The Voice of the Father
Have you ever had a situation not meet your expectations? Lately, I’ve been trying to let go of expectations. I want so badly to be the person who can pivot & enjoy the good no matter what. I don’t want to be someone who lets good moments pass me by because they didn’t match my expectations. But it’s hard & I’m failing.
Honestly, it irritates me that I can’t get my act together, that I’m not who I want to be. I try to fake it till I make it. I give myself little pep talks, “Be better, try harder.” Or the reverse, “Are you serious? How many times do we have to do this before you get it together? Hopefully no one notices how petty & selfish you are.” Surprisingly, none of these strategies have been very effective…
At Youth Group, we’ve been talking about the temptations of Jesus. At his baptism, the Father gives Jesus this identity: “My son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” Then he is sent into the wilderness. The tempter comes & attacks his trust in the Father & his identity as the beloved son. Jesus has to keep coming back to the truth of who God is & what God has said about him – “my son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased”. If you’re in Christ, this is also your identity.
Earlier this week, I was beating myself up, giving myself all kinds of identities. Petty. Selfish. Failure. Negative human. Then this voice broke through, “Are you listening to my voice? Ask me what I think about you here.”
“You are Kristen, whom I love, with you I am well pleased. Do you know I still deeply love you even here? You may think you know who you are, but I know you better. You’re not a failure, you’re my beloved child.”
No “try harder,” “be better,” or “I can’t believe you haven’t figured this out.” Just words of identity lovingly spoken by the Father. The one who spoke & called all things into existence looks at you & I & says, ”Child. Loved. Approved of.” Regardless of whether or not we deserve those identities, or they feel true, when God speaks them, they become true. From that space of being completely loved & accepted, we can find strength to try again.
Where are you struggling lately? What voices are you listening to?