“Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “What’s my purpose?”
I spent most of my life searching for the answers to these questions. I think I answered who I am by where I was, and what stage and what moment I was in, in life.
As I graduated from high school, I was a high school graduate. As I graduated from college, I was a college graduate. When I got married, I became a husband. I had children, I became a father.
I was on this path, and I didn’t feel like I was being fulfilled on it. I struggled with my identity, and those were just titles and places I kind of defined myself in some ways. They were correct, but then at some point you have to come to terms that you were created for more than this world.
For me the great transition was not who Joe Farris was, but who Joe Farris belonged to … and that was the beloved son of God the Father. To know that I’m beloved, makes the most sense.
If I’m a lawyer, or a teacher, or a doctor, or a salesman, all those things seem to come with some sort of tag on the end of them, and it’s some sort of definition by the world. “The beloved” doesn’t. My only tag is that I’m his son.
I think we get little earthly glimpses of how God the Father speaks to us. I remember coming home, and it was dark. My father was sitting in this little study he had, and the lights were all off, and he asked me to sit down.
And he looked across at me and said, “I want you to always know no matter what you do, I will always love you, more than anybody else, and I will always be there for you.”
As a sixteen-year-old kid, like you kind of hear that, but as a forty-five-year-old man, I can hear it. Every inch of my body hears that.
To be the beloved makes all of those places where I struggled with my identity make sense, because all along I was the beloved.
It’s like the first time I put contacts on. I didn’t know all before that, that everything was blurry.
When I put contacts on, everything made much more sense. It was much more crystal clear.
You know, to realize that I don’t just do things for Christ, or with Christ, but I’m actually, in a deep way, in communion with him. And that’s powerful.
The more we allow ourselves to be loved, the more we learn how to love, and we’re able to love. And ultimately that’s what God wants for us: to accept his love.