09 May Living as Who He Says I Am
Growing up, I fell into the classic “good girl” category—a homegrown church-girl who followed the rules and dotted her i’s and crossed her t’s and never got in too much trouble.
Later, in high school and college, this image was projected in different settings. I worked several part-time jobs, and with each one, I spent the first couple of months earning trust and credibility with my bosses. While this is not an unusual goal for a new employee, it was overboard for me because I felt like I had something to prove.
At sixteen I worked in a frozen yogurt shop, and I would keep moving, cleaning every counter, picking up every crumb, straightening and re-straightening napkins and spoons and business cards, out of fear that my bosses would walk in and see me taking a break and not working.
I feared that in that moment all of a sudden my character would be in question. “Good girls” and “rule followers” don’t cut corners.
“Not only do I try to put together a good image for others, but sometimes I’m caught trying to prove myself to God.”
Recently, in our series on Philippians, we talked about the risk of putting our confidence in human effort. The question was posed: Have you shifted from trusting in God’s mercy to your own faithfulness?
I do that so frequently.
Not only do I try to put together a good image for others, but sometimes I’m caught trying to prove myself to God. I’m fiddling frantically for fistfuls of faithfulness to hold up to God and cry out, “This is who I am! Look, God!”
All the while a knot forms in the pit of my stomach because I know that it’s not enough. Worse, some days I avoid prayer and worship because I don’t have as much on my spiritual resume to offer Him. Maybe I’ve just been distracted or disheartened, distant or discontent. And I definitely can’t offer Him any of that.
Ultimately, this is an issue of identity.
A common struggle for born and raised church girls, it’s hard to give up the identity of “good girl” or “rule follower” and take on the identity of “daughter.”
Living as a “good girl” is dotting i’s and crossing t’s and managing pretty well on my own. And it’s hard to give that up—hard to give up an identity that is looked on highly by others and one that you feel like you can control.
“A common struggle for born and raised church girls, it’s hard to give up the identity of ‘good girl’ or ‘rule follower’ and take on the identity of ‘daughter.'”
Living as a daughter is acknowledging weakness and brokenness and failure but letting God declare you clean and forgiven and loved. It’s accepting His free grace and living out of an overflow of that, not working to prove to Him that you deserve it.
Don’t misunderstand—the identity shift is not about altering my behavior to be less rule-abiding. It’s about coming before the Lord and walking daily from a place of broken yet redeemed.
“Living as a daughter is acknowledging weakness and brokenness and failure but letting God declare you clean and forgiven and loved.”
Even if it is not a “bad” identity by the world’s standards, any identity that we try to construct and live up to on our own is a rejection of the gospel.
But letting His truth wash over my mind is stabilizing and brings truth about who I am:
He is the Creator, so I am subject to His design and control. He is King, and I am His image bearer, pointing to His majesty. He is perfect, and I am fallen. He is Savior, and I am rescued. He is Father, and I am His daughter.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
Have you shifted from trusting His mercy to your own faithfulness? Do you live out of a worldly identity or as a daughter?
Audrey is a Clemson student and big fan of warm weather, fall hikes, and anything sweet. You will most likely find her sipping on coffee, laughing off her awkward moments, and spending time with her family and friends. Audrey attends our Powdersville campus.