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One summer, my family vacationed to my great-grandfather’s farm in rural Missouri. The house and barn were falling apart with age, but we picked our way through the attic and closets to find all sorts of ancient treasures.

The best discovery, however, was in the backyard. As the hot sun beat down on us, my family and I dug through the soil with our hands to find arrowheads buried in the dirt. I’ll never forget the feeling of sweat trickling down my back as I held an arrowhead in my hand, marveling at the markings.

Discovering our identity is a lot like the back-breaking work of digging through soil to unearth a treasure.

It takes time, patience, and effort. We’re often tempted to give up before we should. Sometimes we’re digging in the wrong places, and we find empty answers instead of truth. We can get discouraged, confused, and frustrated. Sometimes we only discover things about ourselves—our interests and values, passions and purpose—bit by tiny bit.

No matter how messy and frustrating the process to understand who we are and who God has crafted us to be might feel, we can take solace knowing that it’s simple to God:

We are His beloved children:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a).

 We are fully known and valued:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

We are forgiven and set free:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

We are blessed:
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:21-23).

We don’t have to dig around, frantic, trying to discern what our Father says about His beloved creation. God is clear about how He sees us!

Though it may sometimes feel like you don’t understand who you are, or what your purpose is, or where you’re going, take heart: we don’t have to understand ourselves perfectly to know that we are perfectly loved by Jesus.

Dear Jesus, thank you for knowing everything about me. I take comfort in the knowledge that you know every hair on my head, every thought in my brain, and every emotion that I feel. Please give me insight and patience as I work to understand who I am, in Your eyes. Bless me with a deeper understanding of Your grace, forgiveness, and hope. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 Questions for Reflection

  • How well do you feel you understand yourself and your purpose?
  • How does knowing your identity in Christ—adored, forgiven, and hopeful—give you a sense of peace?