I think every home should have a prayer room.
During my time at YWAM Las Vegas this summer, I spent some time in the prayer room. Not a ridiculous amount, though I’ll confess to intentionally sleeping in there on my last night in Vegas because an empty base is creepy as all get out. But the time I did spend in that prayer room was life changing. I had no clue how much God spoke to me in that little white room with a soft rug and cozy blankets until I kept finding myself telling people stories of what I learned or prayed in that place.
There, God reworked and rewired fundamental areas of my heart and life. He showed me His Father heart. He spoke to me of my identity. He held my hand as I surrendered all my dreams and hopes and fears.
I went to Vegas thinking that it’d bring me clarity to my dreams and life plans. I left so much more confused. Yet in that messy process, I learned something valuable that maybe you need to hear today:
My destiny is not my identity.
I am not defined by my calling or my dreams.
I love reading what common people said about the Apostles in Acts. There were these strong reactions to those who completely changed the world. From mass crowds deciding to follow Jesus, to throwing them in jail, to more humorous comments about thinking they were drunk – they always caused a stir. My favorite description of all is when people noticed that these were uneducated, common men – but they had been with Jesus. And that changed everything about them.
I vividly remember thinking about those words as some spontaneous Bethel song played and I asked God, “could I be known for knowing you?”
See, I had spent much of my life being “the anti trafficking girl.” Seriously. For about 8 years, that’s what I’ve been known for – as someone passionate about anti trafficking causes. It’s not a bad thing to be known for. I’m not ashamed of my involvement in these issues. I started to ask what it would look like for people to look at my life and go, “dannnnng, that girl is on familiar terms with God.” Maybe that’s all they see. Not education or expertise or beauty or intelligence or personality – just a whole lot of Jesus. How crazy would that be?
I realized this:
I don’t want my life to be about a cause.
I want my life to be about Jesus.
It’s not that I didn’t want my life to be about Jesus before, but He’s leading me into a deeper, purer, more intimate place in my walk with Him. He’s leading me into my identity; my identity as a daughter and not as a servant. That I am loved, beautiful, worthy, enough, and free – not because of anything I do, but because of the radical grace that leads the Creator of the universe to call me these things. It’s wild, but it’s true.
My identity was the same on the day when God created me in my mother’s womb and it will be the same on the day when He calls me home. It’s not optional. It’s not conditional. It’s not up to me. It’s truth. It’s reality. It’s grace.
The Bible speaks to who we are – to who God made us and how Christ has restored us to our original design. We are called forgiven. We are seated in heavenly places. We are redeemed. We are victorious and led forth in triumph. We are children – coheirs with Jesus (best brother ever) and adopted into the family of God.
The callings that we have as individuals – our destinies and our dreams – they are beautiful. God has given them to us. We rejoice and celebrate them. We chase them. But they do not define us. They do not dictate our “enough-ness.” They may not always turn out how we expect them to and we may be led to seasons of surrender, but our identity is truth that can be clung to.
That’s what I started grasping this summer – that fullness of identity. The journey led me to a season of rest and letting go of dreams. It led me back to a season of crazy dreaming and seeing lifelong dreams play out before my eyes.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that part of my calling, destiny, and dream is to work with women in crisis. God has confirmed that time and time and time again. No matter how many times I’ve tried to do other things with my life, I keep coming back to this anti trafficking arena. So I’ll embrace that. I’ll work with nonprofits and read books and watch documentaries and go to trainings. I’ll start my own strip club outreach in my city. I’ll follow opportunities that arise in the future. I’ll hone my craft and become an expert. Those are all good things.
But that’s not my identity and not really even what I want to be known for. I want to be seen as one who has been with Jesus – because I know that my place of completion is in His presence. My identity is wrapped up in the unshakable promises of Love. But even if people choose to see me differently, it doesn’t change how God sees me.