By Ellen Hernandez, Back2Back Monterrey, Mexico Hope Education Program House Parent
Identity. More than a college degree, a good job, or even a stable family, if there is one thing I desire for the children we serve, it is they would know who they are in Christ and stand firm in that identity.
Many have been fed lies and many have chosen to believe lies that they are unlovable, inadequate or broken. Unsure of who they are, they feel pressure to be a certain person or act a certain way depending on the setting or company. They might act one way with caregivers and another way with their teachers, peers, or siblings. They try to be the person they think will please the other person. However, when any of these situations intersect, it produces feelings of embarrassment or shame for the child, because they don’t know how to act. They feel uncomfortable when a caregiver meets with them and their teacher, when their birth mom comes to visit and interacts with their friends, or any number of other possible combinations. They ask, “Who should I be in this situation?”
When they replace the lies with God’s truths: “I am loved,” “God’s grace is enough,” and “God has a plan and a purpose for my life,” they will come to the understanding “a Jesus follower” is always going to be the correct answer. Our hope and prayer for each child we serve is they would be confident in who God has created them to be and what He is doing in their lives. This truth produces incredible freedom and eliminates the need to perform. Only then will they experience the freedom that comes from understanding their true identity is rooted in Christ. Ultimately, this is a job only the Holy Spirit can bring to completion, and it is a battle that needs to be fought on our knees. It is certainly my prayer for the eight Hope Education Program boys who live with my family and for each child we serve.