When I was in high school, I went through an intense hippie stage. I had one of everything in tie-dye; I burnt incense on the regular; I hung posters of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison (and the like) on my walls, and I wrote my high school graduation speech on the topics of peace, love and happiness.

My hippie phase lasted well into college and eventually morphed into a much more mature obsession with all things Beatles related. I no longer really cared about peace signs and psychedelic flowers; I was more interested in soaking up as much knowledge about Paul, John, Ringo and George as my little brain would absorb.

Now, I look back on those phases of my life and realize that being a hippie and a Beatles expert were more than just silly hobbies — they were my identity.

I loved that when people heard my name — Katie Bivens —they might think: hippie, flower child, born in wrong decade, peacemaker, BeatlesGratefulDeadJimMorrisonJanisJoplin, long hair don’t care, lover of all things 60s. It’s who I was. I reveled in it. I made sure people knew what I was about. I loved the ideas and values (well, most of them) people of that era held. It was all about peace and love, man. Can’t we all just get along? They were my identity, and Jesus was just a part of who I was.

Fast forward to now. I no longer associate these interests with my whole self. They are still very much a part of my life (the Beatles especially), but these ideas are no longer who I am.

Where does my identity lie now?

It lies in Jesus. Solely, whole heartedly, 100 percent cash back guaranteed in my God. See, when you go through something like dating a boy for three months, then finding out he has issues with alcohol, watching as he bravely checks himself into rehabilitation treatment, then dating for three more months while attempting to figure out how to support him and your relationship through the new changes, and then watching him unexpectedly die of leukemia, you learn what really matters in this life.

God was with me through all of it. He guided me along the right path when no one else knew the answers. When I thought I couldn’t place one foot in front of the other, Jesus stepped in and carried me. He never left my side, and He never will. He is the ultimate healer, counselor and comforter.

My hope lies in Him.

In church on Sunday I heard the phrase, “What we love the most is what we will truly boast.” How true that statement is. I can now sincerely say I love my God more than any Beatles song (though I must admit I continually name things after their songs: my beagle, George; my cat, Rigby; my car, Rita … but that’s beside the point.)

Now when people hear, Katie Bivens, I hope they will think lover of Jesus, child of God, wholehearted trust in the Lord. For that is who I am.

That is where my identity lies.