puzzle time 3

puzzle time 3“A TCK Identity will not get you through life.  A Christ identity will.”

– Chad Phillips

It’s graduation time all around the world . . . at least in MK, TCK, and many international schools.  As the graduates celebrate their success of finishing up (a generally) rigorous academic program and look forward to more independence and life in one of the passport countries, they don’t always realize their identity is about to be called into question over and over and over again.  If it’s not questioned by their peers, their employers, or their schools, they’ll question it themselves.

TCKs returning to their passport country are often hidden immigrants.  They look like the people from the nation they now live in, but they don’t always know how to act.  What do you say to people behind the cash register?  How do you answer, “Do you want fries with that?”  What’s a polite way to tell the school admissions officer that just because you live in Japan it doesn’t mean your spoken AND written English lacks fluency because you are, in fact, a native English speaker who has attended an American school.

It’s a challenge.  At one time or another almost everyone regardless of provenance questions who they are and where they belong.  It’s not simply a TCK thing.  It’s a human thing.

What’s the answer?  A Christ-centered identity isn’t dependent on geography, up-bringing, body shape, or medical history.  A Christ-centered identity grounds you in truth–even when that truth is sometimes hard to accept.  Am I a daughter/son of the King of Kings?  Yup–coheir with Christ, that’s who I am.  Am I to die for? Definitely–Christ gave himself as a sacrifice to conquer death so I can live eternally.  Forgiven?  Yes.  Valued?  Without question.

Now I just need to remember and live it.

A Christ-identity doesn’t negate TCK experiences and identity. It just puts that part of an identity in perspective.

What do you think?  What’s your first thought when your identity is called into question?

picture courtesy of lusi on

Once again, I’ve joined up with The Gypsy Mama for a Five Minute Friday blast. After you leave a comment, hop on over to her site and see what others have to say about “Identity.”

6 responses to “Fitting”

  1. Great post! Loved the question you offered at the end: “What’s your first thought when your identity is called into question?”. Great coaching question!

  2. Love paragraph #4!! The truth…. stated eloquently yet simply. Worth memorizing (in my humble opinion…).

  3. Thanks, Lisa! That paragraph seems to be a favorite . . . one of my former interns quoted it on facebook today. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Honestly my first thought when my identity is questioned is to educate the poor person.

  5. It’s true, Rachael–education goes a long way both in how you feel about yourself and how you respond to others. I know it gets frustrating when you think you’re prepared, and suddenly you’re not as prepared as you thought you were.

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