you are mine.

So I’d like to open up a little bit.  {you’re probably thinking…and the last 5 posts haven’t been open??}  I’d like to share an experience I had two years ago that rocked my world {in a not so wonderful kinda way} that I think a lot of people can relate to.

Two years ago I had my dream job.  {well, maybe not the perfect dream, every job has its ups and downs…but it was a position I absolutely loved} Two years ago my dream job also ended.

I was working for church, directing a middle school youth group.  It wasn’t just any church, it was my church, a community that turned my life around. {with 14 years of attendance there was certainly a lot of growth and change!}  It was where I first heard the true Gospel of Jesus, it was where I first went to youth group and made incredible friends, it was where I had found my first *cough* boyfriend *cough*  { :) }, it was where I was baptized and where I volunteered.  It was my life.

In my senior year of college, I began working at this church, leading the middle schoolers. {it was in that time that middle schoolers stole my heart. They are just so raw…real…in your face…and totally full of energy.  How could you not love them!? )While the experience as a whole was challenging and trying, I learned so much in that year about myself, God and ministry.  Through the position I discovered my voice and my passion for speaking to youth.  In that short time I felt like I had found my calling; to lead, encourage and inspire youth {especially young ladies…who so often get pushed to the side} to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

Needless to say, when it came time that my contract ended, the position ended. {as simple as that} I’m still not exactly sure what happened in the end. {and to be honest…it doesn’t really matter to me.  That’s not a bad thing…but rather, a letting go of circumstances to just let life be.} However, at the time…

I. Was. Devastated.

My first job in ministry, my first “big girl” job, was gone.  At that moment I felt like my dreams, hopes and self worth had completely deflated.  That summer {the beginningish of this loooong, tryinnnng, depressssing two years} I was a mess. I felt so worthless.  I had given everything I had, given all my heart and soul. And it still wasn’t enough.  {at least that’s the way I felt}  I tried my best {even though it was my first ministry position, for a very large youth group to add} to do ministry right; to be real with the students and also challenge them, to be clear in my leadership and innovative in my approach.  I had tried so hard to be successful, and in the end, I failed. {or at least I thought}  In addition, not only did I not have a job anymore….but I lost my church as well.

From all that, I can tell you that I know what pain is.

I know the feeling that your life has been pulled out from underneath you; to have your heart ripped out without any say so in the process; to feel like you’ve given your all…and it’s still not good enough; to have your purpose and hope deflated. And in the end; you are left with nothing.

The healing process from this experience has been long. {in fact…this month is the first time I feel truly free from it! Praise. The. Lord!!}  It has been an uphill battle.  The funny thing is now, looking back at the past two years, I was so wrong! At least, my perspective was so wrong!  This entire time I had been thinking about my identity in that job; my identity as part of that church; my identity “in ministry”.  Because I had fell so hard so fast {like we often do with our first loves}, I had placed my self purpose and worth in that position.  So when it was taken away, I felt like I had nothing left.  I was panicking, floundering around, asking constantly, “who am I?

God has been aggressively teaching me a powerful lesson.  Jobs will come and go.  School will come and go.  Friends and relationships will even come and go.  Therefore, I should not be placing my identity in those things.  I cannot obtain and maintain my self worth, value and purpose from those things.  The only one that remains through everything, is God.

So when I ask the question, “who am I?”  I hear God’s voice whispering…You. Are. Mine.

That’s my identity.  That’s my life.  All found in my savior.  He gives my life worth {simply because created me for a reason}, he gives my life value {he died for me…that is the epitome of placing value on someone’s life}, he places purpose in me {to grow his kingdom through any and every one of my circumstances} and he loves me, unconditionally, because I am his.

For some, you may be experiencing what I experienced for two years.  A heartbreaking pain and emptiness… a loss of self and identity…a shattering of worth, value and purpose. I know what you are feeling…and I can tell you that true healing comes from a renewal of our identity in Christ.

You may be desperately asking the question “who am I?” God wants to call out to you… You are mine.”  

Nothing else matters, nothing else is important.  Circumstances will always come and go…but we will always belong to him. That is our true identity.


6 thoughts on “you are mine.

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