Who Am I Beneath My Titles, Roles, and Labels?

mom holding infant in her lap while working at her computer and wondering "who am I?"

Sometimes you’ve got to tell yourself what you’re made for. Because you forgot. Or it got lost in the loads of unfolded laundry, dishes stacked in the sink, papers from school in a messy stack of come-back-to-it-later.

If you’re like me, you forget that your roles aren’t you. Sure, you’re part mom, part wife, part daughter and sister, aunt and writer. But the way you fill your roles and the way they expose your lack says what you do, not who you are.

They define you in relation to others. Tell you how to show up. Who to love best. They’re important.

Who Am I? You’re More Than a Title

But your biggest purpose isn’t a title, a label, or a role.

It’s a name and a mission: You’re God’s. Named daughter or son. Covered in His righteousness that overshadows all you are and all you’re not without Him. Invited into the greatest mission possible: loving Him back and making Him known.

As Casey Hilty writes in Her Children Arise, “ out of darkness to experience his marvelous light . . . so that broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world” (1 Peter 2:9 TPT).

For more truths of who you are in Christ, check out this affirmation list compiled by Joyce Meyer. I come back to it often.

what my faith says about my purposeWe See Small But God Sees All

We see small—fingerprints on the windows, LEGOs on the foot, cracker crumbs on the table—but God sees all. The whole of His plan to turn the whole of our hearts to Him and fill the whole earth with His blazing glory.

Cue Casey Hilty with another timely reminder: “Thousands of years later, His love still rings true and His story is not yet complete. He is using you for His purpose and has a plan continuing to unfold for generations to come” (Her Children Arise).

Maybe we’re feeling purposeless because we let the smallness of our lives fill our vision. We’re too zoomed in, like when we can’t find the ketchup in the fridge because it’s nearly pressed into our nose.

So what can we do?

3 Ways to Refocus on Your Purpose

1. Take a Slow Breath

Hurry has a way of blurring what’s most important. Jennifer Dukes Lee says it this way in Growing Slow: “Here’s what I learned: In the scramble to grow a purposeful life, we accidentally forfeit too much—a settledness with what we already have, a sense of peace with what already is, and a connectedness with the people right here with us.”

Pay attention to the sound of your breathing when you rush through your tasks. Then take a long, slow breath. Whisper a breath prayer. Treasure hunt for a moment of silence. You’ll better hear the voice of God when you’re not getting in your own way.

2. Take a Step Back

If you’re feeling worn out or unimportant, step back to gain perspective. What’s God’s larger plan? What’s true of Him and therefore true of you right now?

Take your conversation to a journal. Open your Bible. Meet Him there. The best way to know your purpose is to ask the One who made you. Also true is that we remember what we repeat often.

3. Take Time to Practice

We make it more complicated than it has to be, living out our purpose. And it puts expectations on us that sit too heavy on our shoulders.

You don’t have to be a Bible scholar, or even know the reference to all the verses tucked somewhere in the back of your mind. You don’t have to be outgoing or a hospitality queen. You don’t have to move to the other side of the world.

Gave God already gave you purpose. It’s not missing and you don’t have to find it. You just have to begin living it—with your ordinary life. In the moments you feel behind and you don’t have it together.

You start by opening up a little of your life to someone else. Being a little vulnerable so the things God is doing in you can ripple out beyond you.

Get Close to God

Get close to Jesus and you’ll discover a Best Friend, and also your purpose. Linger long and you’ll learn to imitate Him. You’ll trust Him to do deep work in your heart. You’ll risk sharing your God’s-still-at-work-in-me stories that make God the hero. And when you do, you’ll discover your life is meaningful and fulfilling.

If I could have just a moment more of your time, I’d tuck a little note into your hand, a line from Jenn Shultz’s new book She’s Not Your Enemy: “Your incredible worth is not a question to the One who made you.”

Unsure of your purpose? You’ll glean some insight from this podcast episode: Do You Know Your Purpose? It May Surprise You! – 193

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