Who are you?
A seemingly simple question that is quite difficult for me to answer.
In my counselor’s office late one Thursday afternoon, she posed the question to me: “Jenni, who are you?” Trying to understand the question behind the question, I turned it back around on her and said, “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to be helping me figure out?”
I knew that I wasn’t going to get off that easily as she flipped open her oversized sketchbook (the sacred journal where she keeps all her clients’ deepest secrets in picture form) and began to draw a series of circles, one encompassing the other. She described the rings of this haphazardly sketched lopsided bull’s-eye based on Thomas Keating’s levels of awareness.
The outer ring was my false self – all the things that I try to be, want to be, and pretend to be in order to get others to approve of me.
The next ring was my ordinary life – the things that I do and the things that I hang my worth on (my career, my abilities, and my family).
The next ring was my spiritual awareness – the things that are my attempts to grow closer to God (church attendance, prayer, devotions, worship, and so on).
And the final ring (the bull’s-eye) was my true self.
When she asked me to define this core, I was at a loss. Week after week in our meetings she asked me if I could define my true self, and repeatedly I came up short. Essentially she was saying, “Jenni, who are you?” and I had no answer.
Have you ever wrestled with that question too?
When you take all the busyness and the ordinariness of life away, can you define who you are at the core?
I’ve struggled with this question for most of my life. My temptation is to answer that question with all the things that I do… all the things that make me feel significant, valuable, meaningful.
The more I keep wrestling with that question, the more God reminds me of this simple but powerful truth:
To know yourself you have to know your Creator.
In order to fully understand your plan, your purpose, your intention, your influence – what I call your clout – you have to get to know the one who created you. We have to understand his design and plans. In understanding him, we will better understand ourselves.
In Ephesians we learn, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (1:11-12 MSG).
I love that. Long before we heard of him, He had His eye on us. That’s a glimpse of how well God knows us.
We are made in His image. He has bestowed us with gifts specific to the purpose for which He has designed us. When we take all of that into consideration, it stands to reason that understanding our God-given influence means getting to know the One who created us. The journey to the center of who we are begins with discovering more about the One who designed us. We learn to find confidence in who we are because of Him. His voice becomes more and more familiar, and we begin to step more confidently into our God-given influence.
I believe with all my heart that God calls each of us to great things. His plans and purposes for us are beyond our wildest imaginations. But they will simply be imaginations and unmet expectations if we skip over this deep understanding of who we are in Him. It begins and ends there.
We are nothing apart from Him.
Helping others better define their God-given influence is a driving passion of my life. In my recent book, Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence, I share more of my personal story and invite you to further explore how God has equipped you to impact the world in a way that no one else can. You have a specific purpose, a calling that only you are qualified to fulfill. My prayer is that as you seek to know Him better, God will continue to equip you with the clout that allows you to live out all the plans He’s designed for you.
This week Nelson Books is giving away 5 copies of Jenni’s book, Clout! Enter to win a copy by commenting on this post. Winners will be chosen randomly after midnight on Friday, July 18.
Ask anyone who knows her well, and you’ll hear words like hard-working, loyal, insightful and encouraging to describe Jenni Catron. A self-proclaimed “leadership junkie,” Jenni spends her days serving the local church. Most recently she served for nine years as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where she led the staff and oversaw the ministry of its five campuses. Prior to joining the staff of Cross Point, she worked in Artist Development in the Christian music industry.
Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently in the different spheres of influence God has granted them. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.com and contributes to a number of other online publications including churchleader.com and catalystspace.com. Outreach Magazine has recognized Jenni as one of the 30 emerging influencers reshaping church leadership and she has been featured in Church Executive magazine as well.
Michelle Waychoff says
I love God’s timing. This is something I’ve been struggling with. Thank you for posting this. I am curious if you have been able to answer that question that your counselor asked or if you are still pondering. Are there actually words to define who we really are in that bull’s eye?
Donna Hardy says
I needed to read this today! I feel sometimes as though I don’t fit in anywhere and who am I REALLY!!! It’s nice to know I am not alone in my thoughts, I thought I was crazy!! Thank you so much for this timely post!
Martha Smith says
Thanks for sharing always from your heart; love that.
I had worked really hard and with passion obtaining
a degree/Master’s in Divinity (although who really
has mastered Divinity, smile.) The Lord has called
me, however, He has called each of us with our gifts
and talents, and love, compassion, personality and
everything, to something, to someone, and to share His love.
When I became disable/rheumatoid crippling arthritis and I am not
in a wheelchair, I no longer had a title. I was not a hospital chaplain
or counselor or minister. I am sitting at home, prayer warrior yes,
those people I know from the internet, thank God for that.
And yes, I am honored praying for them.
But there is no, Rev. Martha, or Pastor Martha (although I do co-pastor
an on-line women’s group, that God, love those women).
