Several years ago, I brought all four of my children to a youth retreat I was teaching. Each one had a role in helping those teens discover who they are in Christ. However, I think the one who may have had the most lasting impact on them all was my daughter.
Most of you may already know that I have a daughter with Down syndrome. She is my third born child, who is 31 years old. Bekah is the coolest, funniest person I know. To give you an idea of what she is like, the costumes in the photo you see were her creative ideas. If you look closely, you will see her, my wife, my mom, my oldest son, and me.
At the youth retreat, I surprised everyone in the audience by bringing Bekah up front to sit on a stool beside me. I interviewed her in front of the teens, and the mood was electric as each teen was glued to Bekah. I asked her to tell them how old she was and where she was in school. She was about 22 and was a student at the University of South Carolina.
At one point in the interview, I asked her, “Is your identity in having Down syndrome?” She answered, “No.” “Where is your identity?” “In Christ!” she exclaimed with a smile. Then after a few more questions, she went back to her seat. The point I made to the teens afterward was that our deepest identity is not in our abilities or disabilities, our appearance, our personality, our feelings, or the opinions of others.
Bekah sometimes says to me, “I have Down syndrome.” My response is, “So what? I have tall syndrome (I’m 6 ft. 5 1/2 in).” She does it to goof around with me, but many of us have voices in our heads telling us who we are. Yet, our Heavenly Father must have the most influential voice regarding our identity. For example, He uses this word more than any other to describe who we are. BELOVED! It means “a deeply loved one regardless of what we do.” A close second is “saint.” We qualify by simply being children of God in Christ!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1
I can’t think of a more needed topic in our churches for teens, children, and adults today. There are external voices every day shouting to us that we have an identity based on many variables. In fact, if you listen to numerous people today, they will say, “I’m broken.” What they mean is that I struggle and have many flaws. I get that, but I also know from 30 years of teaching people their identity in Christ from Scripture that there is wholeness to be experienced when we are confident in how awesome we are in Christ!
There are two fantastic opportunities for you to dive deeply into this truth. The first is my upcoming “God’s Best-Kept Secret Conference” based on my book. It seems like, lately, I am getting testimony after testimony of how Jesus is freeing people who are reading it. The most recent one was from Ray, who is getting free from depression and anxiety. Click here for more info on my conference.
The second one is for ladies only. Our annual Women of Grace 4-Week Intro is coming up soon. If you are a woman or know one who would be blessed to go deeper into their identity in Christ, check out the upcoming one soon here.
Let’s all go deeper into our understanding of our “self” in Christ!