Identity in Christ

So, I was at retreat last weekend for my sorority, and I had such an amazing time bonding with my beautiful sisters. I was so blown away listening to such a Godly woman talk about what it means to have an identity in Christ, that I felt like I should share her message with you all:

The dictionary defines “identity” as the condition of being one’s self. As we experience the hardships and struggles of life; we are so desperate to know who we are that we start grasping on to things to save ourselves. There are so many adjectives that we describe ourselves as, but sometimes we forget to describe ourselves as “daughters and sons in Christ.” Why is that? How is it that we can easily rile off twenty adjectives that describes who we are, yet we forget that our only adjective should be that we are Christ’s sons and daughters?

How is that we label ourselves as:

  • Accomplished
  • Busy
  • Hip
  • Well-known
  • Attractive
  • Smart
  • Girlfriend/Future wife/Wife-in-training/Wife (or Boyfriend/Future Husband/Husband-in-training/Husband) (<—I love the “wife-in-training” saying for some reason..)
  • Daughter (or son)
  • Camp counselor
  • Girl (or Guy) with a plan
  • Beautiful/ Handsome
  • Dreamer
  • Wealthy
  • Super-Christian
  • Loyal Friend
  • Gifted

…but yet, when we were in high school, we absolutely despised being labeled as being preppy, geeky, nerdy, freaks, and jocks?

Whether you think that one, some, or all of these adjectives perfectly describes you, you have to realize that the day these adjectives work for us, is the day that you become prideful.

1 Corinthians 4:6-7 states: “Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

The theme behind 1 Corinthians 4:6-7 is that you shouldn’t be prideful. Pride is past it’s proper size and has been blown up into proportions.

When you’re prideful, you become empty, painful, busy and fragile. Pride lets us focus on something OTHER than God. Pride gives you a sense of “specialness.”

Are you prideful towards God? Prides makes for a busy life. If you compare pride to a pendulum, you’re either boasting about what you have or comparing what you don’t have to someone else. We tend to say “I’ value her (him) and I’m worse than her (or him).”

But see, the greatest thing of all is that we’re more wealthy when we don’t boast. These adjectives are temporary and they will strip through your fingers.

