His birth story was nothing like I had imagined or planned. [Disclaimer: I plan to share it ALL. The good, the bad, the unforgettable. You’ve been warned.] And I think I’ve put off writing it out because perhaps it has been haunting me in a way. I mean, when you drive past the hospital you labored and delivered at and you start to get emotional 4 days postpartum, something may be up. And I don’t mean the happy emotional. . .Read More
At 19 weeks pregnant, Calvin and I headed to my doctor’s office for the anatomy scan. This is where we are able to see the baby through an ultrasound and where we’d normally find out the gender of our baby. However, just minutes after our ultrasound, our doctor had other news for us… she told us the ultrasound tech suspected a cleft lip on the right side of baby’s face.Read More
Get the matching outfits, prep the roast, plan for family coming in, clean the house for Easter lunch, get the baskets ready, hide the eggs…
We fall into the Hallmark holiday musts that we hardly observe the true meaning of a sacred holiday. And how on earth is GOOD Friday even actually good? How do we observe or yet, celebrate a day when the Son of man was beaten, hung on a cross, crucified and left to die?Read More
If you know us, it’s no secret that Calvin and I both love God and love His word. With our very first baby on the way, we undoubtably desire to teach our little one about God and look forward to watching his or her knowledge of Him grow.Read More
Time to share yet another exciting endeavor Calvin and I have been embarking on in the past few weeks! Not only are we preparing to have our first child June of this year, but we are transitioning into an exciting partnership as church planters…Read More
That’s right! In case you didn’t know because you aren’t on social media or I haven’t seen you in person lately: WE’RE PREGNANT!! I have a lot to say about this so I hope you’re ready for some good reads that will be broken into multiple blog posts! ;) But before I start. . .
To anyone on the journey to parenthood I want to say: I see you.
16 years later since I first became a Christian…
and I still want more.
I’ve decided to share a very real and raw conversation I had with the Lord recently. But first, let me give you some context:
I DON’T HAVE THIS DOWN.
Hear me out. I still struggle to understand every single day that my identity is God given, not self or others given. Let me explain:
I am a wife,
a co-church planter,
a dog owner,
a mentor to women,
a worship leader,
a daughter to wonderful parents,
a teacher of God’s Word,
a college graduate,
and the list goes on…
But these are all titles that either I’ve given myself or have been given by others.
However only my Creator can give me my identity. Not a title. Because I’ve come to find that a title can be given or taken away, gained or lost. But a God given identity never changes and is eternally fulfilling.
If we aren’t careful, we could spend our whole lives searching everywhere for the next fulfilling title, trying to satisfy our desire to be identified with something or by someone else.
1: God tells you who you are - not anyone/anything else
God spoke over and affirmed the people in the Bible as to who He had called them to be. The fact that they were His and He called them out-weighted their other titles: “jew, gentile, slave, free, man, woman, greek, Hebrew”. [Gal. 3:28-29]
Even James, Paul, Peter and other New Testament writers open their letters to churches with a description of themselves, identifying themselves as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing else. Paul never opened a letter proclaiming “most studious religious leader”. James didn’t say “listen to me, I’m a brother of Jesus”,
No family name, no status, no education, no tradition, no income level defines you, God does. We have been made in his image. Not in the image of this world.
Remember, identity doesn’t come from what others may say or fail to say about you, our identity comes from God!
2: We know exactly what God says about us if we know Him & His Word
God has given us His word to know and understand Him more. He’s also given us His word to show us who we are in Him as believers.
Get to know the one who made you and you’ll get to know exactly who He has made you to be! Dig into scripture and pray He continues to reveal this to you.
A PDF of Bible verses is down below, be sure you grab a copy to have as a reminder of who you are in God! Read it constantly. Know your true identity
Here’s the deal: Without a proper understanding of who God is, you will ALWAYS try to find your identity in other things. The greater we know and understand God, the more we can know who we are in Him. Creation was meant to deeply know, love, and serve it’s Creator. And our Creator has already spoken our identity over us, Jesus died for it and it’s ours and we must know it and take hold of it daily.
3: You have an identity now that no one or nothing can take away.
I have struggled for TOO long with jobs or career opportunities to be what defines me. It’s been drilled in my head, you are what you do. Society pressures us to hustle for those prestigious titles or lifestyles. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT DEFINES ME. (I’m yelling for my own sake, not at you. Promise.) I share that because anytime I’ve had to transition out of a job or started a new endeavor, I quickly begin identifying myself with it and when it’s over, when it’s gone, when it’s take away, I slump right back into an identity crisis.
When we lose any false identity WE place on ourselves, our disappointment makes us sick and the distraught can leave some paralyzed, turning to other things to cope with the pain, instead of our Creator who has already spoken it over us.
