Were You Stamped?

stamp I stood in the front lawn of Brawley Middle School.  I stayed for several hours waiting for my turn to try out!  I could imagine myself in that little red skirt.  I wanted those pom poms.  I knew if I could just become a Brawley Braves cheerleader, I would have arrived.  This would be the ultimate.  This was the label I wanted!

I had memorized my cheer and all the right moves.  “Be aggressive!  Be aggressive!  BE AGGRESSIVE!” I was a fairly reserved young girl, but I pushed through my fears, waited and tried out anyway!  I felt like I had done pretty well, but when they announced who made the cheerleading team, they skipped my name.

Immediately, I began to question why I hadn’t made it.  What was it about me that didn’t measure up?  Was something wrong with me?  Was I just not pretty enough?  Was I too fat?  Did I not cheer loud enough?

I felt as though I had been STAMPED with “Rejection!” and “Not enough!”

Life is a constant search for identity.

The world tries to tell us who we should be!

The enemy of our souls tries to tell us who we are!

We get stamped with labels our entire lives.


In my early twenties I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.   STAMP–“Chronic illness!”

I married David Douthit (one of the best decisions I ever made in my life).  STAMP–“Married!”

I became a nurse.  Stamp–“Professional!”

My “best” friend turned her back on me.  STAMP–“Rejected!” “Abandoned!” ” Unloved!” “Not enough!”

I tried to have children and couldn’t.  STAMP–“Infertility!”

I had children.  STAMP–“Mom!”

I rebelled and turned away from God in my early thirties.  STAMP–“Guilty!”


Do you ever wake up some days and think, who am I?  What am I doing?  How did I get here?  This wasn’t the life I had planned for myself!  I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I really wanted to have a career.   I’m a career woman, and I really wanted to stay home with my children.

We wrestle, don’t we?  But what really matters is what God says about who we are!

Those labels may describe us to some degree, or explain why we respond the way we do or why we make the choices we make, but they do NOT define who we are!

I rarely share that I have Crohn’s disease, mostly because I don’t allow “Crohn’s” to define me.  I never want to be known as that married retired nurse/writer with 2 children who has Crohn’s disease!

I want to be known as that woman who exudes the joy and love of Jesus everywhere she goes.  I want to be identified by my love for Jesus and who I am in Him, not by the labels the world (and the enemy) have tried to place on me.

The truth that my Heavenly Father is the only One with the authority to label me washes those worldly stamp marks clean off of me.

We have no problem knowing WHO we are when we know WHOSE we are!

If we are His, our identity is royalty!  As children of the King of Kings, He calls us blessed, favored, chosen, adored, treasured, pure, loved, forgiven, fearfully and wonderfully made masterpieces.  And our trustworthy Father wants what’s best for us…always!

15 thoughts on “Were You Stamped?

  1. Brandi Luiz says:

    So many similarities to your words and my life….. thank you for your willingness to share who you are and WHOSE you are!


  2. Leah DiPascal says:

    Rivera, I loved this post and can so relate to how the world (and the enemy) tried to “stamp” their own mark on us. It reminds me of Max Lucado’s book, Punchinello, which I read to my boys when they were little. Praise God the only stamps that matter are those that come from our Heavenly Father. Chosen – Righteous – Valued – Loved – Masterpiece.

    Leah DiPascal

  3. Mary says:

    “We have no problem knowing WHO we are when we know WHOSE we are!” LOVE that…it says it all! Love YOU…you are a treasure!

  4. Yahaira Mercedes says:

    I love your blog, always with amazing stories that bring us peace and joy to our heart 🙂
    Awesome speech this morning

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