Most people who know me know that I see my true identity as God’s dearly beloved daughter. Both of my children have affirmed that I have taught them to see themselves this way. I have received countless notes from those I have ministered to telling me that what they learned best from me was how to love themselves as God’s dearly beloved child. 1 John 3:1 is my second favorite verse in the Bible.
Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.
My pilgrimage opened my soul to perceive how far I have to go in living out who I truly am as the dearly beloved daughter of God who I truly am. In spite of the fact that the Holy Spirit is constantly telling me how much I am loved by God, I stray from His voice and am tempted to listen to other voices. These voices demand that I be loved by the world to prove my worth. People, places and things cannot give me the love and respect my soul demands. I have to stop listening to those voices if I have any hope of walking in my true identity in Christ.
On the Way of St. James Pilgrimage, each night our guide would have a meeting in which he would let us know where to check in with him and where we would meet for lunch. He offered warnings about passages that might offer a challenge and gave us a set of expectations for the journey ahead. One day he told us about an obstacle we would face. He explained that there are some ladies in a village who are fighting with each other, and they are confusing the yellow arrows that guide the path. He told us specifically to ignore the arrows and remain on the path we were walking.
As we approached this path, there was a woman meeting pilgrims. She spoke in Spanish in a very excited manner warning of trouble ahead. I couldn’t understand her but some other pilgrims told us that she was trying to help us and guide us to the right path, the one to the left. This triggered our memory of our leader’s instructions. The only problem was that we did not remember if he told us to go to the right or the left. We could not discern if this woman was truly our friend or a liar. In the middle of this chaos another woman came running down the path yelling liar in Spanish. Now we were really confused. Thankfully our leader had caught up with us by then, and he told us the way to go in order to stay on the path.
This was an important spiritual lesson. There are always liars calling out to us as if they are there to help. But in reality they are taking us along a much harder and tiresome path. Any path that leads us further from our true identity as dearly beloved children of God will brings us to a dead end.
The wonderful spiritual pathway I was journeying across did not make me immune from the temptations of the enemy of my soul to see myself as less than a child of God. I was tempted to demand that I be treated in esteem by the world. I found myself fighting for the respect I desired from the wrong places. When I stopped asking the world to give me what I demanded, I allowed my soul to find rest in my true identity and began to delight in any way I was treated. When I experienced rejection, it only intensified the love of God in my soul. I followed the path and stopped getting sidetracked by the liars that enticed me to take a different way!