  • Accomplished: there are always going to be people who are more accomplished than you. Other people’s accomplishments have a way of making you feel like you’re not measuring up (like if one of your friends gets accepted into Harvard Law School and you’re still finishing your Bachelor’s degree.)
  • Busy: School and stress makes us busy worrying about things that don’t matter.
  • Hip: Is it worth having expensive clothes and shoes to outshine others?
  • Well-known: Being well-known isn’t the greatest thing in the world. Sometimes, having a few close friends instead of a lot of friends is a hundred times better. (:
  • Attractive: There are always going to be people who are more attractive than you. Attractiveness is a the devil in a sense- it causes you to compare yourself with other people. Just be yourself.
  • Smart:  Like accomplishments, some people may be smarter than you (Einstein, anyone?!) Sometimes not being as smart allows you to think through things more clearly.
  • Girlfriend/Future wife/wife-in-training/Wife (or Boyfriend/Future Husband/Husband-in-training/Husband)): this adjective is a pet peeve of mine.  I feel like this is the adjective that people use to define themselves before they rattle off any other adjective. It may just be me, but using this adjective to define yourself means that you’re making yourself somebody else’s “property” in a sense. There’s nothing wrong with being somebody’s boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancee/husband/wife, but be yourself, and be who you are. You don’t need anyone else to define you.?
  • Daughter/Son: Yes, we all are sons and daughters, but you know what’s so great? We are sons and daughters of Christ. I can’t think of a more humbling adjective than this.
  • Camp Counselor: So, I know that being a camp counselor is a milestone for college kids. Personally, I’ve never been one. But then again, I’ve never really been a camp person. I feel like “camp counselor” is a popularity adjective- as in if you’ve never been a camp counselor, you’re just not “cool.” We should strive to be counselors to people everyday, not just during the summer season.
  • Girl (or boy) with a plan: I’m completely guilty of this adjective. Growing up, I had this long list of things I wanted to do (and who I wanted to be). I was a very strong headed child- I wanted to go one college for all four years, go to medical school, get engaged at 24, get married a year after, and have lots (and lots!) of children. College has a way of telling you that your plan that you have for yourself never works. I’m going in a completely different way than I wanted to. I think at a certain point, you have to be content with the plan God has for you. Only God knows how you’re supposed to live your life. It’s terrifying trying to distinguish the plans that you have for yourself, and the plans that God has for you. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “Is this my will or is it God’s will?”
  • Beautiful/Handsome: I’m a strong believer, that as a society, we’re extremely guilty of this. We use this as a place marker for who we think we are. We unconsciously compare ourselves to other people every day. The media is partly to blame for this phenomenon too. As women, we look at stick thin (and obviously unhealthy) models in Vogue and strive to be like them because we think that’s what attracts men. And men are obsessed with going to the gym to get bigger and stronger so they can look “manly.” We allow our comparisons to other people to affect our self-esteem- that maybe if we looked better, then we’ll be liked more. Maybe looking beautiful or handsome is a survival instinct that has been primed into us from the beginning of time. Or maybe it’s because society has made us so self-conscious that we can’t feel better about ourselves until we’ve “beaten” out other people by looking like Miss America or like a model on the cover of GQ magazine. It’s not a competition. You are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you any differently.
  • Dreamer: I feel like this ties into being a girl/guy with a plan. It’s not necessarily bad to be a dreamer, but are our dreams exactly what God wants? Are you dreaming to make yourself happy or are you dreaming for others as well? God knows you better than you know yourself.
  • Wealthy: I’m sure that you’ve all heard the saying that “you can be rich and a be poor, and you can be poor and be rich.” You can be rich and desert everyone around you if money is a priority. And you can be poor and be rich in love because there are so many things that are important to you than money. Our character shines a lot more when we don’t let meaningless things control our life.
  • Loyal Friend: Part of being a loyal friend is being open and sharing concerns, as well as celebrating the wins and being there to support the losses. But, in being a loyal friend to others, don’t lose yourself. Learn that sometimes, every friendship doesn’t go smoothly. Sometimes, you have to force yourself to stop caring when the other person doesn’t anymore. You deserve more than giving your life up for someone who doesn’t care.
  • Gifted: I feel like “gifted” is such a bad word. We’re all good at different things. Some of us are better at school and getting good grades, and others are good at playing sports or an instrument. We’re all “gifted” at different things, but you shouldn’t let it define you.

Jesus gives us the right questions. God decided you were so valuable to him. YOU ARE WORTH IT.

“Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say, John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘God’s Messiah.'” ( Luke 9:18-20)


Marriage Isn’t For You

“You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

Marriage Isn’t For You.

Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

There’s something about the fall weather that stirs up a million feelings inside of you.  As I’m writing this, I’m sitting and listening to someone playing the piano so beautifully, and getting lost in the music. As I’m sitting here, I can’t help but just think about how lucky I am to be where I am right now and how amazed I am about how quickly life tends to pass you by. I feel like, in a way, we get into this trance- always wanting the next best thing in life, that we never really stop to be grateful for the things we have.

When I was a little girl, I used to dream about being sixteen. I felt like sixteen was the golden age- you’re not quite a child anymore, but you’re not an adult with real-world responsibilities either.  I was so obsessed with the fact that turning sixteen meant that you got to get your license and drive a new car. And then, when I was sixteen, I couldn’t wait until I turned eighteen. When I was eighteen, I used to be so excited to turn twenty-one. And twenty-one turned into dreaming about what it would feel like to get engaged and married.

I remember being that little girl who was fearless- who would jump off of her swing set’s handlebars into a baby pool just to see what it would feel like to fly (I’d say that was my first introduction into what gravity was about, as I broke my arm in three places, whoops). She was the little girl, who would beg to get back on her dirt bike after she crashed it as she was learning how to ride. She was the little girl who had such a fierce competitiveness about her, that she hit her first three-pointer in a basketball game to win the game for her team.

But she was also the girl that always fell too hard for people that she cared about. She was always that girl that loved too much and  never felt she was loved back.  She was always the one that felt invisible when she was lonely. She was always the one who was nice to everyone, no matter how mean they were to her and no matter how much they talked about her behind her back because she was different. She was always the one that lit up a room when she smiled. She was always the one that cared too much but didn’t care because she felt like everyone needed that someone to be that person for them. She always was the one who giggled when she thought something was funny. She was always that girl who wanted to explore life and the world.

