Who Am I?
Identity: Who we are and Whose we are
This Summer at FOCUS’ New Staff Training has been filled with the question: Who are you?
Now, we could all answer in a number of ways. For example: I am a daughter and a sister, a missionary, a K-State grad (Go Cats!), and a friend. Now those are all truths, the most foundational truth of who I am is this: I am a beloved daughter of God the Father. I am a daughter because through my baptism, God adopted me into his family. You are a beloved son/daughter of God the Father. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, one of our leaders was telling a story a little while ago about him and his wife adopting their son. During the legal declaration of the adoption the judge asked him if he was aware that his son was now entitled to his inheritance. I thought that was amazing. By a promise, this boy became a son of a father who will give everything he has to him. God gives us this same promise. He gives us the promise of everything he has, which is literally everything here on Earth and then also Heaven. God wants to give us these things. The only thing that we are called to do is to say yes to this. To let him give us everything he has. We are invited to rest in this.
Jesus was the perfect example of this. Jesus, God incarnate. When he was baptized, two things happened:
- He was confirmed as The Father’s Son (Matthew 3:17)
- He was commissioned into his public ministry
Through Jesus knowing who he was, he was ready to live out what he came to do. To testify to the Kingdom of God and to invite us into the life of the Trinity. That’s right, INVITE US INTO THE LIFE OF THE TRINITY. We are all called into this life through our identity by us being the lovers’ beloved. We can rest in the place where the Son sits in the life of the Trinity, to give and receive love from the Father and letting the Holy Spirit guide us. When we are baptized we are confirmed as Sons and Daughters of the Father and we are commissioned into Jesus’ ministry. We have been instructed to make disciples of all nations, so that everyone can be invited into the life saving message of Jesus Christ. But how do we do that? How do we live out of our identity as sons and daughters of the Father?
We let our hearts be transformed by Him. The Trinity dwells in us. Yep. The Trinity sits in the depths of our hearts, ready to be revealed and completely transform our hearts into the heart of Jesus. I was talking with friend early this summer, maybe the first week of training and we were discussing just this. When I gave my life to the Lord my sophomore year of college, I knew that my life was going to change. What I didn’t know was that when the Lord said he wanted to give me everything, He even meant a new heart. I didn’t start to realize that until I was a first year missionary at my first FOCUS New Staff Training. We pray a holy hour, pray the Rosary, and attend Mass each day during this five-week training period (along with taking classes on the everything from Church teaching to how to lead a bible study). I had thought I had come a long way in my faith since sophomore year, but NST stretched me in ways that I never thought I was capable of. The habits that I started to form there led into my first year serving at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Jesus met me each day in the church. He started to reveal places in my heart that I had sealed off from the world (and him) because I had been hurt in some way or another. He wanted to heal those places. Eventually I let him clean out those pieces of my heart and let them become new. Fast forward to my conversation with my friend at this summer’s NST.
My take-away from the conversation was this: Jesus doesn’t want to heal parts of our heart so we can be just ok. He wants to completely transform every piece of us. He wants to create in us a new heart. His heart. Because with his heart comes his eyes, and hands, and feet. He wants to give us these things so we can love the way he loves. So we can heal the blind and raise the dead and give hope to the hopeless. We are all a part of the Body of Christ, so when one of us is transformed, we can invite others to be transformed. That is how we share the live saving message of Jesus Christ. When we are transformed by him we can rest in the truth that our deepest identity is a beloved son or daughter of the Father.