the thing was, part of me knew they were right. I just didn’t want to believe it. It scared me. Because it was the unknown, with not as much tangible evidence to prove it. Not in my eyes anyway.
It was easier to believe the lies. The lies were like a comfort zone. Easy. Safe. No risk.
Truth Transforms Actions
To believe the truth would involve me taking action. Writing a new story with my life. Taking steps out, risking, going on a path where I could only just see in front of me, the rest obscured by a cloud of unknowing. With only a big dream just visible beyond the cloud keeping me going.
After much turmoil, I’ve slowly begun to live this new story. The demons still lie to my face, still mount their attacks. But I am beginning to choose a different path. To believe a different truth. To embrace my true identity and calling.
I am choosing to proclaim the truth – my identity is a precious, infinitely loved and accepted child of my creator. My security, my comfort, my protection lays there, in Him.
It’s not in my past, my future, or in anything I do. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, not even myself.
My calling is to be a writer, a person who creates work which makes a difference in the world. To encourage and support others. I have gifts, ones I know of, ones not yet developed, which can all help others, if I’m willing to do the work. I can lose weight if I take it seriously. I know I’m capable of finding someone to do the journey of life with, in time. And I know I will not be forgotten, whatever happens in my life.
Every day, I am choosing to believe the truth about who I am. Learning to ignore the dark voices inside. And slowly my life is changing. I am being transformed. Growing, changing, more into who I was created to be.
Sonny Burnett eventually begins to have memories appear of another life, his true identity of Sonny Crockett. And eventually, he realises who he truly is, and what he has done – and returns to his previous identity. Because no matter how much he fell away from the truth of who he was, he couldn’t deny it forever.
None of us can.
So today, choose the truth about yourself. The truth some part of you knows deep inside. The truth, that you have infinite value and worth already. You have nothing to prove to anyone. And then, choose to live out the calling, the story, you were created to live.
Choose your true identity, and it will become your story.(you can tweet that)
Your identity will become your reality.
Are you with me?
Question for Reflection:
What truth are you believing about yourself, which holds you back from fulfilling your true calling?
Let me know in the comments below!
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(Picture Source: Glen H / Ahmad Mammoud via Creative Commons)
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