Who I Am, Your Daughter

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Last night, on October 1, I spent the evening praying about what I wanted this October to be like, what I wanted to see happen in my life by the end of the month. I didn’t really get any answers, but I did have a distinct prayer: Father, help me remember who I am, your daughter.

Such a simple prayer, to remember who I am. I’ve spent so much time discovering that person that you’d think it would be instinctual. Yet today, on October 2, I found myself physically and emotionally tired. It wasn’t a tiring day. I was tired. Worn out. Bushed. Wiped. Yet I woke this morning with that same prayer on my lips. “Father, help me remember who I am, your daughter.”

So was there something I forgot? Was my tiredness a reflection of my relationship with God? Did I somehow forget in a few short hours who I was? Hardly!

The fact is I am God’s HUMAN daughter, with human pain and human needs. It doesn’t make me any less his daughter that I’m physically tired. Who wouldn’t be tired with a shoulder that continues to ache and a disrupted sleep because of that shoulder? Who wouldn’t be tired when a new doctor shoves a two inch long needle in one’s shoulder in an attempt to alleviate the pain? (It didn’t by the way). Of course I was physically tired.

Emotionally I’m tired because it is fall. I see “tired” as a vast improvement from other years when fall was a four letter “F” word. Even while I am enjoying this fall with the crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, blowing winds, and falling leaves; even while my mind and eyes are enjoying this time of year, my body and emotions remember the events of the past. Will the events of the past ruin my fall, making it yet again a four-letter “F” word? No, I don’t think so. Life is different, and I am different. Yet still the truth of the past and all that I lost are felt. And I’m okay with that.

I’m okay with my past and my pain. I’m okay that I am not the same person I was, and yet I am more me than ever before in my life. I am okay that today I was tired, that all I wanted at the end of the day was a good, long hug. Because even while I was tired, I remembered – just as I asked of God – who I am. I am God’s daughter. With all the rights, responsibilities, obligations, authority, humility and power that comes with that. I am God’s daughter, and that can’t be taken away no matter how tired I am.

So I am grateful that I remembered who I was at the end of this tired day. It was the spiritual hug that I needed when a physical hug was not possible. I am grateful that God answered my prayer: Father, help me remember who I am, your daughter.

Failure to Identify

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From the time of the Fall when Adam and Eve spurned their relationship with God, our greatest failure as human beings has been in our identity. We are always seeking to find ourselves through one thing or another. The Israelites repeatedly forgot they were God’s chosen people. Satan tempted Jesus by questioning his identity. The day after Christ’s crucifixion, before his resurrection, the disciples lost all sense of who they were, feeling powerless and adrift. Apart from Jesus the disciples were nothing. Failure to identify ourselves with God is our greatest curse and Satan’s greatest achievement.

Throughout history we have tried to find labels for ourselves, to understand where we fit. Yet God provided that answer. We are made in his image with the expectation of being his children. Many choose to spurn that relationship, like Adam and Eve. Others are like the Prodigal Son who ignores his father and seeks his own life. Some of them chose to live in the pig sty rather than come home to the Father who loves them unconditionally. Some resent the Father for that same unconditional love, and so serve him in the body but hate him in their heart.

God wants us to be his children, working with him and beside him, in love. He wants us to stand confidently as we bear his name and take back the territory once surrendered to the enemy. Today we can choose to be a son or a daughter of God with power, or we can deny that relationship and bear a powerless name. The first step is ours.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:10-13