"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
II Cor. 6:18
(repost from Sept. 6, 2009)
Just like Solomon, the original wise guy, would tell us, everything in life has a season. We go from infancy to childhood to adolescence to young adulthood to further maturity. We crawl, we toddle, we walk, we run. Transition, change, season.
We often carry titles associated to these seasons. We have a time as 'the baby'. We are a 'first-grader'. We are a 'graduate student', 'bride', 'young professional', 'new mommy', 'aunt', 'sister-in-law', 'senior executive', 'grandmother'. We wear the titles of these roles as definitions of ourselves, the markers of the places in our journeys.
But there is one title we as women all wear. We wear it all our lives. In a modern world that affords us the opportunity to try on many titles for size, it is the one that endures, the one that touches each of us no matter where our paths have taken us.
And that is the title of daughter.
We may be single or not, married or not, moms or not, aunts or not, sisters or not, grandmothers or not, but one thing we can't not be is a daughter.
If you're female and on the planet, you are someone's daughter.
Whether you have special bond with your mother and father or if that was a relationship filled with challenge, you still are someone's daughter. Whether a parent pointed to you with pride as their child or if your folks acted like you weren't around, you are still someone's daughter. Seasons come and go, titles change, expand and retract, but this one remains.
It was not until 1920 that federal law was passed in the United States giving women the right to vote. And if we accept that a generation is roughly 25 years, that means that in three and a half generations, we have gone from getting the vote to being told we could do anything to being expected to do everything. With those open doors of opportunity has also come an opportunity for the enemy of our souls to sow confusion into our identities, a field that we often survey with a sense of overwhelm, comparison, self-loathing or pride. Someone asks us who we are and we say, “Oh, I'm just a mom.” Or we dust off our diplomas and give our resume. Or we whip out a fat envelope of pictures and name off our grandchildren. Or we talk about work, hobbies, spouses, organizations, responsibilities.
But is that who you are?
Those experiences shape you, to be sure. But when the season of mothering young children or when the season of career focus or when the season of operating as praise and worship leader, when those seasons wind down, how do you define yourself then?
We are a generation of women still trying to figure it out, in varying degrees. Many of us may think we've got a handle on it, but then a season change comes and we feel the identity lurch. The baby of the family leaves for college. The pink slip comes in the mail. The honeymoon ends. The degree is earned. The spouse goes home to the Lord. The ministry goes a different direction. The relocation occurs.
And we are left struggling to explain who we are in the absence of certain titles.
But this one remains.
We are daughters.
We are daughters of the most high God. He has adopted us in, not for a season, but for eternity. And while we scramble to bring Him our finger paintings of accomplishment and labor and study and relationships, He smiles and puts our little homework on the fridge and listens to us talk about our days.
And He calls us daughters.