So here I am, feeling useless. Wrong ! the Lord has spoken to my heart
and my mind, and now I know….. it is not about the title, it is about
the relationship between my Lord, and me. And the love, and prayers
and just being alongside someone…. that is important. Shining Jesus
in the way we can, no I am so imperfect, but He is so Present with me
and see beyond my faults.
Thanks always for sharing. Martha Smith email@example.com
Martha Smith says
Correction: I AM in a wheelchair, thanks for understanding the “goof” typo.
Thank you for posting this. The picture of the circles answers so many questions for me. Thank you for sharing it. I’d absolutely love to read your book….
I’m sitting here trying to think how I would answer. And I’m completely lost. I truly don’t know, never have. I think that’s why I’ve made so many wrong choices in life. I’d love to read your book. Thank you.
This us perfect timing for me, as well. My therapist has me working on this very same question. This is a reminder to turn to the Word (and not the world) for my answers. Thank you!
What a hard question! Now I will be pondering this and seeking Him for the answer.
Hoe often do we need to stop and think about who we really are! So needed but so scary most of the time.
Wow! What a great thought provoking post! I think we have all struggled with this question at some point. It is one I haven’t ever been able to really answer. The circle is a great starting point. Thank you!
Lisa Derrick says
That is a great question and one I have been struggling with for over a year now. I am approaching the 50 mark and feel like I am living in a cloud – can’t see my way clear on my direction in life.
Thank you for posting.
sounds like a book to pick up!
Stephanie Sytsema says
This question will keep me pondering!
This is a universal struggle. I have faced it in my own life and I sit across from women regularly who are struggling as well. Would love to read this!!
Nancy R says
Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. Now that my children are out of the house, I struggle to figure out who I really am. For so long I have put others first (and still do) but now there are less immediate needs for this. So who I am vs who I pretend to be?
Jenni Catron says
Nancy, when our roles or seasons change we can find ourselves wrestling with this question all over again. Praying for you!
I would so love to read this book- thank you for the opportunity!
Marci Goodale says
I definitely want to dive into this book! 🙂
I loved this post. I identify with it so well. I have been on the first the past 2+ years and I’m learning so much and I lean into Him. I’m learning to love myself and even like me. Finding who I am in Him! Finally learning He IS all I need!!! He IS ENOUGH!
This book sounds so powerful and true! I would love to win this as I journey with the lord. Thank you.
Kim J says
A question to be pondered for sure! I have always tied my identity to things I do or can accomplish, but now with chronic illnesses and turning 50, in not sure I can answer that question. Would love to read your book. Thanks for the visual with the circles 🙂
Rachel H says
Would love to read this!
Great reminder, thank you!
Susan C says
For years, I struggled with the answer to this question without even realizing what the real struggle was. So thankful someone took the time to point blank ask me “Who are you?” and help me get through the fluffy stuff to the TRUE “me”. 🙂
Sarah M says
This looks like a really interesting read!
Jerri Sargent says
Thank you for this post. First, it’s wonderful to know that it’s not just me searching for answers. There are so many of us that you need to write this book! I’d love to read Clout. I have really been struggling and searching to find “who” my true self is and my purpose. I know I’m a mom, daughter, wife, employee, business owner, etc. But “who” did God make me to become? I’d love a chance to read your book.
Thank you for your post. Have a blessed day!
I, too, am struggling with this. The bulls-eye graphic is thought-provoking. I would love to read your book.
This: “TO KNOW YOURSELF YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR CREATOR.” It’s where we all need to start.
Thank you for sharing.
Wow, this is amazing … something I’ve been wrestling with recently. Would love to read CLOUT!
Great timing, I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out who I really am, what I want to do, etc. But thank you for putting the question of “Who Am I?” in my head, and the reminder of who I am in Him is what matters.
Michele Morin says
The concentric circles are interesting. I’d like to think about this some more.
Amy Nabors says
Wow. What a great question we should all ask ourselves.
A few years ago someone asked me, “Tell me about yourself in 25 words or less.” I couldn’t utter one word. I still can’t. I have struggled over the years to try to figure out just who I am, and it’s the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. Thank you for the wisdom you shared with us today.
Bev Carrasco says
Yes! This topic has been on my heart and growing stronger. Lead me!
How incredibly sovereign out God is. I have been praying about a book/study for my bible study to do this fall, and everything you describe in this book description is what I have been praying for. One of my dear friends actually came across this post today and told me about it. Thank you for having a willing and diligent heart to serve. Can’t wait to read the book!
Megan Jackson says
“To know yourself you have to know your creator.” Power-packed truth! Would love to read the book! 🙂
I would love to win this book! Ever since God said “no” to many of the plans I’d made, I have been wrestling with this same question: “who am I?” My husband and I have now been married for three years, and everyone hints that kids are the next step. But embarking on motherhood with my heart’s question so unsettled feels like a misstep.
