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In life, we often struggle with our self-worth and identity. We long to see ourselves as Christ sees us and to build a healthy, Christ-centered identity. This journey begins with understanding and embracing God’s viewpoint of us, identifying the areas where we struggle to accept it, and taking the necessary steps to align our identity with His truth.


Understanding God’s Viewpoint


The foundation of building a healthy identity lies in understanding what God says about us. Spending time in His word reveals His unconditional love and purpose for each of us. The scriptures serve as a guide, showing us the truth of our worth in God’s eyes. Delving into the Bible and identifying passages that speak directly to our identity equips us with the knowledge of how God views us individually.


Acknowledging Our Struggles


Once we have a grasp of God’s perspective, it’s essential to evaluate where we struggle to accept it. Do we have double standards for ourselves compared to others? Are there aspects of God’s view of us that we find uncomfortable? Identifying these struggles allows us to pinpoint the areas in which we need healing and transformation.


Seeking Healing and Wholeness


While prayer is a powerful tool for gaining clarity and allowing God to speak directly into our lives, seeking additional support can also be beneficial. It’s important to acknowledge that the journey towards embracing our true identity may not be straightforward; it might require a multifaceted approach. Seeking prayer from others, participating in a prayer ministry, or seeking guidance from a spiritual counselor can aid in addressing the specific issues that hinder our acceptance of God’s truth.


The Role of Therapy


Therapy provides a space to learn strategies and tools for addressing recurring challenges. For individuals navigating identity issues, seeking the support of a Catholic or Christian therapist can offer a perspective rooted in faith, guiding them to accept their identity from God rather than generating it from within themselves. Therapy, when approached through a faith-based lens, complements the healing power of prayer and can aid in long-term transformation.


Investing in Your Healing Journey


Cultivating a healthy identity requires an investment in oneself. Whether through prayer, seeking prayer ministry, or exploring therapy, taking action is essential for inviting God’s truth to permeate our hearts and minds. Embracing God’s view of ourselves is a journey worth pursuing, and investing time and energy in our healing ultimately leads to standing in the truth of what God says about us.


Cultivating a healthy identity rooted in God’s love and affirmation is a transformative journey. Understanding His viewpoint, acknowledging our struggles, seeking support, and investing in our healing journey are integral steps in building an identity aligned with His truth. Embracing and living out God’s perspective of us empowers us to walk in confidence, freedom, and purpose.

Jill Simons:


Hello, and welcome to Charisms for Catholics. My name is Jill Simons, and I’m the executive director at Many Parts Ministries where we equip the Body of Christ by helping people learn about and discern their charisms, which is really another word for spiritual gifts. When you discern your charisms, you’re are able to see how the Holy Spirit is already active in your life and where he is inviting you to further build the Church. Let’s dive in. Hey, guys. Today, we have a heavy ish, hopefully hopeful topic to talk about, which is answering this question that we get a lot is how do we actually come aim to view ourselves the way that Christ views us and therefore build a healthy identity, where we have this jumping off point to be able to jump into do our charisms with the level of freedom and detachment that we’re really being being called to. So just to jump in, first of all, we gotta know what it is that God actually does say about us. We need to spend time in his word realizing what it is that God’s viewpoint is of people and and specifically of each of us as individuals because God’s relationship with every person is encompassed within the scriptures because Jesus would have come even if it was just for you, just for you as an individual.

Jill Simons:


He loves you in that at that kind of level, in that kind of way. And so that is my number one recommendation is to, you know, there’s with the Internet now, we have access to just kind of endless resources on what is it that God says about us? And we’ve got a new resource available for you as well, just very simple. It is all of the Scriptures to to base your identity on. Things that you can return to to see what it is that God says about you and just accompany your scripture study as you go through your time in your bible. Once we’ve got that piece of the puzzle looking at this is is what it is that God says about me. We wanna evaluate where we detach from that, where we struggle to accept that, where we don’t experience that in our own lives. We want to get clear on what parts of it we’re uncomfortable with. We wanna know where our double standards are.

Jill Simons:


What is it that we think is maybe true about our little sister and our best friend and our spouse, but not true about us? Once we’ve evaluated those things and really realized this is where I struggle to receive what it is that God says about me, we want to ask God why. We want to understand why it is that we struggle with that. This happens in a lot of ways. And, typically, most people see the most success by taking kind of a multi-faceted approach. So someone recently asked me, what is it that is kind of the purpose of prayer versus the purpose of therapy, versus the purpose of, you know, other mental health practices in personal healing. And I thought that was a really interesting question because I think that there’s places for all of them. And where I see prayer being most powerful is definitely in getting clarity and allowing god to just directly speak into you and heal you. And that is the fast lane for so many things.

Jill Simons:


But in my personal experience, there are also times that God wants me to take the long way around, not because he’s a masochist, not because he’s trying to be mean, but because he knows that this is not gonna be a one and done thing for me. He wants me to actually learn how-to strategies, really, to be able to weather this when it comes up again because it’s not if, it’s when. This is not going to be something that I just struggle with today and then I’m good for the rest of my life unless he decides to take it. I’ve experienced both. I’ve had a mental health struggle as a young person, that when I received the Anointing of the Sick, when I was pregnant with my daughter, after a traumatic c-section with my first child, I received Anointing of the Sick. There was nothing physical going on at the time, but I was going in for my c-section and I was eligible. So I was like, more grace. Bring it on and received Anointing of the Sick.

