Below is one of my recent articles published in the Kerrville Daily Times
September 30th, 2011
It was a hot Texas day in August when my late husband and I walked out of the Kerr County Court House. As we walked, we talked about the business we had just sold. All of a sudden I halted and said, “Oh my gosh, who am I?”
He quickly replied, “What are you talking about Kathleen?”
“Everyone in town knows me as Kathleen Maxwell-Gymnastics, Etc. We just sold the name so who am I now?”
“You think that’s bad, “ he said laughing. “Everybody knows me as Mr. Kathleen.” I smiled as he kissed me and thought how I loved that he was never threatened by my gifts or talents. But the question of who am I now, still haunted me. I was serious about the question.
Here I was in my early 30’s and I had to admit that I didn’t know who I really was. I had done what many people do. I got my identity in my occupation. I also realized that I got my identity as a wife, mother and in other accomplishments. I began to ask God to show me who I am in His eyes and who he created me to be. This was the beginning of a journey I am still on. Discovering who I really am and my truest identity.
The first thing God showed me about my identity was when I read Psalms 8:4 &;5 “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”(NIV) I felt God say to me, “Kathleen, I’ve given you a crown but you don’t wear it.” I realized at that moment that I didn’t see myself as someone royal and as God saw me. I repented.
God calls me a woman of honor. He was showing me that because He is the King and I am his daughter, I have a new nature; a royal one. I began to think of how different I would act if I actually wore a crown and really made a conscious effort to remember that truth. He has crowned me with glory and honor, simply because I am His daughter. Glory means valuable. Do you see yourself as a person of honor and value or do you get your value in your accomplishment and occupation?
Psalms 103:4 is another passage that spoke to me. “Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” He has given us a crown of love and a crown of tender compassion. I was in a hard place when I read this scripture. I was comforted that he cares when our hearts are broken and crowns us to restore us to a better place. Seeing myself as God saw me began to restore my dignity. The self hate I struggled with for years began to be erased from my heart. We must see ourselves as He sees us or we will never fulfill our destiny. I began to realize I was part of a bigger plan; I was a woman chosen to establish His kingdom and reveal to others who He really is.
There were many in the Bible that struggled with the same issue. The great news is God sees our potential and His view point is always better than ours. In his kindness, he began the process of showing me how he saw me just like he did Gideon, Moses and Peter. They were men in scripture that God saw a full of potential and called them to a higher place.
In Judges 6, Gideon and his people were hiding. God spoke to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
Gideon saw all his inadequacies and problems but God saw a different guy; He saw a leader. Gideon begins to give God excuses. God ignores his whining and simply tells Gideon to go face his problem and God would be with him. He didn’t really give him a lot of information, he just said “go.” I can’t point any fingers at Gideon because I have made my own excuses to God.
In 2007 I was invited to speak at an international women’s conference in Thailand. My first response to the woman who invited me was, “I don’t speak at things like that.” I had all sorts of excuses. God saw my capability with him at my side when all I could see was myself, limitations and my inability. I agreed to pray about the invitation and asked God to change my perception of myself. Again, he changed my heart and mind and I traveled around the world to speak to women from 11 nations to help them discover their value and worth.
Many of us have read and heard that we are a new creation when we make Jesus our Lord. We have the knowledge down,can quote the scripture and understand the theory; however, many Christians just like me, need to practice it. We need to ask God to show us our persona, believe Him and practice. We need to practice today and tomorrow and the next day until we become the people God wants us to be.
For years I only had two statements of how God saw me personally. Now I have a whole page of “who I am” statements that God has shown me about how he sees me. The most recent revelation was that I am woman with a calling like Joshua. I am a Joshua woman. I am called to lead others to greater place. My “I Am” statements are a source of strength and security for me and the anchor for my life, especially in the storms. Understanding and seeing our identity proceeds us fulfilling our destiny.
Knowing how God feels about you and how you feel about Him are the two most important things in life. It is the source of our identity,security, and purpose. Too many times, we believe the hurtful things others have said about us and make it our truth. Never let other’s negative perception of you govern you. When we believe a lie about ourselves, we empower the lier.
Seeing ourselves as God sees us will empower us. I will close with one of my favorite quotes by Bill Johnson, author of The Supernatural Ways of Royalty. “ Royalty is my identity, servanthood is my assignment and intimacy is my life source.” I believe it is time we wake up to who we really are. Have you asked God to show you his perception of you? Let His perception govern your life.