As the new year rushes in with numerous resolutions, hopes, and dreams, I want to invite you, dear sister, into the ultimate adventure in 2023. My prayer is that you seek and more fully understand your eternal identity as the daughter of the King!
The beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to pursue the good plans God has for you. While this all seems exciting and fun, this adventure does require something of us. To follow Jesus more fully, we need to let go of things that prevent us from becoming more like Him.
What I have been learning is that Jesus is asking me to surrender control to Him. He longs to take my mistakes, my fear and anxiety, my sin, my striving for perfection, my bitterness and all my ugliness. He asks me and you to trust Him with our ugliness. In our darkness He will never leave us nor forsake us. At His feet, weak and longing for healing, we receive a clearer, deeper knowledge of our identity in Christ.
Is there something that has been “tripping you up” in your relationship with others and God? Is there something in your life that is difficult to let go of because you fear you might lose control or lose sight of your security and happiness? Is there something preventing you from being more deeply known by your friends, family, and your Heavenly Father?
For quite a few years, I struggled with the desire to please people and the intense fear of failing (not getting an A or getting on a team, for example). My performance and what people thought of me became all consuming. I tried to overcome my anxiousness by being good--both academically and in sports. Ultimately, this led to a prideful spirit in me. How well I did in soccer and in academics became my identity. Over the course of many years, performing became exhausting and terrifying.
In my freshman year of college, the Lord used a tough conversation to show me how off kilter my thinking was. That my struggle to please and perform was an idol. This idol was squeezing the life and joy out of my relationships. At the time, it felt as though my world was crashing down around me.
Now, after a few years of growing and learning, I see that it was necessary for God to address these issues and my pride. The removal of self-performance was used to bring new fruit into my life, such as humility, being quick to listen rather than speak, compassion, empathy, and resilience. And most importantly, this experience showed me that my focus and identity was far from Christ and all about myself. This was saddening, to realize that I placed a sport and academic excellence in front of my relationship with Jesus who knows me and died for me. When I became aware of my pride and sinful nature, when it all came crashing down, I knew that all that was left was me and Him. And I knew, nothing else mattered. God let those things happen to bring me closer to Him.
I never thought I would have to experience something so hard and drastic for God to get my attention. But He used something so familiar and close, my false identity as a soccer player, to show me what my true identity was in Him: to be a vessel of love and grace to those around me and reach them with His message of hope for those that are lost.
You may know from Sunday school or even a Bible study that your identity is truly in Christ. But you may still struggle to fully grasp that reality and let it change your perspective on everything you so closely cling to life. That’s okay- it’s not all supposed to happen at once. He will never let any of His daughters get too far away from His flock. He will come after you with His mighty love, no matter where you are or what you’re going through.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with Me,”
My prayer is that through my story, you may have the courage to look at your life now and begin to practice “letting go” of your own plans and living for others’ expectations of you. Seek God with all your heart, talk to Him, write to Him, and get honest about what is holding you back from entering into greater peace, dependence, and trust in our mighty and worthy Savior.
From personal experience, I KNOW He is absolutely worthy of my heart; despite the hard and scary things I’ve had to face and overcome. He can be trusted for He is our “strong tower and place of refuge in times of trouble”, Psalm 46:1.
Will you make the choice to accept His invitation this year to let go, and receive far more abundantly? Begin with the small steps right now. God is worthy of your heart and effort, dear sister!
If you want help with your relationship with the Lord Jesus, please reach out to us. We are here to walk alongside you. Call 727-520-6447 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org