Empowering women. That’s the heart behind what Jordan Lee Dooley does. In doing so, she has become a go-to source that hundreds of thousands of women around the world look to for daily inspiration. Her unapologetic love for Jesus and her passion to help women overcome the lie that you can’t live your God-given purpose until you reach a certain goal or milestone is a powerful message we all need to hear. It’s about who we are, not what we do. And it’s a grace to welcome Jordan to the farm’s front porch today…
Have you ever wondered what it really takes to live a meaningful life?
More than that, do you ever catch yourself feeling overwhelmed by a thought along the lines of what gives me meaning?
I remember as a teenager sitting in my bedroom, which had been ever so stylishly painted hot pink and covered in zebra stripes, feeling overwhelmed by approaching life changes such as high school graduation and college applications.
The impending responsibility and decisions ahead made me look at my life and ask, Who am I? What am I even supposed to do?
Well, at least I had the questions in the right order.
I believe we must know who we are if we’re ever going to discover what we are made to do.
While my faith was not yet personal (nor was it very strong), I thought perhaps it would help to ask God the questions I was wrestling with in my heart.
I clearly remember looking up to heaven (well, actually it was my ceiling fan, but you know what I mean) and asking out loud, “God, who am I?”
I genuinely expected to get a response with a running list of affirmations such as, You are a hardworking student. You are a good big sister. You are a talented athlete. (Okay, that last one might have been a stretch.)
To my dismay, I didn’t get any of those answers. In fact, I didn’t get anything at first. Do you ever feel as if God sends your prayers to voice mail when an answer doesn’t come right away? That’s what I thought in that moment. Nevertheless, I tried again: “God, who the heck am I?”
Immediately, one single word came to my heart: Mine.
I was so taken aback by such a simple, profound answer that in the moment I didn’t know if it was really God or just my own thoughts. I’ve since pondered that—for years, I might add.
Looking back, as well as taking into consideration other times God has touched my heart, I’m now convinced it really was God giving me the core lesson I needed to learn for life. This one word coming to my heart was a very distinct, defining moment of my journey to understanding both myself and my Creator.
So why do I bring this up?
I bring it up because it changes everything when I understand that who I am is not based on what I do but rather on who God says I am.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan wasn’t the sum of her accomplishments, titles, or labels. In fact, all that was secondary.
If I believe that’s true—if I actually believe that who I am holds more value than what I can prove—shouldn’t that change everything?
That one key truth gives me value, worth, authority, power, and confidence. I found my answer to life’s biggest question in a dialogue so profoundly simple that many of us don’t even dare to have it.
I’m not claiming to understand everything there is to know about God. In fact, I still wrestle with doubts and hard questions I’ll probably never have answered. That’s part of being human. That’s part of faith. You can’t have faith if you have all the answers.
I don’t know about you, but I have seen enough evidence in my own life to know there is more to me than what I do.
The Creator of the entire universe sees me in the middle of my mess and says, “ That one. She’s Mine.” And I believe He says the same about you.
The Antidote to Insecurity
I’ve been writing in a local coffee shop recently, and the other day I ran into Zach, a family friend. Round tables, big windows, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee surrounded us as we caught up over cold brew. I told him about this book and how I was trying to piece together words that make sense, and he filled me in on some projects he and his wife, Megan, were working on.
As we talked about purpose and destiny, as well as confidence and dreams, he said something that was so simple but so profound: “We always live out of who we believe we are.”
I stood up as I exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s it!”
“What’s it?” he asked.
“Identity is the remedy to insecurity. It’s the key to getting out of our own way and living the life we’re made to live!”
If I’ve learned anything about myself, it’s that I fail to live with purpose when I feel insecure, especially when I allow my insecurity to become my entire identity.
I put myself in a box when I let my circumstances or the expectations I believe I must live up to dictate my identity and, therefore, my destiny. I lock myself inside the box of labels and limiting beliefs when statements such as “I feel insecure about ______” begin sounding more like “I am insecure.”
When insecurity becomes an identity, we’ve got a major problem.
Without fail, when I forget who I truly am, I get stuck.
If I look back on times when I felt most insecure, I notice something profound: it wasn’t when I was failing but when I was on the verge of stepping into my destiny that insecurity tripped me up and held me back.
If I believe that the opposite of insecurity is a secure identity as a child of God, then actually living as though that’s who I am (rather than just nodding in agreement when my pastor says so) is also a prerequisite for living with purpose.
I can do what I’m made to do only when I know who I am.
Perhaps the reason we so easily find ourselves feeling insecure is that we tend to get that backward. We try to derive our worth and identity from what we do and the labels we wear, rather than letting our lives reflect who God is in us and who He says we are.
I find it interesting how quickly and eagerly we bear the image of the world, such as by sporting a new out t and proudly representing our favorite brands, yet how reluctant we are to fully embrace our identity.
That’s where so many of us get stuck.
That’s why we wander about asking What is my purpose? when we should be asking How can I live out of who I already am?
When I find my identity in the things of the world—such as my circumstances, appearance, accomplishments, reputation, or status—purpose will always be out of reach because putting my identity in such places leads to insecurity.
Why? Because those are not secure places; they don’t last.
Our status or circumstances might change, our accomplishments are temporary, and we cannot take our accolades with us when we breathe our last breath.
The key to overcoming insecurities, expectations, and the pressure to prove, then, is knowing and living out of our true identity.
We always live out of who we believe we are.
Jordan Lee Dooley has built a massive online following by sharing creative and practical tools to help women reach their potential and cultivate a purposeful life. Embracing her Indiana roots, Jordan shares a simple life with her husband, Matt, and their dog, Hoosier.
Does it ever seem like you still have to find your purpose or that you’re stuck with “unfigured-out dreams”? Do you feel the pressure to prove yourself or worry about what others will think? You are not the only one. Own Your Everyday is an empowering girlfriend’s guide to a purpose-driven life.
[ Our humble thanks to Waterbrook for their partnership in today’s devotion ]