Kylie and I were puttering around the house doing this and that and chatting away as we usually do. There is an ease to our conversations that pleases me. We talk of the everyday and things of the future, particularly the much-anticipated swim party she will have for her birthday near the end of the summer. We talk of simple things and silly things and important things and sometimes things magical.
“When I was a little girl my grandmother told me that if I could kiss my elbow I would turn into a boy.” I don’t remember what sparked this particular memory, but it still amuses me and thought it might amuse her as well.
“What?? Why did she tell you THAT?” Not the response I’d expected.
“I don’t know. But I tried and tried to kiss my elbow to see if it were true.”
“You wanted to be a boy???” this very girly-girl incredulously asks.
“I guess maybe I thought boys had more fun. Or maybe I just wanted to see if it would work. I suppose I believed that if turned into a boy I could kiss my elbow again and turn back into a girl…I don’t know…” I tried to explain.
But even before the words had all escaped my lips, my brain realized that this conversation could have an entirely different meaning to this child if she is even remotely aware of what is happening in our world today. Oh dear. Do I just leave it alone, a little story that means nothing, hopeful that she will not remember? I must say I was tempted to do exactly that.
What do you say to an eight year old about the headlines and the new stories when gender reassignment is now a reality rather than an impossibility? I was wishing I’d never told the silly little story. Without too many complex details, what do I tell her? What do I really want her to know?
I want her to know that she is loved. No matter what.
I want her to know that God knew her before her body was ever formed in her mother’s womb and that He has amazing plans for her life.
I want her to know that it is possible to live with God as the greatest influence in her life.
I want her to know that it is not the body that defines who she is, but rather her heart.
I want her to know that she will find her true identity in who He says she is.
I want her to know how to love others. No matter what.
So I took the time to plant some seeds. Seeds of love. Seeds of confidence. Seeds of truth. Seeds of identity. Seeds of trust. Will she have questions about who she is as she grows up? More than likely. Will she face struggles of confidence or fears? Perhaps. But I plan to be keep watering those seeds and teaching her how to find her answers in Him.
Jesus once asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Not because He was confused, but had they received the revelation? Did they really know His true identity? Peter did and Jesus immediately told him that he could not have known except by the Holy Spirit.
The world is full of seeds. Seeds of confusion. Seeds of doubt. Seeds of fear. Seeds of hopelessness. It is a roller-coaster ride if this is our source of identification. In our search for significance and the discovery of who we are, are we asking the right question of the right One? We cannot truly know who we were created to be without His Spirit giving us revelation.
This is where we find the unshakable confidence in who we are. This is where He reveals the purpose for our lives. This is where our identities lie – in who He says we are. But this is also where we lay down our own opinions and ideas. This is where we abandon ourselves to whatever He wills, believing in His goodness and perfection. This is where we die to self in order to experience really living.
Dare we ask of Him, “Who do You say that I am?”
“If you can kiss your elbow…” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com
Photograph by Kay Stinnett and cannot be used without permission.