“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Did people ask you this when you were little? Do you remember your answer? I had many answers, but for quite a long time I had a big dream of being a singer. Not only did I WANT to be a singer, but I PRACTICED 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 5 of them:
- You are the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).
- You are valuable (Romans 5:8).
- You are an overcomer (1 John 5:4).
- You are perfected for all time (Hebrews 10:14).
- You are a woman that walks in spiritual authority (Matthew 16:19).
I don’t think our minds “default” to thinking about our identity in this way because Satan wants to distract us from these truths. So we need to be INTENTIONAL about reminding ourselves over and over of who God says we are.
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. Not who the world says we are. Not even who we say we are. Our identity rests in God. And that is amazing!
Coming to grips with this for ourselves is wonderful, but let’s take this one level deeper. 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 even knew what she was doing). But what she told me about myself changed the trajectory of my life forever:
She used to tell me over and over about how badly she wanted a little girl. She had my brother first, and then 7 years later, she still wanted another baby. But not just any baby. She 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! 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 children of God! That they are special just because God made them that way from the beginning. That they have God’s favor and power in their lives! 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 because they are the same truths he has spoken about me.
You see, your identity has already been CHOSEN, my friend. Nothing you do can change that. You are special and designed for greatness!
So, 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.
Sarah Legband is a stay-at-home-mom who manages a multi-generational household (1 husband, 2 young kids, and 3 grandparents). She also leads Substance Moms and enjoys speaking and blogging through her site, sarahelizabeth.org. Some of her favorite things are salsa-dancing, physical touch (love language), and Thai food.