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Five Minute Friday: Who

Song of Songs
K. T. Miura, ‘The Song of Solomon’ (morocco leather and silverfoil), 1987 | image via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday linkup. This community of bloggers writes on a one-word prompt every Friday for five minutes, then shares their post. You can read other posts from this week here and learn more about the Five Minute Friday linkup here. To comment on this piece, head over to my Facebook page.

The question that floats into my mind: who am I?

It’s a question that’s hovered for the last two years, as I decided to leave my job and, eventually, my academic career. Who was I if I wasn’t a college professor?

Many things stayed the same: I was — am — still a wife and a mother and a friend and a nerd and a baker and a person who wishes she liked beets but who really just can’t eat them.

But losing that big piece, that career piece, was difficult. And then came the guilt: as a Christian, shouldn’t I be finding my identity in Christ, not my job or my title?

And really, what in the world does it mean to find my identity in Christ? How does that work?

Slowly, though, over the last year, I’ve begun to realize what my identity is in Christ: I am beloved.

I struggle with this, because I’d rather find my identity in what I do; what I do is under my control (or at least, I can imagine that it’s under my control). Being beloved by God doesn’t depend on my achievements; it’s constant and steady and unchanging even when everything else around me shifts.

Yesterday, reading Tish Harrison Warren’s Liturgy of the Ordinary, I was struck by her words:

Jesus is eternally beloved by the Father. His every activity unfurls from his identity as the Beloved. He loved others, healed others, preached, taught, rebuked, and redeemed not in order to gain the Father’s approval, but out of his rooted certainty in the Father’s love.

I want that “rooted certainty in the Father’s love.” I want that to be at the core of who I am. It’s hard to let go of the idea that I have to earn that love, but if who I am is a person who earns God’s love by succeeding in some form, failure or even reformulation moves from difficult to devastating.

And so I lean into being God’s beloved, and allowing my action to flow out of my security in God’s love.

Who I am? Beloved daughter of God.

Tagged: FMF | identity