I Am…Daughter

Years ago I started an identity series titled I Am. This year is dedicated to more posts from that series:  

I Am (Introduction)

I Am…Beloved 

The Woman I Am 

I Am…Christian

I am my earthly parent’s daughter.

I’m truly privileged in that I come from a family that values daughters as much as sons. As a young girl, it never even occurred to me that my opportunities in life could be limited by my gender. My environment told me the complete opposite – the world was my oyster and mine for the taking. 

It was only when I got older that I started to take note of the disparities in how daughters and sons are treated by other families, communities and societies. 

I saw what it’s like to be a girl constantly pitted against boys. The intent was sincere I suppose – a desire to see us as girls go further than they have as women. But the end result was damaging  – as women, men were poised to become the enemy we have to fight against to secure a seat at the table. There’s never enough room on that table for us all. It’s either us or them. 

Everything within me refused to subscribe to these notions. Surely there must be more, I thought. There must be a better way. 

I am my spiritual father’s daughter.

Spiritual lineages are something I’ve found greatly misunderstood in the Body. We can go back and forth about labels but I want to believe that we can all agree that we need to be nurtured in our walk of faith. 

One of the definitions of father as a verb is “to accept responsibility for”. Someone needs to accept responsibility for us in our infancy of faith and commit to raising us into maturity and beyond. That’s my understanding of who a spiritual father/mother is – someone who commits to journey with you come what may and help you grow into all God intended you to be. 

Submitting to my spiritual father as his daughter – to his counsel and correction – has enabled me to grow in my walk with God. It has given me free access to a spiritual inheritance I would have laboured endlessly to attain a fraction of. In more ways than I can give account of here, he is propelling me to go even further than he has. 

I am my Heavenly Father’s daughter. 

There is more, I’ve come to find. There is a better way. When I think about the Lord’s table…when I think about His kingdom…we are co-heirs with Christ. As a woman, I am a co-heir with my fellow brothers in Christ. We all have a place at His table. One of us doesn’t have to lose for the other to win. 

God doesn’t look at His daughters and see creatures He has to put up with for procreation or whatever other task deemed unfit for His sons. He sees the apple of His eye. 

Our first expression of identity as women in relationship with others is daughter. As children we are known as so and so’s daughter before we grow into our own shoes. Is it a wonder then that so much of the pain and brokenness we carry as women can be traced back to things we experienced as little girls?

We can only fully embrace the women God has called us to be when we wholly embrace the little girls we once were. When we go back to our first expression of being female and make peace with everything it was and everything it wasn’t.

Our biological and spiritual parents are limited by design. Our extended families, communities and societies all the more so. If we look to them for a perfect love, we will only end up frustrated and bitter. 

Somewhere along the way, my mother realised there are places I needed to go that she couldn’t take me. She simply didn’t know how. Rather than dwelling on what she wasn’t able to do, she did what she could. She prayed. I still remember the season her prayers for me shifted. She began to commend me more to God asking Him to take me where she couldn’t. Those prayers have taken me to places I would likely never have been to otherwise.

We all get to a point where we realise our parents – biological and spiritual aren’t super heroes;  they’re flawed human beings just like the rest of us. And in that moment we have to choose them. Choose to still love and honour them. Choose to still be proud of what they’ve been able to do for us acknowledging they’ve done the best they could with what they have.

Only God has the infinite capacity to perfectly love us as His daughters. Only His perfect love can cast out every fear that tries to hinder our power as women by belittling our purpose and function. 

As women, we are raising daughters. Even if you don’t have daughters of your own, there is a little girl somewhere looking to you to learn what woman is. We owe it to them – we owe it to ourselves – to find wholeness and peace in our identity as daughters. We owe it to them – and to ourselves – to not get stuck in our limitations but instead commend these girls to God and trust Him to be what only He can be for them.

We’re living in a time when gender has become a controversial subject. In a world that constantly seeks to redefine what it means to be man and woman, God remains unchanged in His design and intent for man and woman. 

I am my earthly parent’s daughter.

I am my spiritual father’s daughter.

I am my heavenly Father’s daughter. 

In these spaces I find belonging. 

And I am free to be me.

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