For years, I found myself in a cycle of running to catch myself. Sure there have been starts and stops along the way but the race is one of finding out who the real me is. God knows me intimately but what do I say when people ask?
My typical answer sounds like, “I’m a mom of two sons, a Mimi, a retired teacher, and the list goes on. This list identifies me by what I do or did or the people who call me mom or Mimi. It says nothing about the identity God created for me when He saw me in the secret place and His eyes saw my unformed body (Psalm 139:15-16). The list doesn’t describe the love and care that God took when He created me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). The words He speaks over me today and every day. And the words He declares over you as His child.
Did You Know?
I like for people to know I am a truth-teller.
A person who follows through.
In this place of naming the things I want you to know about me, I forgot the most important declaration of all. The identity of who God reveals I am. When I forget, I have truth for everyone but me. I see hope on the horizon for my people but not for myself. All encouragement is given away and I forget how to remind myself I am worthy. And I am amazing at follow-through except when remembering I am God’s chosen child and He says I am enough in Him. Can anyone else relate?
This is the frenzy of running to catch myself that gets away from me if I let it. I am thankful for the people in my life who speak the truth. It is such a gift to hear from trusted friends and family what God is already saying. I also am grateful for the encouragement of Holley Gerth in my life.
I actually met Holley in person (at a writer’s conference and I doubt she remembers ;)). A month ago she reached out to me as “one of her people” and thanked me for my encouragement of her. There was much disbelief on the other side of my screen thinking she had the wrong person, but she indeed assured me I was the one.
A week ago, Holley Gerth’s new book, Strong, Brave, and Loved: Empowering Reminders of Who You Really Are, hit all the places you can order and buy books. In my mailbox on that very day, was my own personal copy of Holley’s book, a 60-day devotional.
One of the things Holley does well is to encourage others. Her voice is prominent in my life as I visit her blog and read her books. She takes her real life and the messiness that comes along for the ride and turns it around so we can leave the page knowing we are strong, brave, and loved.
Why are you telling me this?
For all the times I try to talk myself into what I think instead of believing the truth of what God says, I have an advocate who never gives up on me.
His name is Lord, Savior, Christ, and Father. He holds my disbelief loosely knowing that truth, His truth, is what I crave. Throughout the Bible, God reassures you and me how much He loves us with affirming words like worthy, enough, daughter/son, chosen, and no longer an orphan (John 14:18, 1 Peter 2:9, and Ephesians 2:10).
God is your advocate when the race you are running leads nowhere. He is the One who hugs you at the finish line. God carries you back to the beginning and points you in the direction of TRUTH. There is never a time that God doesn’t stop what He is doing to pull you back into His embrace.
My journey of running to catch myself is looking more focused as I spend time with God. Even five minutes a day leaves me with the fresh breath of the Spirit I know will aide me as the day begins and ends.
If a book can come at the perfect time, then Holley’s book landed in my mailbox at the exact moment the secret place of my heart yearned for encouragement.If a book can land in my mailbox at the perfect time, just think how God's timing is never a mistake. Empowerment and encouragement for your soul in today's post. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup @HolleyGerth Click To Tweet
Friends–What I know is God knows the deep secrets we carry. He hears our heart cry and loves coming alongside to carry us through. Empowerment is found in God’s Word, other people, and sometimes words of authors we call friend because of how they reach us across the page. Encouragement is the antidote to fears and lies. Let me leave you with this snippet from Holley Gerth:
Strong, brave, and loved sometimes looks like just the opposite. And that’s beautiful.
Together let’s run to catch ourselves. Your true you is found in the One who chose you and named you Daughter of the Most High.
For more articles on identity click HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash
***Please join me next week for our featured writer, Tara Ulrich. I feel like I have known her for years and the interesting thing is that we have never met in person. You will be blessed by her words. She writes at Praying on the Prairie so go check her out.
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A well-formed and well-seen legacy!
Yes, it is!! I love your heart for legacy. It is a deep love of mine also.