Jill Simons:


And after she was born, I was listening to one of Father Ricardo’s podcasts about the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and realized that in that sacrament, God had taken from me this mental health struggle that I’d had since high school, and it was just not an issue anymore. And it has not been an issue again because that was something that the Lord in his mercy saw to just took take from me. I’ve had other mental health struggles especially around identity that have also been instantaneously dealt with through prayer. And the the method of maintaining that has been staying close to Christ in prayer. I have also had mental health struggles that I have gone to therapy for. And I think therapy, the place where it most rightly sits, is in when we are needing to learn strategies and techniques and tools to be able to address these things when they come up over and over again. And that is where I have used it most powerfully in my life. And all of this is, more than anything, my anecdotal, experience with healing.

Jill Simons:


And so you absolutely might have a different opinion, different experience, but this is very much how I have seen it to be the case where when we are going to be dealing with something over and over again, especially I find personally in relationships where we’re gonna keep being in that relationship, we’re gonna keep having to figure out how to navigate this interaction with another person. Going to therapy and having strategies and tools can be incredibly, incredibly helpful and part of what God desires to share with us because he gave those therapists the gifts to be able to do that job and walk with people through those things. So we don’t want to ever say, oh, these gifts in the Church aren’t needed, are worthless. Just pray more. Poor therapists, like, they they have gifts to give as well. Then there are absolutely cases where the best thing to do is for us to receive those gifts from God through them instead of, not that we never want to seek healing in prayer, but instead of expecting a 100% of healing to come solely through prayer. That is not been my experience of how the Lord moves. He he wants to invite us into the complexity of these things because it’s what’s best for us.

Jill Simons:


Just like, having been given charisms in the first place is because helping out and doing these things is what’s best for us healing in these multi-faceted ways is also what’s best for us. And so when we’re looking to identify and when we have identified where the rub and where the disconnect is and what we don’t, what we know to be true in our head that we don’t really believe in our hearts. We want to be looking at where do all of these potential approaches fit into that? Where do we use prayer? Where are we seeking prayer from others? Maybe being involved in a prayer ministry, receiving prayer from a prayer ministry, or seeking something like traditional therapy to work through the specific issues that we’re having. All three of these approaches are great roads to take. And no one of them in my experience is the cure all, be all, end all for every experience, not because it can’t be, because of course prayer can be, but because God see that there’s additional goods for us in seeking other things. And when we are looking to align our identity more closely with what it is that God says about us. The work is part of what brings about the change. Giving yourself that investment of time, whether in prayer, whether in receiving prayer, whether in going to receive some kind of counsel, that acknowledgement that you are receiving at least the worth to recognize that you need to invest that in yourself is part of ultimately what paves the way for you to receive the healing.

Jill Simons:


So it can seem like a lot. It can seem like an impossible road. It can seem like there’s too much. There’s too many lies I believe, there’s too many things that I’m struggling with, just try some small assessment in making that head to heart journey in the place where you are experiencing the greatest disconnect, in that place where it is hardest to receive what God says about you. Again, looking at that scriptural document that is linked below as kind of first line of defense. Which one of these things is the most, do I have the greatest need a strong reaction against. Let’s just start there. Let’s invest some time in prayer.

Jill Simons:


Let’s seek a holy friend or group of people that practice prayer ministry and say, I’m really struggling to accept x, y, z. Can you pray for me for healing around that? Or let’s do both of those prayer options in concert with see a therapist and saying, I really am not able to receive this. I really like using a Catholic or Christian therapist. I think that their worldview is necessary to really addressing these identity issues because ultimately, a secular therapist is going to be coming at it from the viewpoint of you are enough in and of yourself and you don’t need anybody else or anything else, including being God to help you, experience that. And we know that this is not the truth. So that’s just not going to be the most life giving place as opposed to a Catholic or Christian therapist who’s going to be able to walk you into accepting these things from God instead of generating them from inside yourself, which is always gonna be based on a lie. So I hope that helps kind of simple road map. Just to recap, first, know what it is that God says about you, especially looking at these scriptural documents.

Jill Simons:


Know where you are struggling to accept what it is that God says about you and where you have those double standards, and then take some action. Prayer, group prayer, therapy, all three, couple of them, to start addressing that, to start are inviting that truth into your heart, out of your head solely, and into your heart as well. That’s the road. That’s the work. It’s not straightforward. It’s not simple. It’s not the same for every person, but it is important. And as I said earlier, investing the time and energy in yourself to do it is part of what helps you ultimately be able to adapt that and really stand in the truth of what God says about you.

Jill Simons:


I hope you have the best week. We’ll be back with more content about charisms next Thursday. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode of Charisms for Catholics. If you would like to learn more about your charisms or begin your own discernment journey, head to our website at manypartsministries.com, where you can download our free PDF guide to all 24 charisms and also begin your own journey by taking our charism assessment.