Titus and I just returned from spending a few days with family in South Carolina. It was a quick trip – just two full days there with a day for travel on each side. Our time there was full, but also a slower pace than previous trips as we were staying in my grandmother’s home and beginning the long process of sorting through her earthly possessions.
Over the course of both our travel and our stay, I noticed Titus doing something new – something that caught me off-guard. When someone new would enter the room or conversation, he would put one hand on his chest over his heart (like you would say the Pledge of Allegiance) and saying “Titus.” After a few times of him doing this, I suddenly realized he was introducing himself to them. It almost got to the point that it was comical as he was even introducing himself to relatives he’s met several times before (though to his credit he has not spent much time with them).
At 22 months old, Titus was telling others his identity. He is Titus. He does not have other words to identify himself yet. He only knows that he is Titus. His one identity at this moment in his life is his name, given to him by his parents. As he grows older he will gain the ability to express other identifiers – son, grandson, boy, student, man, and a host of other identities, but at this point in his life the only identity he recognizes is that given to him by Michael and me.
I love the beauty found in the idea of only assuming the identity given to us by our heavenly Father. The world imposes so many different identities on us – both good and bad – but our true identity, our lasting identity, should be that which God has given each of us.
I love the simplicity of Titus’ identity at this moment in his life. He does not assume the identifiers the world will undoubtedly place on him during his lifetime. I hope that Titus holds on to the identity we have given him as he grows, but more than anything, I pray that one day he will place his hand over his heart and say “Child of God.”