My son, Liam, is 3 years old and started pre-school this year. They had a homework assignment (yes, a 3 year old in pre-school gets homework!) where they had to decorate a poster which described things about themselves. He answered questions like “What’s your favorite food, your favorite sport, who’s in your family etc.” It was a lot of fun.
The answer that struck me the most, however, was his answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He didn’t say he wanted to be bigger or a firefighter, train driver, or any number of answers that you’d generally hear from a 3 year old. No, his answer was much more profound.
Liam answered, “I want to be Liam.”
As I sat there and thought about his response, it blew me away that my boy just wants to be who he is, whoever that may be. He knows who he is, and he doesn’t want that to change.
Can I honestly say the same about myself?
How often do I want to be different? How often do I want things to work out differently for me? Am I happy with what I’m doing, who I’ve become, where I am going?
Sometimes, it all seems hopeless. There are times where I wish I was doing something else. There are times where I remember and regret choices that I had made in my younger years. There are times where I wish there were things about me that were different.
But I know the truth.
Do you know who you are, and what every person who has ever existed is?
You are a child of God. You are a Son, a Daughter of the God who loves you; who loves you so much He would send His Son to stand in the gap that we created by turning away from Him. You have a dignity that can not be taken away. You are created by love, from love, and for love. You are made for greatness. You are created with a purpose – to know , love, and serve God, and be an image of Him in this world in such a way as to live with Him forever in the next.
You are not the sum of your weaknesses or failures. Those do not define you. You are defined by the fact that the Father loves you. You are defined by your capacity to receive the Father’s love and be an image of Christ to this world.
My hope for Liam, as he grows up, is that he comes to realize that.
I pray I can help him come to realize the immense hope he has in being a child of God. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons [and daughters] by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)
I pray that, daily, he knows that he is loved, special, and a blessing to this world. “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
My hope for him is that, when he grows up, he gets to be Liam.
*** Previously posted on ‘The Aussie Accent’ ***