I am my Father’s daughter. At least, that’s what I once thought. For the first 12 years of my life that was my go-to response anytime someone asked me who I was. My purpose, my self-worth, my entire sense of identity was wrapped up in one man; Daddy. My favorite movie was Rocky, because his favorite movie was Rocky. I thought OJ was guilty because he thought OJ was guilty. The list goes on and on.
Things changed around that 12th year of life when my Dad re-married. Suddenly, my foundation was pulled out from under me, and I was sent spinning. He moved away, and our relationship was never the same. What ensued was a course of self-discovery that led very nearly led to self-destruction.
Fast forward 6 years. It was the first day of my first semester in college and I found myself sitting in a philosophy class with a very strange man lecturing. I listened for an hour while he threw out his own personal philosophy on life, my interest was waning. Then, he wrote a question on the board. It was that same question that I had been trying to answer for 6 years. That same question I had been running from while longing to find.
Who are you?
I listened as people answered confidently. Some said, “I am an athlete”, some, “I am a mother”, others tossed around academic achievements and aspirations. All I could come up with was, “I am a statistic.” I dropped the class the next day.
Three months later I attended a Passion conference in Nashville. I had grown up in church, but up until that point I had never fully grasped the purpose of it all. Fancy clothes, old songs, creaky old pews; I missed anything beyond that.
I had “walked the aisle” at the age of 8, but had no idea what accepting Jesus into my heart meant. I had no comprehension of His sacrifice on the cross. I had no idea what it meant to be discipled, or to live a crucified life. I didn’t get it. So, at the tender age of 18 things began to click. I was, for the first time, really involved in a church body. I was engaging with people who had a passion for Jesus that was evident and infectious. I was being discipled, and loving every minute of it.
I signed up to go to this Passion conference. I didn’t know what it was or what I was getting myself into. We got there, sang a lot, heard some pretty great speakers, and I enjoyed a weekend without any intoxicating substances; it was nice. What made it life-changing was one seemingly insignificant statement made by one of the small group leaders in passing: “I am a child of God.”
Who are you? Who am I? After years of being haunted by these questions I felt like the answer was lingering somewhere close by. One month after Nashville, alone in my dorm room, I had my Bible open to Romans. Written on the pages in front of me was my answer.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” –Romans 8:14-18
I realized that night that I had been right all along. From the very beginning. I am my FATHER’S daughter. In Him my identity is safe, it is solid, it is unchanging. Anything else is shaky.
I got down on my face that night and gave my life to Christ. My whole life. My whole love. I surrendered unto Him, and wept with relief over my discovery. The years of feeling like I was floating around with no way to firmly plant my feet, were now swept away with one word: adoption. He chose me. I am His.
Nikki is a wife to a wonderful husband, mother to 3 sweet kids, and daughter to a faithful Father. She loves Jesus, and is passionate about spreading His Word & His love to others. She loves writing, reading, gardening with her hubby, and playing dinosaurs with her kids. You can find her at her blog: Christian By Association