I’ve always been amazed at how many people enter and exit from my life. It’s always amazed to see how much people influence our lives. How a kind smile or a warm embrace is enough to make your day so much better. Or how a fight is enough to ruin your day. I think that everyone that enters your life makes an impact they change your life for the better. I’d like to believe that these kind exchanges are about the heart. Life is full of would’ve, could’ve, should’ves of chances you should’ve taken or things you should’ve said when you’ve had the chance to spill your heart’s contents. As Marilyn Monroe, once said, “we should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid, so are regrets.” I’m so thankful for the people who have walked into my life – who have changed my life without ever knowing it. Who taught me that life isn’t always fair, but it’s a beautiful one and that we should always be grateful for it. And that regrets are never as bad as we think they are because something better eventually finds us.

It feels like just yesterday, I was walking across the stage in my graduation gown and hat and starting a new chapter in my life. The past three years have been a whirlwind full of wonderful memories, lost chances, and lost loved ones. If there’s truly one regret that I can’t work through, it’s that I’ve never been grateful for the things that are happening right now. I’ve always been busy looking ahead at things that might not exactly work out the way I’ve always pictured them to turn out, but throughout it all, I wouldn’t change a single second of it. Because I’ve grown in so many ways and I’ve learned so many lessons because of the things that my life has taken me through.

I guess, throughout all of this, I hope you realize that even though life is fragile, but it’s a beautiful one and it’s the only chance we have to be the best people we can be. So love the ones that love you the way you should be loved, take every chance that life has given you, travel the world a million times if you have to, and enjoy what life has given you. Because no matter where you are, I think it’s important that you get there.

I’m going to the place where love and feeling good don’t ever cost a thing.

1. If you could hear me, I would say that our finger prints don’t fade from the lives we’ve touched.

2. Breathe. Then be so happy that it escapes from your bones and your heart will beat in ways that it didn’t before.

3. I love the person I’ve become because I fought to become her.gossip girl quotes | Tumblr

4. It feels so good to know that you’re not alone anymore. To be all alone again? A little hard, I guess. There are times when you’re broken into pieces. Don’t even feel like you still exist. Why are we  so fragile? Some people just continue to stay with what hurts them the most. At the end of the day, I guess no-one wants to feel empty inside. Maybe, that’s why some people find moving on is so hard to do.  Something that has hurt you once will hurt you again. Haven’t we learned anything?

5. You are proof that God is an artist. He took you and took your sin. He made you clean, washed white with blood. You became a canvas for Him to paint images of grace and glory upon. you became a blank page for Him to write sonnets of peace and love, and He named you worthy. You became a stone slab which God is now chipping away at, creating in you a new heart and shaping you into who you were always meant to be: His child. God is an artist.

6. I want my heart and my passions to be the most beautiful things about me. she

7. Two things you will learn in life: one, that the sound of someone else’s heartbeat next to your own is like putting a shell to your ear and hearing the ocean’s roar and echo inside of it. And two, the best kind of naked is when you’ve undressed, not for sex, but understanding- when the person in the same room watches you remove your jeans or your t-shirt, and they don’t want to see the skin underneath, they want to see your soul.

8. I hope that someday, somebody wants to hold you for twenty minutes straight, and that’s all they do. They don’t pull away. They don’t look at your face. They don’t try to kiss you. All they do is wrap you in their arms, without an ounce of selfishness in it.

9. The world is heavy, but your bones (just a cubic inch) can hold 19,000 pounds. Ounce for ounce, they are stronger than steel. Atom for atom, you are more precious than diamonds, and stars have died so that you may live. You need to remember these things when you say that you are weak and worthless.

10. Sometimes, you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there, thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly, you just don’t feel lat home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably  wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. there used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else, but just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you feel are foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again, but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much as a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breathe in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.

11. The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.

12. There are so many fragile things, after all. People break easily, and so do dreams and hearts.

13. We mistake sex for romance. Guys are taught that pushing a girl against a wall is romance. Sex is easy.  Romance is when someone you like walks into a room and they take your breath away. Romance is when two people are dancing and they fit together perfectly. Romance is when two people are walking next to each other and all of a sudden, they find themselves holding hands and they don’t know how that happened.

