Who are you? That’s the question we asked ourselves on the Wesley UMC Ladies Retreat in Asheville, North Carolina this weekend. It seems like a simple enough question until you take a deeper look. Most of us identify ourselves by the people we’re associated with:
- I’m a mother.
- I’m a wife.
- I’m a daughter.
- I’m a sister.
Or we identify ourselves with a job or role we hold:
- I’m a teacher, lawyer, lunch lady, receptionist, etc.
- I’m PTA president.
- I’m a coach.
- I’m a piano teacher.
But many of those things change over time. So, do they really define us?
So how would you answer the question Who are you?
I had the privilege of being the speaker for the Wesley UMC Ladies Retreat. This was my eighth year with these ladies and I just have to say I have BIG love for them. This weekend has become a highlight in my year. When they finally determine to bring in another speaker, I may just have to go on the retreat as an attendee because I’ve grown to love spending time with them. The age range is from those in their 20s to those in their 90s. The wilder bunch by far is the older crowd. They keep me in stitches.
We laugh and cry together as we share stories, both new and old…. some very old they deem worthy of repeating each year.
After we talked about how we saw ourselves and how others saw us, we dropped anchor with the question Who does God say you are? Have you ever thought about it? He has much to say on the subject.
They broke into groups and went on a treasure hunt through the Word of God to find nuggets more precious than gold. They were searching to answer the question of who God says they are. Young and old, they got excited when they came across a truth and ran in the main room to post it on the ongoing list we started. They found things like:
- I am God’s temple. 1 Corinthians 6:19
- I am strong through Christ. Philippians 4:13
- I am fearless. 2 Timothy 1:7
- I am a light. Matthew 5:14
- I am a fisher of men. Matthew 4:19
- I am led by the Spirit. Galatians 5:18
- I am gifted. 1 Corinthians 7
- I am forgiven and purified. 1 John 1:7,9
And my personal favorite from the morning:
Since God created us, He is the only one who has the authority to say who we are.
We do not have to take hold of the lies the enemy has spewed about who we are. Those lies come in the form of thoughts that pass through our minds or through the comments of others. Just because we are exposed to them does not mean we have to entertain them or invite them to say. We can refuse them, and in fact, I strongly encourage you to do so.
How do you answer that question? If you’re not sure, feel free to start with the declarations I’ve shared with you and add to the list. If you have a Scripture you cling to that says who you are, please leave a comment and share it with everyone. We can always lengthen our list.
I had such a great time this past weekend. You have made me look at myself and really think, who am I? I can now say I know who I am and I know that only God can judge me, no one else. What a great retreat. Susan Norris you ROCK!!!!
Thank you, Charlena. You’re pretty awesome yourself. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being with the women of Wesley. Great getting to know you this weekend.