PCS - Where are you from?


“HA! HA! lol – Did you ask ‘where am I from?’ Everywhere and nowhere is my best answer! I’m a NOMAD. I wander. Home for me is more relational than “geographical.” Civilians often get identity from their geographical origin, but for military teens, it is usually very different.  But maybe that question is more about your identity than your connection to a location. Ever wonder if God really gets how different your life is? Then read on!


Ask any military teen where they are from and one will receive either a blank stare or follow-up questions such as “where was I born?” or “where did I live last?” or “where did I live the longest?” “Where do my grandparents live?” You know the drill. It’s a little awkward, but you’re used to it. Sometimes, depending on who asked you the question, you just say “Kansas City” and you’re done with it – the path of least resistance. For sure, you immediately know that the person asking you that is CLUELESS as to how your life works! If they did, they’d never ask that question, or they would ask in an “I-know-what-a-military-kid-goes-through” kind of way like, “Where did you PCS from?” or “Where was your family last stationed?” or “What’s your home of record?” or “What’s the favorite place you’ve lived?”

You see, if you were from Alabama, people will know some things about you that are generally true to folks from there. If you’re from New York City, there are certain things that most people will assume to be true also. So, by asking where you’re from, it really becomes a baseline identity question; more like asking, “Who are you?” For some people, geographical origin defines them, but for military kids, that doesn’t really exist. Your identity comes from other places. Your sense of home is more connected to people (usually your family) than it is to place.

It reminds me of the movie “The Kid,” where Bruce Willis plays the older Russ who comes face to face with his 8-year-old self, Rusty. The older Russ is an ‘image consultant’ who makes a very good living helping people seem to be something they’re not – it’s all about their image! Throughout the story, we become aware that he has applied this strategy to his own life, because he hates where he came from and who he was as a child. He does not want ‘where he is from’ to define him – to be his identity.

Watch this interaction as he first becomes aware of who the little boy is. Listen to the dialog, self-talk, and how he remembers his childhood.

Bible intro

Prior to this account in the life of Jesus, he had performed lots of miraculous things throughout the region of Galilee. His fame was spreading. He told truths about God and the Kingdom of heaven through parables (simple stories to used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson). The problem you will encounter in this story is that people who watched him grow up in Nazareth thought they knew who he was by knowing where he was from. Granted, Jesus was certainly a Jewish man who grew up in the culture of Nazareth, but he was also the Son of God, and this clear understanding of his identity overshadowed his geographical connections. Look at how surprised the people were when they heard him speak.

Personal Questions
1. In the video clip, why was Russ so disturbed to meet himself as an 8-year-old boy?
2. How many times did he move as a boy? How do you think that impacted him?
3. Do you think Russ liked himself as a boy? Why or why not?
4. How did people in his hometown mis-identify Jesus?
5. How did that impact Jesus’ work?
6. What does Jesus’ true identity offer us?
7. How do you feel about that? Does it offer a sense of permanence in your constantly-changing world?

Jesus, help us to always remember who we are in you. You have called us to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39) Jesus, we as sinners in the flesh are 100% righteous in you! We are forgiven of all past, present and future sin. If we spend time with you and put you first in our life, we are walking in life with purpose as your child! We don’t have to wonder what our purpose in life is. As your followers, we know! Our purpose in life is to be bold and courageous to live lives that glorify you, Jesus. We love you, Jesus! Amen.


IDENTITY comes from the Latin word ‘idem’ meaning ‘same.’ The origin is from the late 16th century meaning ‘the quality of being identical.’

Definitions include: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is; a close similarity or affinity.


Military teens are considered to be Third Culture Kids (TCKs). This brief bio is by a TCK. Even though he is not a military brat, there are some similarities to your way of life. He definitely addresses his identity as a TCK. 

TCK Self-Portraits
34. Albert Wang
How has being a TCK changed your life? 

Regardless of the identity issues, the sense of restlessness, and at times, the inability to be completely understood, I actually feel really privileged to be a TCK. Growing up mobile gave me a grander perspective about life and deeper insight to world issues. It’s also affected my career ambitions, my relationships, and my faith. The greatest blessing is to have people around the world I can call friends and a family at home that I know I can turn to regardless of what change happens in my life.
Born In: New Jersey, USA

Raised In: Singapore, Qatar, Taiwan, California

Lived In: New Jersey, Virginia, Los Angeles + San Francisco in California (USA), Singapore (Singapore), Doha (Qatar), Taipei (Taiwan)
Hope To Live In: Paris, New Zealand, any island they filmed Survivor on

John 1:1-18 - These first several passages are about Jesus’ identity as the Son of God


An interesting song asking the question, ‘Where are you from?” You may seriously learn how to say it in another language because of this video!

