At One Community Church, each week we present words of reflection by one of our partners in the form of a devotional. This week’s devotional was written by Chanel Turner.
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!’…Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:6-7, 14-15 (NASB)
I fell in love with Jesus when I was six years old, but middle school was the first time I noticed how different my life was compared to the lives of my unbelieving classmates. Many of the music, movie, conversation, and fashion choices my peers made didn’t line up with what I believed would glorify God. Instead of embracing the set apart life that God placed in front of me, I felt insecure because I didn’t fit in. I sought to find things apart from my faith to define and label me. I thought to myself, “If I can only fit myself in a nice box, then maybe I will feel more secure about who I am.” I hid behind being an athlete, the smart girl, someone’s girlfriend, and even, a church girl. Slowly, but surely, these labels became idols that I relied on for security instead of God. Each time I finally felt self-assured in a new identity, the label would somehow be stripped from me and I was left feeling disappointed, lost, and rejected. Through this, God taught me that my identity could only be found in Him. He is our maker and only He knows why He made us. Thankfully, the Lord has redeemed my sin and transformed it into a flaming passion to encourage young girls to embrace their identities in Christ, and to live fearlessly as masterpieces designed by God.
What roles, talents, or relationships are we using to define and label ourselves? Are we more secure in those identities than we are in our faith? Are we actively seeking to find or fulfill the unique assignments God has given each of us?
God gave us an identity in Christ that is greater than any label we could choose for ourselves. It’s only when we truly accept and embrace whom God created us to be, that we will be fulfilled. So, let us rip off any labels we’ve placed on ourselves, and instead rest in the peace that comes from knowing God is at work molding us into who He wants us to be!
Lord, thank You for creating us with Your specific purposes in mind. As we seek to know You more intimately, we pray that You will reveal the unique assignments You have for us during our lifetimes. Please help us to genuinely embrace who You created us to be and find comfort in knowing that, above all, we are Your children. Amen.