|“What did you learn today?” I asked my daughter Lizzy, as we headed home from her first day of preschool one September afternoon long ago.
My 4-year-old peered over the top of the lumpy pink backpack on her lap and flashed me a proud smile in the rearview mirror. “I learned where to hang my backpack,” she said. “And how to write the letter A, and what to do when my teacher rings the clean-up bell …”
She sat up straighter, as if listing all the knowledge she’d gained affirmed her important new status as a schoolgirl. “Oh,” she added with a soft sigh. “I learned how to sit crisscross applesauce on my purple carpet square for a loooong time …”
I nodded, trying to picture my wiggly girl sitting still for any length of time at all.
“And, Mom,” Lizzy continued, “I learned something really funny, too!” A sliver of laughter seeped through her lips, and she slapped her knees to accentuate the hilarity of what she was about to share.
I echoed my daughter’s giggles and wondered what preschool protocol had stirred such amusement.
“I have to wear a name tag every day at school even though I already know my name!” My daughter blurted with another burst of laughter.
I pictured the apple-shaped name tag the teacher had tenderly pinned to Lizzy’s chest before class began. And I pondered how I could explain the importance of that little accessory to a 4-year-old.
But before I could speak, my daughter corralled her laughter and offered an explanation of her own. “I guess my teacher just doesn’t want me to forget who I am,” she said with a shrug of her slender shoulders.
She exhaled a satisfied sigh as she conceded to her teacher’s wisdom, then leaned her head against the smudgy window as we veered up the road toward home.
As my little learner grew quiet, her words dangled poignant in the air between us. Suddenly, I felt the chuckles in my throat give way to a lump of tears. Because I know preschoolers aren’t the only ones at risk of forgetting who they are. Every child of God walking the dust of this broken world can suffer from identity amnesia, too —
The woman who believes her shameful past defines her.
The mother who assumes her children’s mistakes diminish her.
The daughter who suspects her foibles and flaws devalue her.
It’s easy to forget who we are when disappointment declares who we aren’t.
But Galatians 3:26 reminds us our identity doesn’t change with our circumstances or sway with our confidence. It doesn’t swing with our successes or falter with our failures.
Our identity is fixed by faith.
Our name is anchored in Christ.
“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Unlike my giggling preschooler, we don’t need a name tag pinned to our chest to remember who we are. We have a Savior who was fastened to the cross to declare whose we are.
And because of Christ’s great sacrifice and God’s great love (John 3:16), we have been given the best name of all — we are His. Inarguably and forever … His.
May we never forget it!
Dear Father, thank You for calling me by name and making me Yours. Forgive me for all the times I have forgotten who I am. Help me to place my full confidence in Christ and live as a treasured child of God, confident and cherished, forgiven and free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.