When Difficult Change Challenges Your Identity

I am so pleased to begin our new series on IDENTITY & WORTH by sharing an encouraging devotion written by my friend and fellow writer, Julie Sunne. Julie’s words spoke straight to my heart as a mom, and I know they will bless you as well. Thank you for joining us for this new series for fall!

I knew I’d be sad, but the intensity of my feelings surprised me. 

This past month I followed my youngest on a four-hour drive to his chosen college. Two adult sons were already on their own, now our third and last one would be spending most of his time away from home. That left our 21-year-old daughter, who has special needs, to keep my husband and me company. 

I cherished parenting my children. Now, no longer needed to fulfill a full-time mothering role, I feel a bit lost … directionless. I had equated my identity with being a mother. When that role lost its primacy, I lost my identity and, thus, my sense of worth. 

We tie our worth to all sorts of things. Our vocation, whether we have children, whether those children are making good choices, the amount of our possessions, our health or fitness level, even our looks. But God has a different idea of what constitutes worth. 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. (Tweet this.)

 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. He stamped us worthy when He adopted us. And our identity as His children assign us value. Valuable enough, in fact, to be worth the death of His Son. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, CSB).

Employed or jobless, a parent or childless, healthy or infirmed, young or old, wealthy or poor, well known or unknown … as God’s children, we all hold equal and great value in His eyes. But when we lose sight of our identity in Christ, our sense of worth becomes fragile, dependent on our performance or status in life. Then when life shifts—as it will—we face a crisis of identity.

I did. I became so caught up in being a mom, I forgot that first and foremost I am a daughter of the King. When “Mom” no longer required my full-time attention, my worth took a hit. Confusion about my purpose set in. I’m finding that the way back to stable ground is to review what God says about me and who I am. 

I am loved. I am worthy. I am appointed. I am empowered. I am saved. I am a new creation. I am forgiven and redeemed. I am a conqueror in Christ. I am the Lord’s workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a child of God. 

If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can make the same claims. Your identity far surpasses that of your vocation or station on earth. You, too, are a child of God. That makes you invaluable. Believe it, even when the biting winds of change try to tell you otherwise. 

 “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:13-16, CSB)

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Father, we are honored and awed that You would adopt us as Your children. Forgive us when we place our identity elsewhere. Draw us to You, Lord, and remind us of our worth in Your eyes. Remind us of the truth of who we are as heirs with Christ to the Kingdom. Help us place our identity solely in You. In Your Son Jesus Christ’s precious name, Amen. 


To be reminded of the truths of who you are in Christ, download a free “Empowered in Christ” printout by subscribing to my site, www.juliesunne.com. There you’ll find many other encouraging resources as well. 



Blessings,

Kristine


Julie Sunne delights in sharing about finding real hope in the middle of life’s real messes. Her own mess includes enduring multiple miscarriages and raising and now being caregiver for her 21-year-old daughter with special needs. 

Her writing credentials include a feature in Celebrate Life magazine; guest posting for such online sites as Healthy Leaders, (in)courage, and Mommies with Hope as well as Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today devotions; and feature and copy writing for local newspapers. You can find Julie’s self-published image-based devotional, Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace, on Amazon. 

Julie and her husband, Dave, are parents to a teenager and three young adults. They reside in Northeast Iowa where Julie loves Chai tea lattes, dark chocolate, books, and doing anything outdoors. Find encouragement on her website, www.juliesunne.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. 









Can God Restore My Relationship?

Today’s blog is transcribed from this video on my Facebook page. If you’re a listener, feel free to click the link to take you there. If you’re more of a visual learner (like me) I am sharing it here as a blog post just for you! Read on to find the answer to the question, “Can God restore my relationship?”



When we start a new topic, sometimes it brings up big questions that need to be answered. Thankfully we have an even bigger God, and all we need to do is look to His Word for those answers.



The question I’ve been getting lately is this. 



Can God restore my relationship?



The uncomplicated answer to that is yes. God can restore relationships because He can do anything.



But God also desires to restore relationships. When we look at Romans 5:10, we see that God actually restored our relationship to Him through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. 



“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. We were enemies of God through sin. And through Jesus God restored our relationship to Him.” Romans 5:10 NLT



So yes, God can restore relationships, and He desires to.



But we need to remember this. There are 3 parts to God’s restoration. God desires to restore relationships through His way, in His timing, and for His purposes.



God desires to restore relationships through His way.



So many times I can take control of a situation. I want a relationship to work so badly, that even if that person is not acting like they want the relationship to be restored, I will do anything to make it happen. I try so hard to fix it on my own! 


I’ve learned from experience that if I will just take a step back, and let God do it His way, not only does He get glorified, but it always turns out better than when I try to fix it.



God desires to restore in His timing.


God’s timing is so vastly different from our own, that we can’t even fathom it. 


How many of us have an experience, maybe with our own family or a friend, where someone desired to see a relationship restored, but that didn’t happen for 20 years, or even longer? 


Sometimes relationships aren’t restored until a person’s last moments on this earth. And for whatever reason, through forgiveness or reconciliation, that relationship gets restored right before a person takes their last breath and goes to be with their Savior. 


When we remember that God’s timing is different from our own, we won’t have the tendency to say we wished it had happened sooner, because we can rejoice in the fact that we will have all eternity to enjoy the restoration God gave.



God desires to see restoration for His purposes.


We know that God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That tells us God is working everything together for our good right now. 


If we’ve been praying for restoration and it hasn’t happened yet, there’s a reason. We need to trust in that. 


So, that brings up another question. 



If God already knows when, where, and how my relationship will be restored, do I need to keep praying? Sometimes it hurts holding onto that promise of restoration every day. 



I pray this thought will help us as we navigate the difficult path of waiting.


We can let go of the expectations for restoration without letting go of the hope. (Tweet this.)


Hope is a gift from God. It’s uplifting and will help breathe life into our day when we feel the emptiness or loneliness from seeking restoration. But expectations can be exhausting. We can go about our daily lives holding onto hope without the expectation that it’s going to happen in our way, or in our timing. 


To join the conversation about God’s restoration power, check out the video version here.


Blessings,

Kristine