Hello my name is Dustin Wells, and I'm a recovering Identity Theft Victim.
America has made Identity Theft a popularized crime and an ever-growing awareness to the dangers of it. However, when we say Identity Theft we tend to solely focus on our bank accounts. We flip out if someone is taking our identity so that they can use our credit cards and ruin our precious credit scores. This idea of Identity Theft focuses on someone stealing or taking your identity, whether that be financial or lifestyle. We have made movies about people recovering their identity from someone else, (Bourne Identity series).
We all cheer when Matt Damon beats up the people who stole his Identity from him, while the majority of us are losing our Identity without even knowing it.
I'm a recovering Identity Theft Victim and I too like Matt Damon have had to fight entities to recover who I am. The main difference between Matt Damon and myself is that I gave my Identity away while Matt Damon had his stolen away.
Who am I?
That was the question I was seeking to answer throughout my middle and high school years, and I looked in all the wrong places.
In middle school I wanted to be the kid who got to hang out with cool kids so badly that I allowed myself to get bullied and pressure into doing things that I knew were wrong just so I could be in their "club". However, this still left me being empty inside and quite frankly I didn't like very much who I was at that point. So I kept looking....
Later in Middle School I found a pretty solid group of friends but I still didn't know who I was, so when I made the middle school soccer team I though that I would be the masculine jock. (Okay looking back now, I do realize that sounds ridiculous) However this didn't work very well at this point in my life, and my 8th grade year I actually had to undergo knee surgery which of course put me out of commission. I had tried to place who I was in sports at this point and found that it wasn't enough....
So then like every guy ever did I started to try to define who I was by who I was or was not dating. For three years off and on I was Heidi McClure's boyfriend and I liked that. However seeing how that was where my identity lied this led to problems and shortcomings on my behalf. I claimed to be a Christ follower but for some one who claimed that I sure was trying to play God in my own life, or even yet exalt things to the same level as Him.
After my shortcomings and immaturity led to my relationship with Heidi ending I continued to try to not address the real problem of myself by pursuing more girls, because if I found the right one it would fix everything! I very quickly got my heart broken again and again because despite how ridiculous it was I was seeking these girls to fill my void in my heart left by not knowing who I was.
It was then that I was no longer okay with having my heartbroken and decided to jade my heart and basically define myself by not only who I was going on dates with but who else I could get to be interested in me. These flings lasted shorter and shorter because the whole in my heart got greater and greater, my life was only as good as my "girl" at the time was. If I was single something was wrong with me.
This hole remained all the way through my high school years, as I would then try to fill it with basketball as well as girls. Even though I was an all-conference forward and dated the "girl of my dreams" I found that I was still not comfortable with who I was. I couldn't figure it out.
I made it to college and was immediately thrust into a ministerial position due to charisma and natural leadership ability. However, I didn't have the character or integrity necessary for this position. So this promotion allowed me to get extremely prideful and quite honestly fake. I didn't know who I was so I tried to become the position i was assigned, I tried to become the man I thought people wanted me to be.
This struggle and fakeness continued until after spring break of my spring semester were God wrecked my heart and asked me " if I cared more about what people thought or what he thought?" For the first time in my life I answered him! He helped me to learn something I will never forget.
" I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139 :14 tells us. For the first time I truly realized God made me, like me for a reason. That He loves me, and through his son Jesus Christ he has adopted me into his family. He is my father, my constant companion and my perfect rock.
The stupidity of my former ways smacked me in the face as I soon realized "For someone who was searching for who he was, I never asked the one who made me?" Our creator created each of us with a specific purpose and NO ONE is here by accident regardless of what some people may say. Each life is truly beautiful and unique.
When we ask Christ into our hearts and truly allow Him to be lord over our life, we find our Identity for this first time. We find we have been given a "Born Identity". Meaning that we are not defined by how good of a jumpshot we posses or how much or job pays. We are defined by how good our Savior is and how much he paid for us to have a relationship with Him.
My name is Dustin Wells, and I'm a recovering Identity Theft victim. I am no longer defined by being "the funny guy" or "the jock" or "______'s boyfriend" or "the heart breaker" or "The prideful preacher" or even "a minister of the Lord"; no I am defined by what Jesus Christ did on the cross for me. I am defined because I have given him all of my life and because of this I have been given a "Born Identity".