You are not your struggles. You are what your struggles have been trying to hold back from you.
In Judges 6, Gideon was hiding wheat, because the enemy who’d already limited people’s freedom and banned their outward faith, was only allowing them enough food to barely survive. Their strategy was to break the body, soul, and spirit of anyone who might rise up to challenge them. And it was working. Gideon was hungry, fearful, and saw himself as less than nothing. But God saw him so differently: “The Angel of The Lord appeared to him and said, ‘the Lord is with you, mighty man of valor!’” (6:12). It took some time and training, but eventually Gideon chose to trust in God’s faithful love more than the enemy’s incessant lies. Through every challenge, he grew into the man God saw him as, even venturing into the enemy’s camp to hear a word of encouragement from the Lord.
It took some time and training, but eventually Gideon chose to trust in God’s faithful love. God even showed him he could be encouraged in the middle of the enemy’s camp.
The revelation of who you are in Christ is relational, but the fulfillment of who you are in him is positional. Staying where you are can seem like wisdom, because the familiarity feels safe. But hiding in an old mindset won’t keep you from failing or getting hurt, especially if God is calling you to come somewhere else with him. Real wisdom loves to take leaps of faith, because at its core is the certainty that God is good.
Don’t let circumstances or people diminish your identity, especially not anyone’s expectations, judgments, and projected fears. I know that seems easier said than done, but if you’re determining to listen for God’s voice, that inner voice of genuine love, joy, and peace, it’s really not. Sometimes you need to step into what you can’t see ahead of you to become what God sees in you. You really are as amazing as he has been saying, and his delight is to promote you, not punish you.