If you were to ask me, up until rather recently, who I was or what made me 'me' I would reply with a long list that might look a lot like what you think identifies who you are as well. My list read as follows:
1. Daughter to The King
2. Wife of an amazing man
3. Mother to wonderful children
4. A daughter
5. A sister
6. A friend
7. An aspiring writer
....And the list goes on and on. I have spent so much time and energy trying to achieve the excellence status on all these things I thought were what identified me or gave me value. Trying to earn good standing merritt while trying to lead a good and pleasing life for God. And it is exhausting to live like that. Constantly having to toil to check a list that proves I have worth. That proves I am worth something. Something constantly to do to earn good standing with those around me and with God. Beating myself up when I feel I have fallen short or messed something up.
But recently, while reading an incredible book "Called To Reign" by Leif Hetland (HIGHLY recommend it!), I had an epiphany! Take my list from #2 down and hit delete from my "Identity" column.
See all those things are just assignments in life. Events, opportunities or commitments that give you the chance to do something with excellence and to be a shining example of God's commitment to you and His desire for the things of excellence for you (an abundant life). But your sole identity is to just be the Son or Daughter of God that you were created to be.
Look back at Genesis during Creation. When God got to the creation of man on Day 6 it was first His breathe that filled them, brought them to life. Then, Adam first, opened his eyes and looked upon the face of his loving father. Adam wasn't given assignment until he had spent time with the Father. And during Adam's rest, not work, part of him was taken to create Eve. And Eve too, just like Adam, awoke to the face of her loving Father. Their sole purpose was to be a reflection of the family in Heaven (Father, Spirit, Son), here on Earth. To be in familial relationship with their Father. Not to name or have dominion over the Earth and all in it- But to simply be the son and daughter to The Most High. The rest was simply an assignment for their lives. That's what makes the fall of man so tragic. They were tempted with the lie or twisted idea that somehow doing anything other than what they were created to be would produce a greater identity of who they were, than what they already possessed. I mean seriously, co-heirs with Jesus Christ and children to the King of Kings-What could possibly be better than that?
So as I reflected on this in my own life I felt like I had opened Pandora's Box! Questions of how could I have missed something so elementary? And then it hit me...
That's all I had ever been taught. Sure I had been told I was a daughter to a king. But never had I ever heard that all I had to be was just that. That everything else He placed in my life was a mere assignment. Chances for Him to shower me with love and reminders of His love for me and desire for me to chase the dreams He had for my life. Dreams that have,to date, proven far greater than any I EVER had for myself. Dreams that the Giver of Dreams, the one who desires an abundant life for me, has for me- has for you!
I had bought into the age old, tired lie that Satan spins trying to convince you to work your way into earning favor with God or people so that you may one day be worth something!
A lie laced with just enough truth it proves fatal to the spiritual life of an unimaginable number of people through the generations. The truth in it? " Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" Colossians 3:23. But that's it. We are supposed to do everything we do with a level of excellence as if it were being gifted to God. But we DO NOT do it to earn favor with God. Or a place with Him. We do not have to prove we are worthy because He already says we are.
I think we forget that our Heavenly Father was willing to turn His face to His son, knowing that what was transpiring in that time would allow all His children the opportunity to return to Him. To rejoin the Family.
When I really grasped this concept. This truth. The overwhelming need to add to my plate to prove or earn something vanished. No longer do I feel the need to do to please or earn meritt. All I do now is simply out of praise for who I was created to be. Out of love for my Heavenly Father and the Family I was bought into. I serve because the one who paid my ransom set the example of service and showed that sacrificial love and servanthood speaks more praises and rings more truth than any checklist of enslaved obligations. My service is now coming from a heart that yearns for the acts and worship of my life to be a sweet perfume poured from a heart of gratitude; than that of a burnt oil seeking to get one more blessing or one more pat on the back.
So as you go today, about your daily assignments. Don't beat yourself up thinking that you are not enough or are unworthy because your assignments do not look like everyone else's. Or your past assignments didn't go as you planned. Because we don't all come off the Potter's Wheel looking the same. Just rest in your day, in the knowledge that your sole identity is not wrapped up in your assignments, but rather in the fact that you are a Son or Daughter to the Most High. Let our Heavenly Father guide you through the rest.