When major changes happen, we often ask ourselves, “Who am I now?” In this week’s Monday Minute, Kelli share what God taught her about who she is and will always be.
Who am I now?
by Kelli Baker
Every woman who serves in the military will come to the end of her career. For some, that means serving 20 plus years. For others, like myself, that number is much less. When I joined the Army in 2008 I had high hopes of one day becoming a First Sergeant. Then, after jump school, I just knew I would be a jumpmaster and continue leading soldiers for a full career.
However, God had a different plan for me.
Once I met my husband and fell in love, these career goals seemed a little farther to grasp. Especially after giving birth to my firstborn in 2013. I knew I could not devote myself to being the leader I strived to be while also raising children like I knew I wanted to. After several months of contemplation and prayer, the decision was clear. I hung my ACUs up in May 2014.
At first, it was great! I had a newborn son who took up all my time. We spent the days taking walks around the neighborhood and attending mom groups on our small base in Germany. Meanwhile, I was able to complete my degree using my GI Bill. All was wonderful!
Then I became pregnant with my second and the reality hit. My return to full-time work would not happen anytime soon. This “news” alarmed me. My career in the military proved successful. God bless me with excellent leaders who mentored me and honored me with the opportunity to lead some great Soldiers.
Now, I’m just an unemployed mom.
What would I even be able to do career-wise when I began searching for a job? Who knows when that would even be?
Then the Lord revealed to me that I am exactly where he wants me. “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV).
God provided a way for me to care for my family. He says he will provide for me as long as I trust in him.
But that didn’t answer the question–Who am I now?
For years, I was defined as a strong, independent Soldier who stood up for what was right, even when that meant facing opposition. Marked with bravery as I donned my parachute and stepped off the side (or back) of the aircraft. For so long, my career and accomplishments had defined me. I had become so engulfed in my own abilities and the need to exceed the expectations I set for myself that I had forgotten my true identity.
First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King, set apart as a treasured possession for his glory and his kingdom.
I had allowed my professional role to define me. When that was really just something I did. When stripped of all the roles, who was I at my core? I needed to relearn this and it was painful to admit. Praise God for his mercy and kindness, tender in his correction.
After struggling for several years, I was directed to read through the book of Ephesians and underline everything that describes who I am in Christ. Completing this exercise led me to see that I am not defined by my accomplishments or giftings, but rather I am “In love he predestined [me] for adoption to himself as [a daughter] through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” Ephesians 1:4b-5 (author paraphrase).
I am defined by my Father in heaven who adores me and cares for my every need.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
If you find yourself struggling to find your identity after your time in the military, I encourage you to dig into God’s Word and meditate on those truths of who you are in hHim. Allow him to define you, rather than anything or anyone else.
Remember By God’s mercy and grace, you are enough. Your accomplishments do not define you.
Train Dig into the book of Ephesians. Underline every word that describes who you are in Christ. Meditate on those truths and let them transform your mind.
Lord, thank you for loving us right where we are. Thank you for alleviating the pressure to perform. Please speak to those who are unsure of who they are and remind them of their identity in you. Amen.