“So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.” ~Genesis 1:27
From the beginning, God is very clear on how He sees us. Read the verse above again. Let it sink in. Revel in the fact that we are made in His own image.
You, my dear reader, are made in the image of a Holy and Loving God. Therein lies your value, your worth, your identity. And God does not hold His image-bearers cheaply, but has spilled lavish blood to redeem you. You are, after all, His Beloved.
Our value was not rescinded when Sin entered the world. Sin simply made us forget who we are (Gen. 3:16-19). Rather than allowing God to define us, we are driven to find identity and worth elsewhere. “Elsewhere” could be a significant other, work, hobbies, circumstances…anything, really. But these things do not give us value, and to base our identity on them is dangerous. For when your identity is based on anything other than Christ, it can be easily lost or taken.
Throughout high school and college my identity was founded on being the “good little Christian girl.” I tried to do everything right so God would have to love me. When I sinned, I spent hours agonizing over it, hoping my tears would be enough to wash my transgression away. This identity gave me nothing but anxiety. What if I did something unforgiveable? What if God got tired of my mess ups?
And then, I did mess up. The identity I had so carefully crafted was shattered in an instant. And it was as painful as death. But you know what? That’s when I truly began to live. My identity was no longer based on my deeds, but upon the Word of God, Jesus the Christ (John 1:14). He lived a perfect life, freeing me from the Law (2 Cor. 5:21). He died a sacrificial death, freeing me from the penalty of sin (Rom. 6:23). He rose again, so that I might have life and live it to the fullest (John 10:10).
Identity and Sleeping Beauty
So what does all this have to do with this series? Everything. What makes this princess the “sleeping beauty” is her struggle for identity. The entire story revolves around what will define our Sleeping Beloved. Will it be her circumstances? Or will she choose to awake?
I don’t know what false identities you struggle with. I don’t know the tears you’ve cried, nor do I know the trials you’ve endured. God does, and He is anxious to show you how much He loves you. You are, after all, His Beloved. No one can take that from you.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. ~Ephesians 1:4-8