This episode marks the end of an intentional four-episode focus on identity. Last week, I interviewed Grant Johnson about his dream to be a jet pilot and how he wrapped up his identity in what he hoped would be his military career. Today you’re going to hear from his wife, LT Hannah Johnson, USN, as she talks about her struggles with spiritual perfectionism, and as she says, the fear of being a fraud or being found out. Hannah also appeared in a recent article from COMMAND magazine in which she shares some of her story.
I started this episode with a short passage from Paul Tripp’s devotional book “New Morning Mercies.” Here’s what trip has to say about identity, and I hope it’s an encouragement to you:
“No need to search for myself. No need to grasp for meaning for my life or purpose for what I do. No need to hope for inner peace, that sense of wellbeing for which every heart longs. No need to hope that someone or something will make me happy or give me joy. I no longer need any of these things because grace has connected me to you, and you have named me your child.”
As you listen to Hannah’s story of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession, here are a few questions to ponder:
- Have you ever asked yourself this question about your calling to the military: “God must not have called me to this because this is impossible and I don’t belong here”? How did you work through the doubts?
- When it comes to your identity, if you had to give an elevator speech on who you are, how would you respond?
- Hannah said that she struggled with thinking that in order to glorify God, she had to “have it all together and get it all right.” Have you struggled with similar spiritual perfectionism? In what way?
- Fear of failure or of being seen as a fraud is a label that Hannah says she has struggled with during her military career. What fears are defining you right now? How can your identity in Christ help you combat those fears?
- Colossians 3:17 (and 3:23-24) are Scripture passages that Hannah says have been pivotal in her understanding of identity and also how that works itself out in her purpose. What Scripture references are your “go-to” verses in your understanding of your identity in Christ?