This time last week I was on my couch watching Moana. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! I know, I know... you mommies out there probably have it memorized and wonder how on earth I've gone nearly a year without watching it or downloading How Far I'll Go on to my phone when you've done all you can to escape the seemingly never ending Moana phase to no avail.
I have no littles. I guess that's how. *shrugs shoulders*
I bring that up because just days before that I was standing on a stage, bright lights shining on me and 30+ set of eyes staring at me as I spoke about IDENTITY. And the film Moana SCREAMS identity.
Some of you were aware that I had been preparing for my first speaking engagement at an event called Girls Retreat in Lake Jackson. When given an opportunity to speak I always pray for direction.
As I did that, God kept leading me to share on identity. I shared my personal struggles with identity. My past pursuits of false identities - relationship status, vanity, job titles, etc. - and my own skewed ideas of where my true identity lies.
I was 100% honest...
The truth is that the creator gives its creation identity. Nothing else should. If I'm an artist, creating beautiful pieces of art or a chef creating extraordinary dishes. No other has the right to define my work. I do, the creator. After all, I am the one with the original thought, who knows exactly all that went into creating said art or dish - the work, the purpose, the time. Same goes with God and us. We were made in His image. He defines us. No one or nothing else should.
I frankly told the girls that we live in a time where so much around us is trying to label us or define us - pushing who they say we are on us. This world tries defining us by our outer appearances, the money we make, the people we hang around and the list goes on. We get sucked into believing we are solely something we aren't. My mission was to remind them of who they truly are and how there's power in walking in their God-given identity. Never forgetting it, always declaring it and reminding others of their God-given identity and purpose, too. And I did just that.
So how does Moana fit into all of this?
If you haven't watched it yet, it's too late now... because I'm about to totally go into spoiler alert mode. You’ve been warned.
Moana fought with the identity given to her throughout the first half of the film. She is the chief’s daughter, next in line to lead her people, forever bound to their island. Yet, viewers saw the longing she felt to go beyond the perimeters of said island and into the sea. With the encouragement and reminders of her grandmother, she finally discovers her (and her people’s) truest identity. They ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶ are voyagers. This realization leads her into the adventure of a lifetime across the great sea to aid another character Maui (a demigod who ironically is also searching for validation and needing an identity pep talk) to restore the heart of the goddess Te Fiti - which he stole. The goddess Te Fiti's heart brought forth beautiful creations and goodness.
Moana's island is endangered by the darkness now overtaking each island. To stop this Te Fiti's heart must be returned. What we all discover at the end is that the very one Moana and Maui have to face before successfully returning the goddess's heart, is really a corrupted version of the goddess herself, referred to as Te Kā.
Moana then shows her the heart and then this happens...
In case you missed it, here are her lyrics:
Now, listen, I'm not saying Moana is Jesus or God. I'm not saying the enemy steals our hearts and they must be brought back to us by a beautiful island girl with great pipes, flowing hair and killer eyebrows.
I'm saying - IDENTITY matters. Do you know who you truly are? Have the things of this world such as vanity, false expectations, other's hurtful words or rejection stolen your heart and you've turned into something you were never created to be?
Knowing who we truly are and declaring it - no matter the hardships we face or the setbacks we experience can truly be empowering and life changing. You grasping your true identity has the potential to change someone else's life. So remember WHO YOU ARE and WHOSE YOU ARE. And share it with others.