May 18th my mom turned 80. May 26th our daughter Maggie got married.
Two milestones for two amazing women within eight days.
You would never know my mom is 80. It’s a little demoralizing when we’re out together and people think we’re friends instead of mother and daughter. She classy and spunky and fun and fashionable. In short, she is remarkable. And she has a remarkable relationship with both our daughters.
She just finished making 407 cake pops for Maggie’s wedding, ordering flowers, overseeing a team creating 60 flower arrangements, and creating centerpieces.
That, and Maggie’s been known to borrow her shoes. Yeah, she’s got game.
But the two things that are most inspiring about her are that she’s always available and she loves me unconditionally. I know, I know, she’s my mom, and it’s part of her job, but wow, she does it better than anyone I know.
We were disciplined as kids, but I don’t ever remember her criticizing us. Her trust in us and her belief that we would choose well was powerful.
She always believes the best. I don’t mean she is blind to our faults. But if I was convicted of bank robbery I’m sure she’d visit me every day with her famous brownies.
She wouldn’t talk about how wrong I was to rob the bank. Instead she’d talk about how great I looked in my orange jump suit, and how she was sure I would be the friendliest person in the clink. She would be confident that I’d be the next Chuck Colson, turning it all around for good.
You would think with all this good lovin’ I’d be super secure in my identity as a beloved child of God – the truest thing about me and you. The one thing that can never change. In spite of this, a million people and circumstances every day try to tell me and you differently.
Your identity becomes vulnerable to the voices of your past failures, your current weakness, your future vulnerabilities. Your job titles, or money, or looks, or lack of.
As a mom myself, one of my temptations is seeing my identity as dependent on the performance of my kids.
I know in my head I’m a beloved child of God, and so are they. But sometimes my gut includes “but…”
I am a beloved child of God, but because my kids maybe didn’t make perfect choices today I must be a little less beloved…”
And if my kids aren’t making perfect choices I want to “fix” them, because, you know, my identity is all about me and my success as a mom. That’s my false self talking.
I am a beloved child of God, but because I don’t have that job, or gained that weight, or don’t have 2,489 Twitter followers, I’m not really. I’m a little less beloved til I work hard to earn my “Beloved” title.
That’s a lie.
Beloved child of God is the one thing that is always true of you.
Recently I heard Lisa TerKeurst make one small suggestion that was really helpful to me. She said, “What if, when we’re tempted to say “but…”, we replace it with “therefore…”
I am a beloved child of God, therefore …
- I know that nothing can separate me from His love.
- I know that He will cause all things to work together for good.
- I know that He is faithful and just and will forgive my sins and purify me.
- I know that nothing is beyond His ability to redeem.
- I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Like my mom, God thinks I’m terrific no matter what. And you too.
What are you tempted to base your identity on outside of Jesus’ love for you? Where do you look for validation? Your job title? Your looks? Followers? Pay check?