Why is it so important to know who we were created to be, you ask?
When we understand that we were made on purpose, with intentional gifts that we fully embrace and cultivate, we will step boldly into the authority given to us as children of God. No longer looking for approval and permission, we will run after the inspired dreams of our hearts, with confidence, without shrinking back, free from fear and shame, making the life-giving intimate connections we long for.
Sound good? Let’s break it down a bit.
- First, it is important to acknowledge that we are an on purpose event. We were not a random stand of tissue that happened to create a baby. We were knit together in our mother’s womb, with care and intention. We were seen, and known, and loved by God before anyone else even knew we existed. That’s a pretty big deal, and a good thing to know, because it shapes our narrative into one of Love from the very beginning.
- When we understand that we were seen, known, and loved before we arrived on this side of our mother’s skin, it helps us accept the thought and intention He put into the gifts we were given, or even that we were given gifts, and how important it is to discover, steward, protect, and cultivate them. We stop wasting precious energy despising aspects of ourselves that were actually given to us with loving attention to all the little details that make up who we are, and we learn how to function in them for our good and the good of those around us.
- It is so important to know who we were created to be, because this world and nearly everyone in it will have some sort of opinion about who they think you should be, and what you should do with your life, your energies, and your talents. We have to know the difference between when someone has heard the voice of God about us (and that they are agreeing with Him about our identity) and recognize when they have not. The way we move in confidence in our identity, is when we hear it first hand from God for ourselves. Then it will be clear who has heard from Him on our behalf, and who just has a really strong opinion.
This can’t be over stated.
We will kill ourselves trying to please the people we love and respect, attempting to morph into an acceptable image in their sight, desperate to live up to their standard to be loved and accepted by them. All the while, we feel like a fraud, we feel “off”, disconnected, unloved, because no matter how hard we try, we will never be who they want us to be. In the long run, even if we manage to work really hard and do all the things we believe we should, and very convincingly look the part, ultimately we will fail at being someone we are not. Because no matter how hard we try to be who they say we are, we can only be who we actually are. The only way around it is to hide your life away. And that just isn’t an acceptable alternative to living.
- When we know who we were created to be, we don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to get others to validate and accept us. There is an inherent value to what God has made, and even more so with us, his kids, made in His image. When we understand that we reflect His glory on the earth JUST BY EXISTING, then how much more do we glorify Him when we lean into cultivating the gifts and callings He created us to cultivate? We stop wasting time trying to convince others to see our value, and we just live it, no longer apologizing for who we are, how we were made, what we have to offer, and the facet of God’s heart that we reflect. What an incredible relief.
- When we know who we were created to be, we understand our position. When I explained this to my kids, I told them to imagine a princess, and everything in her father’s kingdom belonged to her just because she was his kid. She never had to worry about needing money or food or clothes, because she knew who her father was, and therefore who she was and what belonged to her, where she could go, what she could build, how she had all of his resources at her fingertips to accomplish whatever her heart desired.
But what if she grew up in a cave, hiding out because the kingdom had been attacked when she was just a baby? And somehow she grew up not knowing she was a daughter of a king. Or worse, she knew her father was the king, and she grew up in the castle, surrounded by riches and abundance, but she just couldn’t believe any of it was for her, believing that she just didn’t deserve it. She would live a life of forfeit, poverty, and frustrated ineffectiveness, based on what she believed about her value and worth, and regardless of who her dad is, (he’s great, he’s all powerful, he’s the king, after-all) she never accepts that she was born to be a queen. In that case, it’s really freaking important for her to know the truth about who she is.
- It’s important to know who you were created to be so you can run with confidence toward your life’s goals, dreams, and vision. When you know who you are, you don’t waste time chasing down things you don’t really want because an influencer in your life, or an ideal you were taught, says you should. Instead, you focus in the direction that cultivates what makes your heart come alive. Because you were created that way! We were created to resonate the pleasure of God inside of us. I believe that our “hearts desires” mentioned in scripture, were placed there by God, and when we listen to the resonating joy and peace that springs out of tapping into the things we were created to do, we can chase after those desires with freedom and joy.
Desiring to embrace your passion is not something that you need to fix about yourself, it does not make you self centered and prideful to know who you are and what you want. It makes you effective. You don’t have to try and redirect your passions into something that makes sense to the influencers around you, but you can navigate building beautiful, creative things with confidence, not shrinking back, not hiding away out of fear that your hearts desires are evil or unacceptable. You learn to listen to the stirring in your heart, trusting that God created you with passions and desires, that He made us creative beings in His likeness, and that He calls what we create Very Good.
- When we know who we were created to be, we can stop living in fear and shame, struggling with guilt, grieving our inability to make intimate connections. We were created to live in deep intimate connection. We feel this truth so deeply, that to not have it causes us to live in perpetual grief. However, we can only have intimate connection through vulnerability. We will never be vulnerable to anyone if we are living inauthentically, because vulnerability reveals the truth of who we are to others. When we understand and embrace who we were created to be, we are set free from fear and shame in order to connect deeply and authentically, without hesitation, to God and others.
Many people believe that our problem as Christians is that we don’t trust God enough, that we aren’t looking to Him sufficiently, and because of that our faith is weak, so we are ineffective and don’t have what we need to accomplish the work of the kingdom.
But the truth is, our effectiveness in the world is much less about what we believe God can do, (he’s all powerful, all knowing, and omni present, after-all), rather it has more to do with what we believe about ourselves. When we are confident in our God designed identity, we will engage vulnerably and intimately with Him as our authentic selves, then we will trust ourselves to hear His voice, know His heart, and will follow where He is leading. We won’t shrink back in fear, waiting for approval and permission from the influencers that we imagine hold the keys, but we will take the keys that are already in our hands, and unlock the doors He is calling us to walk through, to build, nurture, and cultivate the things He uniquely created us to accomplish.