You have given me a lot to think about regarding how I want others to know me. laurensparks.net
Blessings on your week. May you feel known by the One who loves you more than you know.
We all struggle with identity in some form. I always remind my grands “whose they are.” The redeemed of the Lord. Sons and daughters of the most high God. Both of them have professed Christ as their savior. Amen.
I know it makes your heart happy to have grandchildren following Christ. It is easier for me to remind others “whose they are” than I am at doing it for myself.
How wonderful and fun that must have been to have met Holley and also know you are known to her! We have impacts on others we never expect, and that is His way isn’t it?
It was fun and going to any writing conferences has been rich in blessings. So good to see you here today, Lynn.
It is so easy to define ourselves by what we do or by the people in our lives instead of letting God be the one who defines our identity. I love how John identifies himself in his Gospel as “the disciple Jesus loved”. Each of us is also the disciple Jesus loves and it makes a big difference if we really grasp that.
I hear you here Mary! Thank you for sharing your heart. And yes I agree our identity is found in the one who created us, praise Him! 😀
Thank you, Jennifer! Praying you find sweet moments of God and you time this week as He reminds you how much He loves you.
“The disciple Jesus loved.” It could also say, “The Mary Jesus loved” or “the Leslie Jesus loved.” Thank you for this reminder. Blessings on the new week.
“I am amazing at follow-through except when remembering I am God’s chosen child and He says I am enough in Him.” Yes, I relate, Mary. I, too, am much better at encouraging others than myself. Your reaction of disbelief to Holley’s reaching out to you would have been my reaction, too. I love how encouraging Holley is. She really helps us to see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes, doesn’t she? And I love how God’s timing is always perfect! You truly are an encourager, too, Mary. God’s love and grace clearly radiate through your posts. Love and blessings to you!
Your sweet encouragement is a blessing for my soul. God is my Father who delights in me. Sometimes I need reminders to remember who I really am. I appreciate you and your spirit for leaving love in the comments.
“Together let’s run to catch ourselves. Your true you is found in the One who chose you and named you Daughter of the Most High.” Amen! Blessings to you, Mary! xo
May you feel blessed by who God says you are as you walk into a new week. Blessings!
Beautiful post, Mary! What you’ve written reminds me of Hillsong Worship’s song “Who You Say I Am.” And I totally agree with the other commenters about your encouraging heart. 🙂
Thank you, Lois! “Who You Say I Am” is one of my favorite songs. It is a melody of reminders of our identity in Christ. I appreciate you and your part in this community.
Mary, you are definitely an encourager! I can’t tell you how much it meant to me when you reached out and invited me to become a part of your online community some time ago. I think we all struggle sometimes to see ourselves outside of the roles other people define us by. But God sees our true selves, the person He created us to be. And I’m so glad Holley’s words reminded you how God sees you! May you continue to be blessed in His loving embrace! 🙂
Thank you, Connie! What a sweet way to remind me of how I connected with you. It is God’s gift to see us for who we are and it is one I need to hold close. Holley has a beautiful way of encouraging us all through her words. Thank you for your kindness.
You are most definitely an encourager! You are always there with words of hope, compassion, joy, whatever the situation calls for. I guess I also fall into the camp of being an encourager. The only problem is that we don’t encourage ourselves very often. We see potential in others, but are blind to our own. Joining with you in reclaiming our God given identities and cease from chasing and start standing in the Truth! Great post!
You are an encourager, Bev! And you are right in saying that it is difficult for me to encourage myself. It is natural for me to reach out and help others. May we both see ourselves how God sees us and walk in the way God has set out for us.
Ahhhh, Mary. I’m breathing deeper as I read your words. Identity is my life theme, I think. I am continually brought back to the Lord, His presence in my life, and remembering the truth of who I am…I’m His girl, first and foremost.
So much of what you shared spoke to my heart, but this piece is what I am going to meditate on today: “What I know is God knows the deep secrets we carry. He hears our heart cry and loves coming alongside to carry us through.”
