Today, I had a great conversation with a long time girlfriend on the subject on “Who am I?” She discussed how women are typically defined by the roles that they occupy, i.e. Chris’s mom, Max’s wife, etc. rather than who we really are as individuals. It is a common problem in today’s society to define women based upon their position in society, in the home or at work. But is that all that we are?
As a part of my journey, I endeavored to ask God “Who am I?” After I left the law firm in February, I struggled with my identity and who I really was, apart from my former identity as an attorney. I tried my hardest to redefine myself and practice lines that would convince others that I knew who I was apart from practicing law and was thriving in it. To be sure, I was thriving in my new life and God was opening doors for me, but I still did not have a clear sense of who I was, and that bothered me. It was especially difficult because the more I tried to move away from my old law identity, the more uncertain I felt about who I was and the more I doubted God’s plan for my life.
There are many women like me that struggle with defining who they really are, apart from their jobs, husbands or careers. For many of us, we have allowed ourselves to be defined by society, by men, by magazine covers, and by popular media. So often women are depicted as sex objects, divas, or the “b” word. If we are not depicted in that way, then we are described as “baby mamas” or “Suzie homemaker” with no identity apart from our children or our home environment.
It is no wonder that so many women feel empty, lonely, and misunderstood. Even those women at the height of their careers with what seems to be everything going for them frequently have these feelings. Women all over the world have a sense that they are more than the titles assigned to them, and yet find it so very difficult to find what that purpose is.
The first step to knowing who you really are is to pray and ask God to reveal it to you. When God created you, He created you for a purpose separate and apart from your husband, your children, and your job. He designed you as a one-of-a-kind jewel that would radiate His light to the world. As women of virtue, we have to seek God concerning our true identity and purpose in Him so that we do not become involved with people and things that carry us away from our purpose. For if we walk in the knowledge of who we were created to be, we will become more powerful and effective than we ever thought possible.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares The Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
Likewise, Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The great news is that God can reveal to us who we really are and what we are called to do! If you desire to know your true identity in God, then repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I desire to know my true identity in You. I know that I am wonderfully and uniquely made in Your image and Your likeness, and as such I have a special purpose on this earth. Show me my identity in Your Word, and help me to walk in that calling and that purpose from this day forward. Help me to see all that You have created me to be, and bless me to be a blessing to the kingdom of God and to those around me. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.
Once God reveals your true identity and purpose in Him, RUN WITH IT! Sisters, we have so much untapped power within us, and the world needs what we have to offer! Whether you are a power broker at your firm or a mom that home schools her kids, we all have a special purpose in the Kingdom of God. To truly find the joy, peace, and contentment that we seek, we must determine who we are and walk in it.
For some, knowing who you were created to be in God will shake things up and may cause you to move out of your comfort zone into new and perhaps unchartered waters. Maybe you have been saying “I can do my job well, and it helps me to take care of my bills, but I feel like there’s more for me to do. I’m not happy here. I feel a calling to do something different, but I don’t know what that is.” Or, maybe you feel like “I don’t mind being called Joey’s mom and volunteering at the school four days a week. I love my son, and I would do anything for him, but I feel like I want to rediscover my passion for fashion design.”
Sisters, let me encourage you that it is OKAY for you to feel dissatisfied with the status quo! And you should be if the status quo is limiting and doesn’t allow you to use the gifts that God has given you. For many, that doesn’t mean that you can quit your job immediately or start a new business tomorrow. It also does not mean that you divorce your husband automatically if you feel he is the cause of your frustration. But what it does mean is that IT IS OKAY TO DREAM AND HAVE DREAMS, no matter what your present situation looks like. For if God has a purpose for your life and you desire to move toward that purpose, then He will begin to move or alter situations, people, and obstacles to make fulfilling that calling possible.
Finally knowing who I am in God, after years of searching, has given me a confidence that I never had before. Now, it is not about being an attorney, or a mom, or a daughter. It is not about the big office, the nice clothes, or the ability to buy a new handbag. I still like nice things and Lord knows that I enjoy being a mother and a daughter as much as I did my legal career. But today, I can say that I have found true contentment and joy, not because I stopped doing something that I didn’t care for, but because I began the process of moving toward something that I am passionate about and that is in line with who God created me to be.
It is imperative that we as women discover who we are in God, so that we feel comfortable running our own race. To be sure, your journey will not look like the next woman’s, and if you are not motivated by the right things in life and trying to keep up with the Joneses, you will be unhappy and dissatisfied. Sisters, realize that money and material things can buy temporary happiness but cannot buy the joy and peace that comes from a closer walk with God. And, like me, you may find that you can live on much less than perhaps you thought you could, with more joy and peace of mind than your heart and hand can hold.
Beautiful sisters, it is your time. It is your season. Don’t be afraid! Step out and begin living the life that you were created to live. Don’t hold yourself hostage to others’ expectations of you, including your own, and resist the urge to speak negatively about your situation. Whether you have made mistakes in your past or been victimized by others, God can and will use all of those experiences for your good.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Be bold and envision yourself happy, free, and living on purpose! Not only will you be a happier woman, but those around you will welcome your new outlook on life.
Walking in His purpose,