14. I can’t say that I’m mad at you, because I’m not. I can’t say that I hate you, because I don’t. And I can’t say that I’m done or that I’ll never talk to you again, because I know that I’m not. And I know that I will. But I can say that I hope and that I pray, that if you really do care about me at all, like you claim that you do, that you will stop setting me up, that you will stop saying things that you know you don’t mean. 

15. One of the saddest things in the world is when two people, who at one time, knew everything about one another, act like strangers.When the ground starts shaking, you gotta know when you got a good thing ♥

16. We cling to music, to poems, to quotes, to writing, to art, because we desperately do not want to be alone. We want to know we aren’t going crazy and someone else out there knows exactly how you’re feeling. We want someone to explain the things we can’t.

17. Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything.

18. One of my philosophy professors lectured wildly about love once, yelling: “When you’re in love with someone, that person is the lighthouse of your universe.” ( I scrawled it inside Science and Poetry in pencil- lighthouse of your universe- as if I would ever forget that phrase.) He was a delightful caricature of his position. I could swear he literally tore his hair out while howling at us. He went on, “Nothing means as much without that person.” One of the men in the class repeated, incredulous, half-laughing, “So you’re saying you can’t enjoy, like, a vacation, without someone if you’re really in love with them?” “Of course not.” the professor replied. “Not completely. You recognize beauty, but beauty means less if they don’t witness it with you. Beauty is less. You see something sublime and your first thought is that they should be there with you. It’s not as good without them. They illuminate. They make everything more.

19. What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

20. When you love someone, there’s a pattern for the way you come together. You might not even realize it, but your bodies are choreographed; a touch on the hip, a stroke of the hair. A staccato kiss, break away, a longer one. It’s a routine, but not in the boring sense of the word. It’s just the way you’ve learned to fit.

Your love has ravished my heart, and has taken me over, taken me over.

1. You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else.  You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.

Typewriter Series #517 by Tyler Knott Gregson

2. The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.

3. You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things.

love this shot

4. Open your heart and invite God into every circumstance because when God enters the scene, miracles happen.

E E Cummings

5.  Tonight’s the night for the sinners and the saints. Two worlds collide in a beautiful display. It’s all love tonight. When we step across the line, we can sail across the sea to a city with one King- a city on our knees.

Most perfect Ryan Gosling line of all time.6. When you got hurt, it made you beautiful. The cracks around your heart let the light shine through.

7. My whole life, I’ve been telling myself “don’t be afraid.” And it is only now that I’m realizing how stupid that is.  Don’t be afraid.  Like saying “don’t move out of the way when someone tries to punch you,” or “don’t flinch at the heat of a fire,” or “don’t blink.” Don’t be human. I’m afraid and you’re afraid and we’re all always going to be afraid. Because that’s the point. What I should be telling myself is “be afraid, but do it anyway.” Live anyway.

East of Eden

8. Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.Typewriter Series #444 by Tyler Knott Gregson

9. I don’t like depending on people, because people leave all the time. Because, at the end of the day, all you have is yourself. And that has to be enough.

10. Young girls need to learn that sexiness isn’t about being naked.


11. After awhile, you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh.Listen ...

12. Some days, life is all about your dreams, hopes and visions for the future. But there are some days where life is just about putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s okay.

13. There are a thousand different ways to get noticed, and most are a gamble. The easiest way to create an impact is to do it one person at a time with truth, and connection, and love.

Life Lessons

14. I don’t need to be rich or have a fancy home. I just want to go to sleep at night knowing my labor had heart, I loved fiercely and lived close enough to the edge that I can see the waves kiss the rocks.

getting through the hard times

15. When you start to really know someone, all his physical characteristics start to disappear. You begin to dwell in his energy, recognize the scent of his skin. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. Thats why you can’t fall in love with beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and your body, but now with your heart. And that’s why, when you really connect with a person’s inner self, any physical imperfections disappear, and become irrelevant.

16. New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

it's easy to breeze by ~ Jesus wept. Jesus was human. Jesus had feelings. Jesus relates to us more than we understand. I love this verse in its simplicity and its complexity.

17. Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not  in each other’s shadow.

Love isn't complicated

18. You can forget that other people carry pieces of your own story around in their heads.  I’ve always thought- put together all those random pieces from everyone who’s ever known you from your parents to the guy who once sat next to you on a bus, and you’d probably see a fuller version of your life than you even did while living it.

True Beauty

19. She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.

Probably the coolest wedding photo.

20. The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why.

The most important people in your life