“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Did people ask you this when you were little? I had many answers to this question, but for quite a long time, I had a big dream of being a singer. Not only did I WANT to be a singer, I’d PRACTICE being a singer by performing in front of cows.
Yep. You heard that right. I sang to cows. Beef cattle, to be exact.
You see, when you grow up on a farm, you get really creative. First, I’d grab a pitchfork. Then I would climb up on the hay bales that were sitting in the cow trough. After that when I was all ready, I held the pitchfork up to my mouth, made up some lyrics and melodies, and sang my heart out to those cows!
The question, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” is a normal question we ask children. But as I’ve thought of this a little more in depth, I’ve started to wonder… is this where the root begins of believing that our identity is in what we “do” instead of who we “are”?
If you’d ask any of my friends, they’d be the first to tell you that I LOVE to talk about our calling in life. I love to process what God is calling us to do for His kingdom, and then I love to encourage women to go out there and just do it!
But our identity and our calling are not the same things. Both are important, but to really thrive in our calling we have to understand our identity first!
So who are you then? What IS your identity? Do you know the real answers to these questions?
The Bible is FULL of truths about who you are! Here are just 3 of them:
- You are the likeness of God. Gen.1:26
- You are valuable. Rom. 5:8
- You are free. John 8:36
Our theme song for this year’s Morning Moms Group is “Who You Say I Am” – by Hillsong Worship, and I love how it talks about who we truly are! We are who GOD says we are.
“Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed, I’m a child of God, yes I am!” (yes, I sing this loud and proud during my “not so quiet time” most mornings, locked in my bedroom, dressed in my bathrobe, with a little jumping and fist pumping along with it)
We. Are. Free. And this is not only talking about freedom from our sins. We are free in Christ to live not as others think we should, but as the Spirit leads us to!
I had a lot of expectations of what it would mean to be a mom. I just wanted to be the best I could be. I mean, we all feel that way, right? However, instead of being the “best I could be”, I found myself wrapped up in believing that my schedule had to look a certain way, I had to “parent” with a certain method, and subconsciously I thought I had to do it “just like my mom did” if my kids were to turn out alright.
There was a problem with these expectations though. Because all of my most intentional and greatest efforts ended up making me a slave to what I “thought” motherhood should look like.
But the Bible just told me that in Christ, I am free! And my identity is in HIM.
That means I am free to just follow the Lord. I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations (including my own)! I just need to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things will be added unto you as well.” Matt. 6:33
Phew! What a relief!
Coming to grips with this for ourselves is amazing, but let’s take this one level deeper, yes? How do we instill these truths into our kids? How do we help them know who they really are?
My mom, bless her heart, did this for me. Although at the time I don’t think she really even knew what she was doing. But what she told me changed the trajectory of my life forever.
When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me the story over and over about how badly she wanted a little girl. She had my brother first and 7 years later, she was still wanting another baby. But she didn’t want any baby. She desperately wanted a girl.
As she waited to get pregnant, she prayed to God saying, “Lord, I really want a baby girl. And I want you to know that if you give her to me, I will give her back to you when she is born.”
Well, God answered her prayer, and out came a girl! And after I was born, mom held true to her promise. She said, “Okay, Lord. You answered my prayer and gave me a girl. Now I’m giving her back to you. She is yours. Do with her whatever you want to do.”
THIS IMPACTED ME! I honestly believed from an early age that I was special because of God. And as I grew older, I believed that I was meant for special things because of what my mom spoke over me!
What are we speaking over our kids? Are we just telling them that we love them, or are we speaking truth to them about their identities? That they are chosen and special children of God! We need to pour these truths into our kids and understand them for ourselves as well.
So let me ask you one more time. Who are you?
The crazy thing is that I already know. Because I know who made you. And I know the truths He has said about you. They are the same truths He has spoken about me.
You see, my friend, your identity has already been CHOSEN for you. Nothing you do can change that. You are special and designed for greatness!
30+ years later after singing my heart out to those cows, I’m still not any closer to being a professional singer. But I’m okay with that. Because that doesn’t define me. I already know that I’m valuable, special, and created for greatness. And the beautiful thing is: so are YOU.