Elsie Coyle says
Wow! What a great article to come across today. I’ve been seeking Him and know He has called me to something great, but the specifics of it have yet to unfold. I would like to read this book. I think it would help me find the path to my purpose a little easier. And talk about perfect timing to come across this book. My Bible Study Beauties and I were talking about this exact topic Saturday. I know I have felt restless and as if I’m “nesting” before something comes to birth. I think it’s time to go in to labor and watch a miracle crown and be delivered to develop into something for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. Thanks for this article!
This would be amazing!
Marisa Slusarcyk says
This has been the question I have been asking myself for years now, who am I? It must be written in my journal hundreds of times and I still don’t have the answer. I know who I am NOT but who I am? I often think God is the only one to know that truth!
Thank you so much for posting this, and for the giveaways. Congrats on the book, may God continue to bless you and others through you!
Jenni Catron says
Thank you Marisa. Amazing how so many of us struggle with this question.
I want to win!
I along with several other beautiful ladies who posted on here, have been searching for a book such as this not only for personal struggles but for our Fall bible study!! I feel as if I am at a point, or rather chapter/age/season, of my life where I sometimes struggle with uncertainty and understanding exactly what God wants me to do! Can’t wait to read the book!!!
Julie Dickson says
I can’t wait to read this book!! 🙂
A co-worker and I were just talking about this topic today. I love how God orchestrates things. I look forward to reading.
Debbie Daniele says
Brilliant. Thanks for sharing.
Carol Davidson says
This article really resonated with me. In my own work with a therapist, I realized how difficult it was to answer that question, “Who am I?” because I realized that I had entangled that with who I am when I am “doing” or “producing” or “accomplishing.” I can’t wait to read the book! Thank you!
Though it’s very hard to let go of the outer layers that “protect”… When it all falls away, I am simply “His”
Teresa Wyman says
I found your book on the incourage.me web site. I love contests, and especially love leadership like you, my Bachelor degree I achieved late in life is in Technical Management, but the only career experience with leading was with kids. Your book sounds right on & I would love to win it, because I sure need help finding my purpose or more like God’s purpose for the true me.
Thank you for this – it really hits my heart. I have been feeling lost and…well, certainly not used by the Lord lately. It’s been difficult to figure out “who I am” since our children are growing older and leaving home. I guess I haven’t taken (or had) the time to ask the question in depth before. I look forward to reading the book.
This has been on my heart so much lately! I struggle so much with acceptance! I focus more on who other people want me to be rather than who I really am and who God created me to be! I am working on it! This book seems like it would help me tremendously!
Inspired! Whittling it all down to the essentials is where I’m at in mid-life. Not chasing anything but helping others discover their gifts.
Amy Nelson says
I’m very interested in reading this book. What a great topic.
Kristin B says
This will be a wonderful book, I just know it!
Oh, yes, I know this question well. After a long illness that left me with a debilitating lung condition, I wasn’t able to do the things I enjoyed and was worried I wouldn’t even be able to take care of my family. My therapist asked me this question for months before I finally caught on to what she was getting at. I am still learning who I am and what my God-given purpose is. I am looking forward to reading this book.
Kim Fine says
Thank you for your post! I look forward to learning more about myself with that very question…Who am I? Don’t let my last name fool you. Fine is not the description of how I am :-). Will your book be available in any bookstore?
Jenni Catron says
“Fine” is not possibly enough to describe all that God has created you to be Kim! Yes, the book should be available at most bookstores or they can order it. It is available on Amazon as well.
That is a tough question! Thank you for writing the blog and book and making me stop and think. I would love to read the book.
Maizy T. says
What a great therapist to guide you along to finding your true self. For so long I have felt lost and wondering how I could reach who I really am in this life. Would love to read this book.
Jamie B. says
Sounds like an amazing book! Putting it on my “to read” list.
Laura Day says
Considering that He has had His eye on us long before we considered Christ it is not surprising that He continues to draw my attention to the same message of pressing in to know Him and hear His call … would love to read this book!!
I found this essay very thought provoking. We all want to know who we are and we seem to think we will find that out in the world. We will only find out who we are by looking to God.
Jenni Catron says
So true Christine.
Thought provoking but no easy answers to this question for me. Sounds like an interesting read.
Tammy Mashburn says
Would love to add this book to my collection & summer reading list!
This sounds like a great book as well as question to ponder and pray over.
Would love to dive into this book this summer! God is teaching me so much! To Him be the glory!!
Debbie M says
Sounds like a book I would love to read.. Right up my alley.
Lisa Thompson says
I can’t wait to read this book.
