Last week, my son Hayden was traveling a congested stretch of road in downtown Orlando known for its propensity to accidents and fender benders. To make matters worse, weather conditions were poor when the vehicle two cars ahead of my son was cut off by another car. Everyone slammed on their brakes, and my son’s car hydroplaned, causing him to slam into the vehicle in front of him.
I was taking a shower, oblivious to the events at hand, when the calls started rolling in. Hayden, his passengers, and the driver of the other vehicle were all unharmed. My son’s car was not. He was issued a citation, and the car was towed home.
That evening he struggled with all the “what-ifs” and “I-should-haves.” My husband and I assured him we didn’t love him any less than we did before the accident, and that everyone gets a turn rear-ending someone.
Unfortunately, that same week, someone he worked with chose to vocalize their disdain for him. Nothing he did was right. No matter how much of himself Hayden offered, this person was never pleased. He overheard words spoken about him that crushed his spirit. Was it true? Was he nothing but a screw-up?
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar place. Despite offering your best, hurtful words were spoken over you. Through no fault of your own, you experienced loss after loss, and you were left to wonder, “What if I’d done something differently?” When you gathered all the facts, they seemed to confirm your inability to do anything right.
Then, in the midst of all the chaos and trauma of the week, my son had a second accident. Thinking the car had been bandaged together enough to drive it to work, my husband and I sent him off. During his journey, the hood of the car became unlatched, shattering his windshield, causing him to swerve off the road and putting the nail in his car’s coffin.
The poor kid couldn’t win.
Sometimes when we shine bright in this world, the opposition is great. So when I spoke to my son, I asked, “Do you know who you are in God’s kingdom? Does this person speaking against you know to whom they’re talking?”
You see, I would have loved to have shown up and reminded them who my son is. But he’s an emerging adult, and that’s his role now. It’s his job to remember who he is in God’s kingdom and to refuse to be defined by the hateful words spoken over him. It’s his responsibility to refuse to let accidents or mistakes tell him who he is.
It’s my job to continue to speak the truth over him.
It’s our job for ourselves too. We must remember who we are in God’s kingdom, and not allow ourselves to be defined by hateful words spoken over us or unfortunate circumstances in which we find ourselves. It’s our responsibility to continue to speak truth over ourselves and to know when to stand up for ourselves by remembering who we are in God’s kingdom.
First, we have to know who we are. Do you know who you are? If not, I believe our heavenly Father would love to show you. Search his Word. Invite him to show you how you shine bright like the stars in the heavens for him. Ask him to reveal the power and might, the victory and authority you have through him, so that when opposition comes, you can say with assurance, “I know who I am in God’s kingdom.”
Stacey Philpot is wife to Ryan and mother to Hayden, Julie, and Avery. She is a writer, goofball, and avid reader. Stacey has ministered for over 15 years to youth and women in her community in order to equip them to go deeper in Christ. She blogs at aliferepaired.com and chronicallywhole.com.
Photograph © Jesus Rodriguez, used with permission