“Mommy, I’m Your Daughter”

We were on a brisk, morning hike the first time I told her.

Bumping along in the pack on my back, we chatted about all sorts of things to pass the time and miles.

We talked about colors; we talked about shapes; we talked about letters and their sounds,; we talked about animals; we talked about God and all that He has made; and then I broached the topic of familial relationships and their proper names. Because ya know, that just kinda goes with the rest, right?! RIGHT!

“Evie, did you know that you’re my daughter?”

“Your daughter?!?!” She sounded shocked.

“Yes. You’re my daughter, and I’m your mother.”

“I’m your daughter?!?!” With both shock and delight in her voice, she reiterated her question.

“Yes. You’re my daughter!”

“I’m Evie. I’m not your daughter.”

“You’re both! Your name is Evie, and you are my daughter.”

“I’m both?!?!”

“Yep! You’re both!”

And that was the end of it.

For the rest of that 2.5 mile walk, there was no more talk about her being my daughter or about me being her mother. The information was shared; the shock was experienced; and we walked on.

But then, seemingly out of nowhere, later that day, she brought it up again.

“Mommy, I’m your daughter!!!”

“I am! You’re right. You are my daughter.”

With a contented smile that spread from cheek to cheek, she would announce her “daughter-ship” and then carry on.

And ever since that hike, nearly two weeks ago, my daughter has continued to proclaim (at random times and in all places), “I’m your daughter. I’m your daughter. I’m your daughter.”

And as I listen to those proclamations tumble from her little mouth, I can’t help but beam with joy.

SHE, my daughter, is identifying herself with ME…as mine. 

And though I guess she could easily mill about the house, the mall, and the park proclaiming and identifying herself by some other title, or by how she looks, or by how well she can or cannot do something.

I am a candy-lover. I am short. I am addicted to wearing dresses. I am a good remember-er. I am a blonde-headed beauty. I am a girl with no butt and no hips. I am a gymnast. I am a chronic-after-nap time-whiner. I am a princess.

She’s not. She’s identifying herself with me.

“Mommy, I’m your daughter.” 

“Mommy, I’m your daughter.” 

“Mommy, I’m your daughter.” 

And every time I hear it, it’s like the Lord gently whispers from heaven, “YOU are MY DAUGHTER, Jessica. Do you see yourself as that? Or are you too worried about identifying yourself with all those other titles that don’t really matter?”

It’s true. It’s oh, so painfully true.

How easily I can start identifying myself in ways that God never intended, finding my identity in the things (though not inherently bad) that won’t really matter when Christ returns…that don’t really matter NOW.

Because though I DO a lot of things and AM a lot of things this side of heaven, I am NOT those things. 

My identity isn’t found in the letters and credentials behind my name.

My identity isn’t found in being a friend who follows-up, reaches out, or asks the deeper questions.

My identity isn’t found in being an intentional mom who plans play-dates, creates exciting, learning opportunities, and who finds new parks and new fun.

My identity isn’t found in my bank account, my blog, or on my Facebook wall.

My identity isn’t found in being a wife who supports, loves, or cheers alongside.

My identity isn’t found in my hip size, my wardrobe, or my list of contacts.

My identity isn’t found in my ability to say “no,” my willingness to say, “yes,” or my openness to adopt.

My identity isn’t found in the kinds of friends I have, the kinds of struggles I face, or the kinds of meals I make.

My identity isn’t found in the Bible studies I do, the chores I finish, or the charitable acts I complete.

My identity isn’t found in the calories I ingest, the calories I burn, or the calories I avoid.

My identity isn’t found in the verses I memorize, the activities I do, or the hobbies I have.

My identity isn’t found in how good I am, how bad I am, or how successful I am or am not.

My identity isn’t found in my victories, my house decor, or the cars I drive.

My identity isn’t found in my diplomas, my degrees, or in my work place.

My identity isn’t found in the dust on my shelves, the stains on my carpet, or in the piles on my counter.

My identity isn’t found in the perfect, the put-together, or the Pinterest parts of my life.

Because in all reality, the only identity that really matters is the identity that has nothing to do with WHO I am, and WHAT I do, and HOW I do it, but rather found in being HIS DAUGHTER… the relationship that identifies me WITH HIM and AS HIS. 

“For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Lord, may I live my days caring about and proclaiming aloud the only identity that REALLY matters–the one that will not fade, will not change, and will not disappoint. 

 

 

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