Louie Giglio on our identity/relationship with God, the great “I AM”

A song by Casting Crowns with Scripture verses about being God’s child

An interesting rap song on being home as a child of God!

Life Questions
1. Go to the ReZLife Facebook page and write your best answer to the question, “Where are you from?”

2. Do you consider yourself one of God’s children? Try to find a Scripture passage that supports you idea.
3. Make a list of three people that you know that could benefit from the understanding of what it means to be identified with Jesus Christ and the benefits of that permanent identity. Talk to them about what that means to you.


When you read the OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST declaration, it should be orally made so that you can hear what you are reading. Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). You can also go to the Scripture verses to check it out. When you do not know what to believe, what to do, when you are weak, confused, keep on declaring your identity in Christ, until it will renew your mind and change your perspective. What God has to say about who you are is more important than what other people think about you. You should declare this at least every day, until your mind is taught to accept that this is you.


John 1:12 I am God`s child.
John 15:15 I am Christ`s friend.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20       I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
1 Corinthians12:27 I am member of Christ`s Body.
Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint.
Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as God`s child.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 I am complete in Christ.


Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that in all things God works together for good with those who love him.
Romans 8:31-34 I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22       I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected.
Philippians 3:20 I am citizen of heaven.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy to help me in time of need.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.


Matthew 5:13-14 I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:1,5 I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness for Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16            I am God`s temple.




You Know You're A Military Teen When....

  • You have to become the strong one in the house because the parent not in the military becomes depressed and your siblings still need to be taken care of, and the house maintained. Renne, 12/28/2010
  • You've lived in more houses than your age. Sharah, 12/13/2010 

  • When the only reason you stay in a state longer than two years is because your family of eight becomes too expensive to move.  Frances, 12/5/2010
  • When you're tired of starting over. Shelby, 11/13/2010
  • When you move every one to two years. Candy, 11/5/2010
  • You get jealous when other kids talk about how they've been friends since kindergarten, and you've only been friends with them since last year. Tori, 11/4/2010

• You honestly get touched by patriotic songs. Sarah, 11/4/2010
When you have more than one best friend around the country. Samasly, 10/29/2010

  • You automatically attract members of the opposite sex when you travel stateside because they think you're foreign. :) Andrew, 10/25/2010

  • When you've attended more than three different schools. Marie, 10/22/2010
  • You notice Tom Cruise,in uniform, goes outside without a hat, and has a non-regulation haircut in Top Gun. Audrey, 10/21/2010
  • You have to celebrate everyone's birthday on the same day because your dad won't be there. Victoria, 9/26/2010
  • When you have to start flying from Europe to go to countries you haven't visited. Zach, 9/13/2010
  • You're surprised when you live in the same place for over two years. Maiya, 9/3/2010
  • When you’re not nervous to move to a new place, because you’re used to it. Katie, 8/26/2010
  • When moving to a different country doesn't even scare you anymore. Alexandria, 8/26/2010
  • When your dad can finally make it to one of your choir concerts in time to see you perform. Alexandria, 8/26/2010
  • You get excited when you see that there is an "unavailable" call coming in. Kara, 8/14/2010
  • When people ask you where you’re from you don't know what to tell them, because you've never actually lived where you were born. Tiffany, 8/12/2010
  • You cry when your dad comes home cause it's proof he's still alive. Jessie, 8/12/2010
  • You argue with others that the term 'brat' is actually very endearing. Laura, 8/5/2010
  • People ask you how can you understand German people if you don't speak German. Gabe, 7/24/2010
  • You tell people that you lived in Japan and they ask if you speak Japanese. Joi, 7/16/2010
  • You wonder every day where your Dad is and when he's coming back. Chris, 7/8/2010
  • You have been to the places in your many many history books. Bailey, 7/8/2010
  • You are surprised by people who have never left their home state. Zach, 7/5/2010
  • You have lived in places where people go on vacations. Zach, 6/19/2010
  • You have celebrated birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all on the same day because your dad won't be home for the actual days. Mel, 6/3/2010
  • You see places on TV that you have been to. Zach, 5/28/2010
  • You have lived on 3 different continents and 4 different countries before your 18th birthday. Trish, 5/27/2010
  • You can teach the Geography class better than the teacher. Jay, 5/27/2010
  • You’re American but have never lived in the US. Mary, 5/26/2010
  • Your father misses your band concert, your prom, and your graduation but still he means everything in the world to you. Pam, 5/25/2010