What Destabilizes Identity?

I immensely dislike the verb destabilize. I seek stability; I don’t want anything to mess with my calm, inner world where I know who I am, what I stand for, and what I’m doing. But when an experience comes along that destabilizes me, I don’t know how to recover. I feel immediately disordered. I feel lost at sea, unsure and confused.

What unmoors us like this? I’ve been thinking of a few things:

When our work changes (we believe we are what we do)

When our health changes (we believe we are just bodies)

When our relationships change (we only know ourselves in relation to others)

When our location changes (we form identity based on geography)

When our impact changes (we see ourselves as valuable based on influence)

When our expectations are not met (we live in our future selves)

These dependent variables often change, and we cannot control them. But what endures? What stays unchanging and independent of our circumstances?

I think about God. I think about being made to worship and to become more like Christ. This unchanging position—as a worshipper and someone being sanctified—offers a permanency when everything else changes.

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