When it rains, it pours.
We’ve all heard the saying and most of us have experienced a few emotional and spiritual floods in our lifetime.
A gentle rain quickly escalating to a full on deluge; gushing water sweeping us off our feet and threatening to hold us under the current until we’ve nothing left to fight with.
My personal flood came in 2015.
A devastating break-up.
A shocking medical diagnosis.
This sudden onslaught of emotional and physical storms left me feeling broken and lost.
By the grace of God, the rushing current washed me straight to a conference packed with thousands of Christians at varying points in their faith journey.
On the final evening of the conference, I found myself experiencing that familiar feeling of isolation and loneliness.
In a room full of people, I felt like the only person under water. Struggling for breath.
I drifted to the makeshift chapel in one of the small conference rooms of the hotel.
I looked at our Lord, there in the True Presence, and described what was going on in my heart.
I talked about how broken and lonely and lost I was feeling, and I begged Him to tell me what to do.
To my surprise and wonder, He answered.
It wasn’t a loud booming voice or a mysterious wind; God spoke to me by making three simple words overtake my mind.
“You are mine.”
Most people would’ve just stopped there; hearing God speak so clearly would’ve been enough.
I, however, wasn’t satisfied with His answer.
I wanted—needed—something more.
Desperate for Him to tell me what direction I should take to get my life back on track, I begged for more.
He answered a second time.
“You are mine and that is enough.”
At the time, I thought God was simply giving me words of comfort.
I figured He wanted me to feel His love and would give me further direction when I was ready.
I realize now that He was giving me direction for the rest of my life.
God was telling me what every Christian needs to understand about their identity.
“You are mine.”
When God spoke these words to me, I was just beginning to grasp my identity as His daughter.
God intended for each and every one of us to be His children.
Our entire existence hinges on God’s unconditional love for us.
There is nothing we can do to make God stop loving us.
In the brokenness of the world, we fall into the trap of believing we are deserving of the imperfect love we receive.
We mistakenly base our identity on how others treat us.
Yet God tells us that was never His plan.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:27-29
If death cannot destroy this infinite and perfect love, then a failed test or relationship surely lack the power to divert God’s love.
We are God’s children.
He loves us beyond comprehension.
No earthly thing has the power to change this fact.
There are countless demonstrations of God’s love in Scripture because He is love (1 John 4:8).
All He asks is we love Him in return.
“That is enough.”
I was seeking answers to so many questions while ignoring the biggest question of all: “what is the meaning of my life?”
Knowing my identity is God’s daughter reveals the answer: the meaning of my life is to know, love, and serve God.
In those precious moments at the conference, I thought God was reminding me how much He loved me so I could heal, then He would give me answers to all my burning questions.
Why did he allow me to get so sick? What path is He asking me to take? How can I find real love here on earth when I feel irredeemable, unlovable?
I’ve now come to realize that my identity as God’s daughter isn’t a temporary life buoy for the storms in this season.
It is the ultimate answer to my ultimate questions.
That’s all there is.
Because we are made in God’s image, we have pieces of His perfect love within us.
Fragments of our hearts crying out in desperation for the One who is love.
Yet, we live in a world plagued with sin.
Sin separates us from God’s perfect love.
Thankfully, God sent His only Son to save us from our sins.
Romans 8:32 tells us Jesus Christ generously gave us himself, the perfect sacrifice, as a gift.
When we turn to Christ, repent for our sins, and offer our lives as a sacrifice, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In response, we are to accept this gift by “offering every part of [ourselves] to him as an instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:13).”
God must be at the center of our lives, in the forefront of our minds, the motivation for everything we do.
When we orient our lives in this direction, we will find contentment and joy in the midst of the storm.
The only way to weather the storms, to survive the floods, is to grab hold of God’s life buoy—His everlasting, redeeming love.
Because it is enough.
A few closing thoughts…
Our identity as children of God isn’t just a comforting answer when we feel lonely.
It isn’t something to build us up so we can accomplish some earthly goal.
It isn’t an affirmation we hang on our bathroom mirror to cheer us up after a rough day.
Our identity as God’s children is the answer to the most important questions in our lives.
It reveals who we were created to be. How we were created to live.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe. -Psalm 107:1-2
Kate Hendrick is a process engineer who blogs at Stumbling Toward Sainthood. The purpose of Stumbling Toward Sainthood is to discuss the challenges we face as we strive to live authentically Christian lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.