Who am I?
The advice from every book marketing, promotion and author platform expert out there is to make sure you have a “Who am I?” page on your blog, on your website, on every entity you create in cyberspace, in books and in articles.
But who I am all by myself means little until you know who I am in Christ.
Who I Am in Christ
In Christ, I am a child of God. Without Christ, I am merely one of God’s creations.
In Christ, I seek the heart of God and know He is pursuing my heart as well.
In Christ, I have access to the strength of the Creator. Without Christ I am doing life on my own. Relying on my strength alone.
In Christ, I try to be obedient to God’s desires for His children and also His desires for me personally. Without Christ, whatever I do has little meaning beyond my own little life.
In Christ, I love His world, His plan and His people. Without Christ, I may love His world and even a few of His people. But without Christ, there is no reason to even care about His plan, much less try to find out how I fit into it. In fact, without Christ, I’m not really part of His plan.
Above all, in Christ, I am the daughter of the King. I am a princess in His realm. I am nobility. And I’d better live my life that way, because just like Prince William and Kate Middleton are learning, eyes will be on me to see what it means to be “in Christ” or if my life is an example of what it shouldn’t mean.
Who I Was
I was born the daughter of a United Methodist pastor. That means I was raised in the Church, taught Christian theology and generally grew up accepting Christianity at face value. That also meant the day I left home was the first time I was faced with the choice of attending church, fellowshipping with other Christians on a regular basis, and growing my understanding of Jesus and my faith in Him. Or not.
As a normal young adult, I successfully did what I was supposed to do when I moved away from home. I rebelled.
I “decided” I still believed in God. To a large part because believing in God and being right was a much better idea than not believing and finding out after I died that I was wrong. I didn’t really understand how the whole Trinity worked and wasn’t quite sure how this Jesus fit in. There was really only one thing I knew for sure. I didn’t need to attend church.
Assuming your own father wasn’t a preacher; imagine spending your formative years sitting silently for an hour every week while your dad stood in a pulpit, wearing a robe and microphone professing things about the unseen spiritual world. No child wants to listen to what her parents have to say at any age. We all knew better than our parents did, right? Besides, this pastor standing up there was the same man I saw every morning in his PJs. What did he know about God, really?
You see how easy it might be for a 21-year old “rebel” to decide she didn’t need church? Those other pastors were someone else’s dad, too. They put their PJs on one leg at a time, too. No, I could deal with spiritual matters just fine by myself, thanks.
Then I had kids. And the overwhelming realization dumped itself on my head one day. When I looked at their sweetness, I knew they were a gift from the God I still generally believed in. I recognized that their spiritual training was up to me and my husband.
We started attending church.
No, we weren’t entrusting our children’s entire spiritual training to a handful of Sunday school teachers. But WE—the parents of those precious souls—knew we needed God’s help to raise them and train them in the way they should go so that when they were grown they would not turn from it.
We needed examples of Christian living. We needed teaching about how to model Christianity. We needed to grow our own faith in order to understand the God we wanted to share with our children. We needed fellowship with other believers.
And so we began voluntarily entrusting our lives into the hands of Jesus. It wasn’t a jump into the deep end without a life vest. Nor was it a fearful inching forward toward an uncertain goal.
Rather, it was more of a step-by-step down the ladder by the side of the pool, letting go and pushing off the edge until we were comfortable and trusting that the water—the Living Water of Christ’s love and salvation—would keep us afloat.
I found that the more I let go of the side of the pool, the water deepened. Depth meant though there was more life-saving water underneath me to keep me afloat. Or perhaps it was that I became lighter as I allowed Jesus to carry me in His arms.
So what has loving Jesus done for me?
He has helped me through grief at the loss of my loved ones.
First my wonderful mother-in-law, Rosemary died, followed six months later by my gentle father. Both of them were strong in their faith in Jesus and both of them are now holding His hand.
Yes, I cling to the promise that they are with Jesus and that I will see them again. But Jesus also taught me to give up my anxiety to Him WITH THANKSGIVING. I was therefore able to focus, not on the missing of them (although they are greatly missed) but on gratitude for their lives and for the legacy of love and faith they left behind.
Jesus has shown me that when I leave my burdens at His feet, He will pick them up and carry them.
During the years when we ran a business, I had a responsibility to my employees. When business ran slow, my greatest worry was how to continue to pay my employees so they could support their families.
One night when I finally decided I couldn’t figure it out on my own, I set that burden at Jesus’ feet. The next morning Jesus had clearly given me the answer of to how to handle that issue. We were able to keep our employees paid until we were ready to begin the next project. This was the first time in my memory that Jesus taught me to release my burdens to Him. It began an ever-easier habit of releasing burdens and trusting Him. His faithfulness never ceases.
Jesus loves my children even more than I do.
As wonderful as our precious babies are, all parents go through those difficult times of raising them; those times when we simply don’t know how to deal with situations. I learned to give those situations to Jesus and ask that He would give me wisdom and a proper attitude when I needed help in being a faithful steward over the precious children He entrusted into my care. Ultimately when my children left home for college, I gave the overseeing of their lives back to Jesus. I know He is watching over them still.
The Holy Spirit lives in me.
Once I understood the truth that the Holy Spirit lives in me, I began to pray in the Spirit. When I prayed in the Spirit, it was the Spirit who led my prayers. He caused me to pray for people and situations that would not have occurred to me to pray about when I conducted my prayers.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity slowly began to make sense. The three persons of God—the Father, Jesus and the Spirit are united in some supernatural way as one entity. When I pray in the Spirit, one person of God is praying to another person of God in the name and through Jesus, the third person of God—using me as a conduit.
By the Holy Spirit showing me how to pray to God, He reminded me that God Himself already knows what is important; what needs praying over. It took me a while to fully comprehend the miracle involved: God the Spirit was praying to God the Father through me. My prayers would be answered because it was God praying. I might not know the manner or the timing of the answer, but I had confidence that they would be answered. Because I knew who was asking. God Himself.
My journey of faith continues. My love for God deepens. My eyes are opened wider seeking ways to be obedient.
For now, I believe God is guiding me to use my gift of writing for His purpose. In the future, He may give me different skills and show me how to use them for His Plan.
In the meantime, it is my desire to continue to seek God in whatever way I understand—to continue to read His scripture, to apply His teachings and to be obedient despite my feelings of inadequacy.
In other words, I strive to live my life according to the riches He has given me as a daughter of the King.
I pray you will be encouraged by this blog, which is a reflection of God’s grace in my life and my continuing journey with Him. God loves you and so do I.