New Year, New Beginning, and New ID

Proving my identity proved difficult.

The COVID pandemic made people crazy in more ways than one. Although we didn’t live in an area where cases were spiking or in a dangerous part of town, I became a little uneasy about what the pandemic was doing to people. I had always kept a few firearms around the house, but I decided to add a few more. And my wife and I decided we’d take another step by getting our CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit).

The Police Chief of a nearby town attended our church and offered the training class twice monthly. We decided to take it. After completing the class, we sent in our fingerprints and other documents to SLED to receive our permit. The only trouble was, my wife and I had moved several months before. We wanted our permit to come to the correct address.

Down to the Department of Motor Vehicles we went. But first, we had to make an appointment (courtesy of COVID). We checked the DMV website to see what documents we needed. Since the government would require everyone to have a real ID by a certain month and year, we decided to get ours now since we had to visit the DMV anyway. The real ID would take the place of a passport, which we also had. And getting one required the same documents as getting a passport.

We thought we had everything in order. But two trips later, we discovered we didn’t. The documents we brought weren’t acceptable. After much aggravation, we decided to put off the real ID and just update our address in the state’s system. We merely wanted our CWP to come to the correct address. We had a year before the real ID became mandatory anyway. Although they took my word that I lived at a particular address, my word wasn’t sufficient for the real ID.

“For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NLT).

Knowing our identity is one of the early crises we must work through. I watch each year as around one hundred middle schoolers try to figure theirs out. Not working this out early in life can lead us to wander in various directions, while never being satisfied with anything we do or anything we have. We change jobs or careers. We change spouses, cars, houses, play toys.

At the core of our being, we belong to God. He created us and wants us to enter a relationship with Him so that we become His child personally, not just by default through creation. He bought us with a price: the blood of His Son on Calvary’s cross.

Once we enter this relationship with God, everything else makes sense and falls into place. We find peace in what we do, in the relationships we have, and in what we possess. Everything beyond the relationship serves as an extra in life to bring added happiness. We will live at peace—with ourselves and others. Our need to compete, to get ahead, and to do whatever it takes to be number one falls by the wayside. We do our best at whatever God gives us to do—and we experience contentment. We have unearthed our real ID. And we don’t need a document in our wallet to remind us.

If you haven’t discovered your real ID, turn to God’s Word. Let God show you who you were created to be so that you can begin the New Year with a new perspective.



Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (, the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at

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