Have ever struggled with thinking, “I just don’t know. I don’t really know who I am. I don’t really know what my place is. I’m struggling to figure it out.” If that’s you, I have some good news for you!
All of us at one time or another struggle with who we are, and what our place is in the world. We feel lost, and like maybe what we’re doing is not contributing that much. We often get really down on ourselves, and are really hard on ourselves.
We have our relationship with God, we have our relationship with ourselves, and we have our relationship with other people. All three of those relationships are very important. We’re going to go through those three relationships and talk about who we are in each one.
Who you really are in relation to your creator.
You are an adored daughter of God. He made you, he loves you, he is for you. I think it’s so easy to forget that, especially after the year that some of us have had.
Sometimes it feels like maybe we’re just alone here in this life. We are looking to see if anyone is in our cheering section. We wonder if we’ve been forgotten. Is anyone actually in charge? Are we really loved?
Your heavenly father has not forgotten. He loves you. He is for you, and every single situation or circumstance in your life, he will use to bless you.
I want you to let that sink in. I want you to start to live as if that’s true, because it is true! I want you to really start to live as someone who is loved and adored.
We are adopting an eight year old, and we’ve had him for almost two years. I think he’s been through so much and loss and a lot of trauma, and I’ve noticed it’s so easy to get discombobulated about who we are and is everything really going to be okay?
It has been a journey for us to just consistently be there, and show up for him, and show him that he is loved, and remind him of who he is. Once that message really settles in your heart, you live differently.
When you know that somebody has your back, when you know that what’s happening in your life is happening for you, not to you, when you can cling to that faith that God loves you, and that everything in your life he is doing for you, there’s a different way that you live. You live as someone who is loved.
I started thinking about The Lion King. You must go rewatch it with different eyes and ears!
There’s this part in the Lion King, where after Mufasa dies, Simba goes off with his friends Timon and Pumba, and he’s just frolicking around. He’s not really living into his purpose. He’s not taking his rightful place as the heir to a King in the pride land. As a consequence, the pride land is disintegrating and it’s not good. The evil people are overtaking the land.
Then he has that moment when he gets reminded of who he is, and over and over he hears the words, “You are the son of Mufasa.” We all need to be reminded.
You are the daughter of God.
That alone is such an encouragement for us to take our rightful places in His kingdom, and for us to show up as who we really are.
What would a daughter of God do? Like the son of Mufasa, she takes her rightful place. She fights for the kingdom. She stands up to the evil ones. She becomes who she was created to be.
It’s so easy in the world that we live in to find all kinds of excuses, and reasons, and comforts even, that keep us from stepping into exactly who we were created to be, and what we were created to do.
I can hear God saying to me, “You are the daughter of God, step back into the battle, take your rightful place.”
Who you really are in relation to yourself.
Even if we get the first part, right, even if we begin to live in the faith that God loves us, and is for us, and all of this is happening because he loves us, and because he’s for us, even if we get that part right we have so long lived with the negative habit of talking bad about OURSELVES.
You have this negative loop in your head and it feels like it comes out of nowhere.
You’re not good enough.
You don’t measure up.
You might as well give up because that’s never going to work.
Whatever your negative loop is.
I want you to begin to take responsibility for that. You can feel like it’s just happening to you. Some crazy weird person is just talking bad to you in your own head. No, that’s you!
You have to take responsibility for those words. You have to decide what you want those words to be. You have to listen to God. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO HIS WORDS ABOUT YOU.
You have to remind that negative voice, “No! That’s not who we are. You can say that about us all day long, but that’s not who God says we are. That’s not who we were created to be.”
Those negative messages wear us down. Sometimes I feel exhausted by the thoughts in my own head!
Let’s say you want to try something new. You want to start a healthy habit. You want to start a business. You want to reach for a goal. Then there’s that voice in your head. “This is never going to work. Remember how you always fail? Remember how you always give up? Remember how you’re not as good as your sister?”
I have good news! Those voices are thoughts. You have agency over those thoughts, and you can decide you don’t want to think them anymore. You can decide they aren’t giving you the results in your life that you want.
If you let that go in your head and let it play like a bad movie over and over and over, like you have for the last 10 years or 20 years, or since you can remember, you will rob the world of the you God created. You will rob us of the joy of knowing what could have been in your life. You will just listen to those voices and think, “Yeah, might as well not try. Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Who we are in relation to our neighbor.
What were we created for? We were created to contribute our gifts to the world, to give our love and service to our neighbor.
I love the scripture that says, you can summarize the commandments in these words, love God, love your neighbor, right? Our gifts are given to us to contribute to the wellbeing and healing of the people around us. Our relationship with those people was designed to be a relationship of love, and service, and generosity.
How would you currently characterize those relationships? Do you spend more time gossiping about your neighbor? Do you spend more time judging your neighbor’s theological viewpoints? Do you spend most of your time criticizing your neighbor’s political viewpoints? Do you spend most of your time comparing yourself to your neighbor?
What is that relationship to your neighbor like? Is it defined by contributing your gifts so that your neighbor’s life can be full of joy, so that your neighbor’s life can be easier, so that your neighbor can find healing, so that your neighbor can be served through your hands in the way that God wants to meet their needs?
I love to be reminded of who I am.
I’m a daughter of God.
I was created for love and service.
I was created to contribute my gifts to the world.
I’m not letting anything get in the way of that. Even my own negative thoughts, even my tendency to fail at this. I fail at this so much. I forget who I am. And I do let myself slide into gossip and judgment. I do overreact. I do show up sometimes in anger.
Here’s the difference in people who will continue to contribute their gifts, despite the failure, and people who don’t.
I want you to forgive yourself as fast as God forgives you.
How fast does he forgive you? How fast does he say, “You’re my child. Of course, you’re forgiven. Of course I love you. Of course, you’re my daughter.” We often don’t forgive ourselves that fast.
When we don’t show up to our neighbor the way we want, we are letting not forgiving ourselves for our previous failings be a stumbling block. We let that accuse us and keep us from showing up the next time.
I want you to practice the same fast forgiveness for yourself that God shows you, so then you can just forgive yourself and move on to the next person that you can bless.
We don’t stay stuck in the anger.
We don’t stay stuck in the failure.
We don’t stay stuck in the greed.
We don’t stay stuck in the comparison.
We just confess, “I forgot who I am. Let me be reminded of who I am. Let me be reminded that I’m the daughter of God sent here to be part of the healing of the world. Oh yeah. That’s who I am.
When you show up to your marriage, when you show up to your children, when you show up to work, you’re able to see it for way more than it looks like.
It looks like I’m just making dinner for my family, but actually I’m a daughter of God who showing up to contribute love and healing and service to the world.
It looks like I’m just driving my kids to school. But actually I remember who I am. I remember that I’m an agent of God’s love and healing in this little guy’s life.
This is your friendly reminder of who you are, and of what you were created to do and contribute. I want you to begin to live like it. That will require you to forgive yourself for all the times you don’t. Just try again. Just show up the next minute. Just forgive yourself and continue to show up, and continue to be reminded of who you are.
I invite you to go to click here if you’d like to dive a little deeper. I have an entire handout that will go over each of these points more fully, and will really help you begin to live in this place of who you really are.