After my son’s arrest, I felt so much shame that I rarely left my home in order to conceal myself.
The news of my son’s arrest hit the state news. Because of the media blasts, immediately my son’s identity became associated with the crimes he was accused of committing.
Then the identity association hit my husband and I as his parents. We heard over and over in churches, “You’ll know what kind of parents people are based on the children’s behavior.”
So we asked ourselves: Where did we go wrong? What could we have done differently? How could we have stopped this?
In general, society identifies people with what they do and the roles we have in life. When meeting someone for the first time, it is common to ask, “What do you do?” That places a label of identification on us, which can either be positive or negative.
The night after my son’s arrest and in the months that followed his conviction, I experienced identity theft. I did not know how to identify myself in social settings when asked, “How many kids do you have? What do they do?
How was I suppose to answer? Since I did not know how to respond, I avoided gatherings as much as possible.
At times I felt like I was wearing the 17th century scarlet letter that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about in his book, Scarlet Letter. Instead of an “A” for adulteress, I felt I was wearing a label that identified me as a “Mother of a Convict” and I was to be publicly shamed as a display of penitence.
But that was the enemy’s deception in my mind. Thankfully, the Lord showed me in His Word how to recover my true identity.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. And as Jesus rose from the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove and the Lord said:
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).
God declared Jesus to be His Son and gave Him His identity in front of many witnesses.
In Matthew 4, we see where Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit:
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread’” (v. 1-3).
In Jesus’ weakest moment after fasting for forty days and nights, Satan’s strategy was to cause Jesus to doubt who He was.
“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus never doubted His identity as He and the Father are one. Even in His weakest state, Jesus responded to the enemy’s attack with the Word of God.
When we come to Christ as Lord and Savior, we get a new identity. We become a child of God (Romans 8:15-16)!
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
The enemy comes after believers like he did with Jesus wanting us doubt that we are a child of God and a new creation in Christ.
And though I fell into that snare for a while, I began to respond to the enemy as Jesus did and started quoting Scripture about who I am in Christ.
The Word of God has power. The Word is described as a sword in Ephesians 6:17, “… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
To recover my identity, I gathered Scriptures about who I am in Christ. For three months, I set my alarm to confess these Scriptures three times a day. I continue confess Who I am in Christ Scriptures at least once a day.
The state prison issues white clothing for my son to wear to identify him as offender. Through the eyes of the Lord, I see my son wearing white because though his sins were like scarlet, God now made them white as snow because of the finished work of Christ (see Isaiah 1:18).
No longer do I identify with being the mother of a convict, nor do I see my son as an offender. We are in Christ, therefore, we are new creations and our identity is in Him.
To avoid identity theft in your life and the lives of your loved one, click here for 31 Scripture Decrees for Who I am in Christ. Begin to speak these truths over your life every day.