Beautiful truths here, my friend!
God knows us better than we know ourselves. That is the truth I need to hang onto and focus on first when I am in a place of self-doubt. I know we both share this connection over identity and purpose. It’s why we connected and wrote the chosen and approved series with Emily. I have revisited some of the posts recently. Praying you continue to see yourself through the lens of who God says you are.
Yes, Mary, you are such a beautiful gift of encouragement wherever your words land! Thank you for bringing such encouragement to me as well! I pray that God will continue to echo those same words deep in your own heart, every time you speak them to someone else. Blessings and love to you this week (and at the upcoming Renewal retreat also!)
You have no idea how much it means to me to read your prayer that God will echo the same words to me when I speak them for someone else. What a blessing! Thank you for praying for the Renewal Retreat. It is on the 18th and 19th. I’m busy preparing my breakout session this week.
Your words and Holley’s have washed over me this morning like a breath of fresh air. I love who you are and we gave a few things in common. I never lead with what I want people to know about me. Yikes, I might need to revisit my about page.
”Strong, brave, and loved sometimes looks like just the opposite.” Holley Gerth
It certainly did look the opposite this week. It was hard and painful too. But now I see the beauty.
Thank you, Maree
You are a sweet encourager. It is easier for me to define myself by the titles others have given me over the years. But what about the titles God chooses for us like daughter, beloved, beautiful, and worthy. I pray we find that God knows us best and in this place we can rest in knowing who He says we are.
Aww! Just what I needed to hear this morning. I, too, let who I am to other people define me instead of savoring who God says I am. Thank you for this reminder!
God has a way of providing just the words we need at just the right time. It is His gift of knowing us intimately because He created us and who we are.
Encouragement. Even the word brings a sigh of relief and a smile.
I’m grateful for the steady way you’ve lived that out in my life, friend …
The word does bring a deep exhale, doesn’t it? Thank you for your kind words.
This is a beautiful story of the power of encouragement. I love when something arrives or is read in a timely way. It helps me to realize how God sees me right where I am and is in the very moment. I have loved her devotionals and will have to check out this latest one.
The beauty of God’s timing never fails to amaze me. I try very hard to recognize those times now and lift up a prayer of gratitude in the moment. It’s also nice to write it down as a way of seeing how the goodness of God is with me through it all. Holley’s books always encourage me and come at the right time.
Good morning, Mary. This line: “He holds my disbelief loosely, knowing its truth, His truth, I crave”. Oh what a power-full statement. I have struggled this past week, fending off the father of lies whispering in my ear. Thank you for this post my sister.
You are known, seen, and heard. Weeks like you have just walked through can be very wearing. I pray you find peace in the truth of God and who He says you are.
Yes, I have also experienced the loving care of a book or a note landing in my mailbox at just the right time. God is outside of time, and it’s amazing how he has orchestrated the details of our lives. It makes me want to trust him more…
God IS outside of time and knows what we need and when we need it. I can look back and see how God provided and was faithful. In the moment is more difficult for me. May we both rest in knowing how trusting God is all we need.
This is the second blog post I have read this morning, and both emphasized encouragement–and that’s what God laid on my heart to write about this week, too. He must really want to emphasize this message at this particular time. We’re so blessed to have God’s encouragement through His Words and His people he brings into our lives.
God’s Word is the center of all encouragement. I know diving into God’s truth will lead me on the right path. Thank you for sharing how this message is repeating in several places in your life this week.
What an amazing story from God! Holley Gerth is an incredible encouragement. And I love that she was able to see the same from you in her life! I can’t wait to check out her latest book. “You Were Made for a God Sized Dream” is one of my favorites!
I am blessed to have this community of readers and writers that visit here each week. I also have IRL encouragers and those who don’t know they encourage me. It is a blessing when the words of others touch me at just the right time. That is what Holley’s words do for me. I like all of Holley’s books.