In Romans 8 Paul states that he is convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We are forever loved by Him, identified by Him and forever His.
I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m doubting my identity I begin to listen to the enemies lies and get so tangled in his schemes. I begin to be persuaded that maybe I did mess up to much, perhaps I finally did “blow it”.
I have to fight through all of that and be reminded of who I am in Christ.
Every day we have an enemy trying to convince us that we aren’t who God says we are and that God is not good. And yes, the evil one indeed has been defeated, but as my dear friend put it.…
Back in 2014, when my husband and I were first called to church planting, I freaked. I was already losing it about being identified by others as a pastor’s wife. I vented to my husband, pleading:
“but I don’t know how to be a pastor’s wife… I’m only 24 years old.. I can barely adult correctly.”
To which my husband, with zero hesitation and ease said:
“Crystal, just be who God has already called you to be: a disciple of His and a good and faithful servant
and you will automatically be a good pastor’s wife.”
That statement continues to pull me out of my deepest struggles of false identities, overwhelming expectations of others, people pleasing, fear of man, you name it! It’s true of you, too, friend!
You are a child of the most high! A disciple of Jesus. A good and faithful servant of God.
And a good and faithful servant of God is a good and faithful spouse.
A good and faithful servant of God is a good and faithful mom.
A good and faithful servant of God is a good and faithful wife.
A good and faithful servant of God is a good and faithful employee.
A good and faithful servant of God is a good and faithful neighbor, friend, sister, etc.
You get the point.
What are some of the “false” identities that people around you cling to?
What are other ways to be grounded in your identity when doubt creeps in?
As always, if this has encouraged you, would you consider sharing it with a friend. Simply click the bottom right arrow to share. Thanks for reading!
My last day as a 27 year old I was blessed with a sweet gift, the opportunity to share my testimony of faith with women of different ages, backgrounds, professions and denominations. We all gathered together for the Social Share Unplugged event hosted by Danelia from Beautiful Purpose. The room filled with amazing ladies from all over the Houston area and though most of us didn't know one another well...
what united us was our faith.Read More
I mean because if you're not listening to podcasts while you're cleaning, cooking, DRIVING, working out or whatever else, where you been, friend?!
My round up list of podcasts I'm enjoying are informative, mainly faith-based, and presented in a conversational type of way that makes it easy to follow while being challenged and inspired.Read More
Ever lay in bed, starring up at the ceiling and questioning EVERYTHING? Yeah, me too. And while eventually I may overthink myself to sleep like little kids that cry themselves to sleep, I end up waking up feeling defeated. God's been working this out in me and I'm praying this is a timely message for SOMEBODY out there, too. Maybe you.Read More
I don't know what this is. Honestly, I struggle in being a perfectionist AND indecisive. Lord, help me. So providing that as some context, you could see why I wouldn't be lying to you when I confess that it takes me WEEKS to finish and PUBLISH a single blog post. But this one, this one just sort of spilled out. And then I hit publish (within the same hour)!!Read More
Does what matters to God, matter to you? I ask myself this as I read the Bible. Cause truth be told, we read it or hear it and sometimes it feels like it goes one ear and out another. But for about a little over 3 months your girl was deep in the Psalms. I wanted to know what God was saying through the psalmists that each helped pen this book of the Bible...Read More
We were pretty young and newly married when we jumped head first into church planting. Which, of course, then means we dove into full-time ministry as well while still learning what it looks like to be husband and wife...Read More
Am I the only that didn't jump on the "one word for the year" bandwagon for the last 6 or so years? I'll admit, I do jump on trends often. I mean, hello, Instant Pot for Christmas: I got curious, saw it everywhere, and gave in. However, this whole idea of no resolutions and one word, eh... it seemed "overly spiritualized" at first to me. But apparently, this entire "pick one word" thing...Read More
I don't think I've shared about this with y’all, yet. Which baffles me because it's been such a huge part of my life over the past 3 years. Or so I thought. Because as I looked back, I realized this has been infused in my life for well over a decade. I believe every woman wants to be led, and some women, in return, want to lead others.Read More
This time last week I was on my couch watching Moana. For the first time ever. I know, I know... you mommies out there probably have it memorized and wonder how on earth I've gone nearly a year without watching it or downloading How Far I'll Go on to my phone when you've done all you can to escape the seemingly never ending Moana phase to no avail. I have no littles. I guess that's how. *shrugs shoulders* I bring that up because...Read More
Many times Calvin and I step back, take a look around, stare at the other for a good 2-3 seconds and say, "How is this our life?" Or with equal admiration yet bafflement, admit, "Man, I love our lives. We're blessed to get to do this and be here."
Just this morning those were Calvin's exact words to me. Allow me to get you up to speed as many have asked us how we are doing and how the church is doing...Read More