For years I’ve known that my identity rests on being known as a daughter of God. Nothing I could do could take away or add to this foundation of who I was, who I am. A concept that is simple in theory but not easy to let take root in my heart. Through constant reminders and repetition, this being of who I truly am has taken shape and is the truth I fall back on time and time again.
Recently though I’ve sensed God’s love drawing me deeper, pursuing me to understand my identity and Him in a way I could not before. Last year I described it as a second conversion because this deeper pursuit was on a whole new playing field than before and it was the best words I had at the time to describe it at the time. When God beckons us closer to Himself I have learned to listen and heed the call and much of the last year has been about lowering my defenses and learning to listen with fresh ears.
And what I have begun to discover is that God is Love. Again, a simple concept in theory but somehow I missed it before, or at least I was missing the expansive nature of what that Love really was. When we take the lid off the box we’ve stuffed God into all these years, letting Him become to us the infinite and expansive God He truly is, we become overwhelmed and dare I say, a little scared by this God of never-ending, everlasting, sacrificial Love.
The more I came into a deeper awareness of Love and let it take hold of my being, the more I realized that I was Love too. Love calls me the Beloved. If we as human beings are created in the image of our God than it only makes sense that we too would become Love incarnate ourselves, expressing in our own unique ways the Love that created us, knows us and holds us. But the Love that calls us home, to rest and refuge is also the same Love that suffered, gave up all and died. Can I become all that Love calls my identity as a daughter of God to be?
These last months I’ve struggled with the sacrificial nature of Love and if I could become it, to the point of death? To me, this depth of Love will demand a vulnerability from me, which I’ve done a good job of hiding from all these years. Vulnerability opens us up to the possibility of hurt and the more deeply I love the more deeply I hurt. I’ve hurt in the past and I don’t know if I want to hurt more. But I’ve also loved in the past and I know that I want to love more. To become Love we must do both. We must love more deeply than we ever thought possible and we will hurt more deeply than we ever thought possible but we can not hold on to both Love and fear at the same time.
I had been holding onto fear, but then I realized something about my identity that I had been missing. As a daughter of God, I am an heir of God as well. All that He has is mine. Upon reading Henri Nouwen’s reflection of the prodigal parable in Luke 15 in his book, “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” the father meets the elder son’s complaints and bitterness which are really fears and hurt with the assurance that, “My son you have been with me always and everything I have is yours.” I am with my Father always and all that He has is mine. Again, nothing I do can diminish this or add to it. The question is will I live into my identity and my inheritance?
If Love is my identity and my inheritance than I see no other choice than to live into it. And not out of duty or obligation as I have in the past but because the Father and I are one just as Jesus and He were one (John 17). What my Father wants will be what I want and what He lives out will be what I live out. Yes, this way of Love will hurt and it will sacrifice but my Father is with me always, my safety and my refuge and what I feel He will feel and our Love will be one. The other day I decided to stop holding onto fear and step instead into the embrace of Love.