'Know yourself' is a phrase that I have heard continuously and in various forms since the inception of my teenage years. This subject was the cause of much heart-ache, experimentation and soul-searching as I tried to navigate the pathways of adolescence.
However, of late the topic of my Christian identity, is one that I have begun to ponder about on a daily basis.
Recently, one of the colleges that I attend had a General Assembly, and being that I did not feel that it would be beneficial in any way, I did not give it much thought. However, with not much else to do that afternoon, I decided to go. As I sat, looking through the printed programme, my eyes scanned the dreaded words 'guest speaker'.
I really hoped that it would not be someone incredibly boring who would force me to fall asleep, mouth opened and head tilted back, in the middle of the auditorium.
Nonetheless, within five minutes of the speaker taking his place at the podium, I knew that he was a God-send. He spoke to us about a challenge that he had been having that week, which caused him to feel rather defeated. He went on to tell us that when he had fully lost hope, a friend called to remind him of his identity.
He encouraged him to draw on all of the resources that he had available to him and not to so readily claim defeat. Following his success story, he posed the million dollar question to us, 'Who are you?'
I am the Daughter of a King!
After putting a little thought into it, I confidently said to some friends 'I am the daughter of a King!' After which we all smiled and continued to share our impressive, well-articulated identities.
As I made my way home after the initial high of the speech, I thought about my response and could not help but recognise how much I did not act like that was my truth. I knew in theory what it meant to be a child of the King of the Universe, but I was struggling with the practical aspects.
Whilst pondering on my inability to wholeheartedly believe in who I claimed to be, I made a list of some things that I knew would be important to a King's daughter. The first was having a good relationship with her father.
Suddenly, I noticed the decline in my devotional life, now that I was back in school. I had become too busy for lengthy conversations with my father and figured that he understood, but as I thought about the fact that the semester would only get busier from here, I knew that I had to make some sacrifices.
Acting like the King's the daughter
Next on my list was considering my inheritance. Which in my case was heaven, a place that in all honesty I did not think of very often; I knew that that was where I was working towards going, but I did not long for it on a daily basis. Whereas the thought of being an earthly princess with a bountiful inheritance was without a doubt exciting and I knew that if that was my reality, my sole goal in life would be to obtain it.
It would be my driving force, my security for the future and I would never want to fall out of favour with my Father and risk losing it. This was a gentle reminder of Colossians chapter 3 verse 2, which encourages Christians to set their minds on heavenly things, as opposed to earthly things that will pass away.
A high standard of behaviour was the last one on my list, and I smiled to myself as I thought of Anne Hathaway in the movie 'The Princess Diaries'. She plays the role of an awkward teenage girl, who suddenly finds out that she is the heir to the throne of a kingdom because of her father whom she has never met.
Her inability to behave like royalty creates much of the comedy in the film; however, she eventually learns the ins and outs of this new position and draws on her past life to help her to effectively perform. As I consider my own life and the many mistakes that I have made, and continue to make, I feel reminded of the fact that without these struggles I would not appreciate my identity or be able to help others to recognize theirs.
After analysing the list I knew what had to be done in order to live in my truth. I also thanked God that I was in the right place at the right time to receive a much needed identity check.
Danielle Jones was born on the beautiful island of Barbados to phenomenal parents. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Drama as a part of a joint programme between the University of the West Indies, Mona and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. She hopes to speak fluent Spanish someday, do global missionary work and spread the love of Christ.
Danielle Jones' previous articles m ay be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/danielle-jones.html