What is Your Identity?

THIS is who I am. I am not a dancer, a teacher, a mom, or a cancer survivor. I AM a child of God. Are all of those titles pieces that make up the story of my life? Absolutely. I am proud of every phase that I have experienced and that God has walked me through. I believe that each of these seasons has played a very specific and important role in developing me into the person I am today. Each has been an opportunity to gain wisdom and insight for the next season. I have seen how God uses the spring seasons in our lives to gently grow and mature the seeds He has planted within us. I have also seen how He uses the winter seasons to demonstrate His fierce and unwavering love for us and to teach us to trust in His goodness no matter what we are facing. He will never leave us through those storms because we are His. 

I have a strong desire to instill this same identity in my daughters and to equip them with the tools they need to face the identity crisis this world inflicts upon our youth. In searching for the best way to cement this concept into their sweet little hearts, I turned to my always reliable and favorite theological resource, Hobby Lobby. Yes, believe it or not, I found what I was looking for at this craft store that I harbor a slightly unhealthy obsession for. One day around the holidays, I was perusing the aisles trying to decide what farmhouse chic item needed to come home with me and was stopped dead in my tracks by a pretty lettered sign propped on a shelf. It read, 

“I am the daughter of a King who is not moved by the world. 

My God is with me, and goes before me. 

I do not fear because I am His.” 

I felt my arm reach out as if being powered by something other than my own strength and watched my hand take this sign off the shelf. I put it in my cart and headed home. I wrapped it up and gave it to my oldest daughter for Christmas that year, and promptly hung it in her room where she would see it every night before she closed her eyes, and every morning when she woke up. 

This saying has become what I call our family’s, “I am” statement. We recite this statement in the car going to school in the mornings and pull it out when my daughters are feeling inadequate in any area of their lives. We stress that they don’t need to be moved by the world by peer pressure and that their God is with them always. They do not need to fear the challenges that will come because they belong to a God who hung the stars and set our world in motion. They are His now and forevermore. My hope and prayer is that these words will be rooted in their hearts, and will surface when they need them most. I want them to know their identities are in their Creator, and not their accomplishments. If this statement is a constant truth in their hearts, then it becomes a weapon they can use to fight the lies that the enemy will whisper in their ears, “You are a failure. You are ugly. You aren’t good enough.” Truth trumps lies every time, and when it comes to our identities, it’s no different.

So often my girls get asked the question, “What do you want to BE when you grow up?” They may answer, “I want to be an artist.” Or “I want to be a doctor.” I am guilty of asking them this question myself. However, I have learned that a better question to ask is, “What do you want to DO when you grow up?” God has given us all specific gifts and talents that He desires us to use for His purposes and His kingdom. But, defining our future by what we want to BE is deceiving because it insinuates that our identity is in what we do. I believe our identities are who we are from the minute we put our faith in Jesus Christ, and that identity is a son or daughter of a King. We can aspire to work as a teacher, a lawyer, or a stay-at-home mom, but just as the seasons in nature change, so will these seasons in our lives. The only thing that remains the same throughout the ever-evolving life path we follow is our title as a joint heir with Christ. 

Changing seasons are extremely unpredictable. In fact, as I sit at the table in my sunroom writing this, I’m gazing out at my snow-covered yard. You may think, “Oh that sounds lovely. All of that white, beautiful snow must compliment your Christmas decorations so well.” It’s April. Yep. Not just April, but the MIDDLE of April. Five days ago my family and I were riding bikes and skateboarding in shorts. Today I’m looking at snow. It’s the same in our lives. There will be days when everything in your world feels bright and sunny, and then in an instant, a violent storm blows through and everything you know and find comfort in is crashing down around you. The Bible says in John 16:33,

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

We will experience hardship and trial. But through those storms there is a constant and steady truth. You are a son or daughter of a King. You are loved and cared for by the King of all Kings, and He is faithful to provide all you need. 

When I excused myself from the rollercoaster of identity seasons and settled into the steady knowledge of who I truly am, I gained a peace that laid a foundation for me to build upon. This foundation is the rock solid wall that I now decorate with the gifts and talents that God has given me. When one of those giftings or professions gets a little cockeyed on the wall, or flat-out falls off and crashes to the floor, I will still be grounded in who I truly am. I now have the confidence to proudly wear my identity name tag that will always and forever read:

Jamie Dahl, The Daughter of a King

This is an excerpt from a chapter that I wrote in the book, “The Identity Effect”, A Collection of Stories by Women Who’ve Discovered Their True Identity in Christ. This book was published by FEW International Publications and can be found on Amazon.com. 

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1 comment
Charita Upkins says November 11, 2020

Thank you so much Jamie Dahl for highlighting and sharing your words of wisdom that there is peace in knowing who you are in Christ. .. And that through a relationship with God, we will find our true Identity! What a gift and blessing this is, and what a gift a blessing you are!

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