Saturday, September 26, 2020

Our Identity


Photo Credit: Bazemore Photography
Photo Credit: Bazemore Photography

What is in a title? Most people, myself included, place a lot of importance on who we are and our identities by our titles. But what is in a title? I have been thinking about this and trying to figure out how I feel about my titles.  Originally, it came up because I was not able to volunteer in two different capacities within the last 6 months.  I missed the activities and they both meant a lot to me… I placed value in these titles.  I liked being associated with these volunteer opportunities.

But then I lost those titles. I was sad about losing them because I really enjoyed volunteering in these separate roles.

Then more recently I started to think about titles more in-depth. I realized all the titles we have are essentially temporary. I realized that during our lifetime, potentially all our titles will be lost.  It a sobering thought and morbid at the same time.  That realization did not feel too good.

Then. God.

There have only been a handful of times I truly felt the Holy Spirit nudge my heart in a very simple and specific, yet profound way at three major crossroads in my life.  The Holy Spirit in these moments changed my outlook and course of major decisions. 

Here are the three major moments from the last 11 years, in this order:

Photo Credit: Bazemore Photography

When I realized I wanted to date my now husband, Kyle.  We had been friends for 1.5 years at the time and were very close friends through our church community- the Buckhead Church, part of North Point Ministries. I had dated other people and none of the relationships had worked out.  I was discouraged and was starting to doubt if I would find someone whom I could share my life. Then God. It was a simple nudge of insight from the Holy Spirit, “Kyle would be perfect for you.” It was profound and I remember thinking back to that nudge, “He is!”

Photo Credit: Bazemore Photography

The second time was about a year and a half after our son, James, was born.  If you look at my previous blog post about my health struggles, it was clearly a very hard season for me and my whole family. At this time, things were looking up and Kyle and I started going back and forth thinking maybe we should consider having another child.  Boy, was that a hard season. We have so much love to give but the cons greatly outweighed the benefit of me personally having more children. Then. God. The Holy Spirit then gave me a nudge of comfort, “One is enough.”  It was the comfort I needed and the confirmation we were looking for at the time.  I tear up just thinking about that time because it was that emotional.

Jen & Kyle Behnke with their first three tractors

The third time the Holy Spirit nudged me was when we were at another major crossroad. We were thinking about starting a trucking company. Let’s just say deciding for both of us to quit our good paying jobs, put all of our livelihood on the line, with a one and a half year old, the same year my mom died, was a huge decision. Then. God. The Holy Spirit nudged my heart to take action, “The Lord can’t do big things in your life unless you put yourself out there. Just start with taking one step in faith.” So, we did take one step in faith at a time, then another, and then another.  Over 5 years, God has blessed us, United Federal Logistics Inc., to go from 3 tractors and 6 drivers, to now we have 23 tractors and over 45 people on staff. Our goal is still to be a trucking company people want to work for and provide a great opportunity for success for our staff.

Okay, back to last week and this new nudge from the Holy Spirit. I was thinking about the different titles I have and the sobering thought that they all at one point may be lost or change.  Maybe for the better, maybe not. Then the Holy Spirit gave me a nudge of comfort, “There is one title you will always have: Child of God and Daughter of God.” Wow talk about my mind blown.  I have heard these phrases many times. I have sung these words, read them in books and blogs, heard them from pastors or friends, but never like this.  It totally changed my whole outlook on my identity. Whatever title I have, lose, or will have, one title will remain, “Child of God, loved, forgiven, and redeemed through Jesus.”
This is also true for you!!!
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:3-5 NIV
Stay safe and hug your loved ones.