@JeanneTakenaka

I read a post recently that reminded me of a conversation I had with God a number of years ago. I had been very involved in our church, working in women’s ministry.

All that changed when God decided to fulfill a dream for my husband and me. He gifted us with our oldest son. As soon as we knew we were going to become parents, I let my boss know. He looked at me, a knowing expression in his eyes. “You’re leaving us, aren’t you?”

At the moment, I was too wrapped up in the giddiness of coming motherhood. I nodded.

Fast forward twelve months. I went from being in the center of everything at our church,

. . . having daily interactions with women,

. . . ministering to others and pouring myself out for them to . . .

a quiet, cut-off life within the four walls of our home.

With my dream. Our precious son.

I still attended Bible study. But Peter was at an age where he didn’t want to be separated from me.

On one particular day, I was summoned from my group to pick up my boy, who simply wouldn’t be comforted. Disappointment and, yeah, frustration, coursed through me.

This calling away, this cutting off of that craving for connection with other women—the feeling of significance I gained while being with others—left me churning.

On my way home, God flat out asked me, “Jeanne, am I enough for you?”

Silence on my end. My heart twisted and a few tears dropped as I sat at the red light.

I knew what my answer should be. “Yes, Lord!”

Instead, I realized, perhaps for the first time, that I sought my identity, my value, my sense of affirmation from others. What they said to me. How I could encourage them.

I strove for significance in the eyes of others.

Of course, God loved me. And I was beyond thankful. But, honestly? That didn’t feel like enough.

God called me on this. As I wrestled with Him, He asked me, “If you had no friends, just Me, would that be enough?”

And then I knew. I couldn’t, in my heart-of-hearts, answer yes.

But, that was what I wanted.

For God’s love to be enough for me.

Even if He never gave me more friends. Even if the friendships I currently had dissipated. His love had to be enough for me.

God is constant, unchanging, everlasting. Eternal.

God’s love is what matters most.

I suspect many—if not all—of us struggle to know our significance at some point in our lives.

The truth is, we only find lasting significance when we place our identities in Jesus. We only know a heart-level contentment when we embrace the fact that God’s love is enough.

He gives us our identities. We may wear the role of mother, father, husband, wife, sister, friend, employee, ministry leader, coach, fill in the blank . . .

But these are not our identities.

Our identity is not found in what we are, but in Whose we are. 

When we embrace this truth we can relax into our relationship with God, we discover love in deeper ways.

This doesn’t make life’s circumstances easier, but knowing Whose we are enables us to walk through them with a quiet confidence.

When we understand Whose we are, we fulfill our roles better. Because we live them out, not with the desire to please others or to achieve affirmation. Rather, we live them out knowing that we’re not serving to impress, or gain significance.

We are already significant to the One who is the Creator of all.

When we embrace the reality that we are already loved crazy-much by our Father, then we grow in confidence in how we love others. We interact with others sans an agenda and without the motivation of gaining approval.

When I got home that day, I took care of my son—my dream-come-true—and I sat down to journal. I poured out a heart-load of grief and inaccurate thoughts onto the pages.

This began my journey into deeper intimacy with God.

I had to be honest with Him about where I was.

Then I needed to be open to the healing He wanted to do and the realigning of my thoughts and heart to the truth that truly, God is enough.

He’s used the gift of motherhood to remind me that He truly is enough. My change of perspective has been a step-by-step process. I haven’t arrived, but I walk with more peace these days. Believing that God is enough for me has strengthened the foundation of my relationship with Him.

What about you? When has God challenged you in your beliefs about Him? What is one lesson God has taught you about Himself?

Click to Tweet: God gives us our identities.

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and #RaRaLinkup

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