When I was 16 years old, I had a pastor pull me aside after church one night. He proceeded to tell me I was a good girl, but I needed to stop cutting my hair. I loved serving Jesus and always tried to do the right thing, so you can imagine how the words of this pastor devasted me. I remembered every unkind word spoken about me—they came flooding back into my memory that night. It was then I realized no matter how hard I strived to do what was right, it would never be enough. I accepted the identity of a failure.
My husband’s parents divorced when he was a toddler. His mother has struggled with addiction on and off throughout his life. His father made the decision years ago to cut us and our children out of his life. Society would place the identity of brokenness and dysfunction on my husband.
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Recently, I have noticed the struggle of identity in some of my own children. I have watched as they label themselves according to what their grades are or according to what they feel they are or are not good at.
I have experienced and witnessed the pain and destruction caused when we misplace our identities. I have felt the chains of bondage and experienced my walk with the Lord being hindered—all because of lies I believed.
I have also felt the delivering power of God once my eyes were opened to the truth. I am loved by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I did not have to earn His love. I am loved simply because I am His.
I have watched my husband love his family well. He is one of the best husbands and fathers I have ever met. All because he chose not to believe what society would say about him and has decided to believe what God says about Him.
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Friend, you are more than your past mistakes.
You are more than your failures.
You are more than your relationship status.
You are more than your family’s dysfunction.
You are more than what job you have or what car you drive.
God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God says you are chosen.
God says you are His redeemed.
God says you are His beloved.
Lord, I pray that you would touch the life of anyone who is struggling with their identity today. I pray that you would open their eyes to the truth of your word. I pray that you would heal the hurt caused by the lies spoken over their lives. I pray that you would help them walk confidently in your love. I pray that you would help us as parents to prioritize teaching our children what you say about them. I pray that you would keep them from being swayed by those around them. I pray that you would guard their hearts and their minds.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page