Brent Dumler says
With preparing to lead our first satellite campus this coming September, this post comes in amazing timing. I’ve actually been praying / working through this exact question recently. God has been good to speak His heart into me and His calling for this season. Thanks for this post.
joanna n. says
how very important for ea. of us as Christians to know who we are; thanks for addressing this topic!
After quiting my job and starting full time as mom with two girls at home I am still wondering is this it? Why do I feel like there is something more than just being a mom? Have been praying about this for about a year. Would love to hear what this book talks about
this is the first time I have read your writing and it struck me to the core. thank you for letting Him use you to speak to my heart.
Would love to learn more.
Kirsten hoy says
I would love to win a copy 🙂
Alison Lehr says
a grateful heart ~
Sarah Scott says
Since moving to a new town, this has been my struggle and I would love to win a copy of this book! 🙂
Sounds like an important read!
Jenn B. says
I recently started a new job and would love to make a difference for Christ in my office space. I struggle with thinking I should be more bold or be doing more to express my faith. I’d dive into Jenni’s book to learn more about myself and God’s purpose for me.
These truths are important as we move closer to what and who God wants us to be. Thanks for sharing.
A book it sounds like I will be reading. 6 months ago, the internal asking “who are you” there is no answer with in me. After being asked time and time again, I started answering a sinner. Then I started answering a child of God. Apparently neither was the right answers because the question kept coming to me and finally said”I don’t know, please if you aren’t going to tell me or help me know, leave me alone because I don’t know what You want to hear and I sure don’t even know who is asking or why. I can only have faith in God that someday He will reveal to me when I am ready. I know I am a sinner redeemed by grace and for now that is all I need to know until more is revealed.” Who am I??? I cry because I don’t know how to help my daughter know who she is..I know there is more to life that what we exist in..I just don’t know how to find it.
Jenni Catron says
Praying for you Diane. Thank you for sharing your honest struggle.
Teresa Bellinghausen says
This speaks to me on so many levels! The diagram, especially, gets to the heart of the matter. Figuring out my true self so that I can best use the gifts God has given me is akin to peeling back the leaves of an artichoke to get to the savory heart. I definitely need to read this book!
Jenni Catron says
Love the artichoke visual!
Annie Black says
I would love the chance to read this! This is one of the exact things God has been showing me this past year so far. I struggle with being 25 – single (no relationship in sight), small community, no job (I have applied for over 60 – elementary teacher – and have received only 2 interviews), etc. This has made me feel like a failure and having no purpose, but God has/is showing me that my true identity is in Christ. This book sounds like a great extra resource to read as I continue to learn my true identity. It isn’t in pleasing others (big people pleaser I am – ha!) or living up to the expectations of society but I am to live to please Christ and find purpose everyday in what He has for me.
Jenni Catron says
Annie, praying for you that God would continue to give you peace in this season. Keep leaning into him!
This book sounds great! I would love to read it.
This book sounds awesome! I would love to read it!
This sounds like a very helpful book that I’d love to read.
Dyan Osborne says
I would love to read this book and learn how to discover my clout! I loved this post.
Chrystalla Vassiliou says
Who are we, what defines us, if we take out all our roles, our duties etc?? Very important issue to deal with, because in case success is not accompanying us, or for some reason we can’t measure up to others, we seem to doubt ourselves or look down on us. We are precious children of God and God has wonderful things instored for us. We can also take risks to change our life circumstances, if something doesn’t satisfy us, we donnot have to be victims of our circumstances. God loves us deeply.
Judy Dean says
Thank you…I seem to always have trouble finding the bullseye. Love to read your book as I continue my journey in seeking who I am.
Melissa Danisi says
Thanks for this Jenni! I just finished my last year as a teacher in an elementary school to step into full-time ministry & seminary. You’re book has been on my “to read” list for awhile now! Grateful for your example and passion to lead women well!
Jenni Catron says
Congrats on this transition and leap of faith, Melissa!
This has truely spoken to my ‘bullseye’ core…somewhere in here.
Yet have to find the ‘me’ in me. I guess life usually gets in the way- and we get side tracked. Not easy being mum, wife and friend. Mix them up sometimes..and forget to demand respect from others as I fall into the trap of being a people’s pleaser.
I have come one step closer just then.
God bless you and your countless inspirees.
Caroline Stoltzfus says
Thank-you for sharing your story! I would love to win this book and discover the answer to, what is my clout?
I cannot wait to read this book! Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy!!
Kathy in IN says
I was just asked the same question by my counselor this week. It’s not an easy one to answer!
Sherri Y. says
My husband & I have been on an incredible journey of discovering who we are in Christ. I would love to have this book!
I feel so lost – wishing I knew who I was. I’m in the midst of separation/dissolution after 24 years of marriage and becoming an empty nester (my only child leaves for college in a month) all at the same time. I know that God is leading me down new roads and I’m trying to discover who I am IN HIM.
Jenni Catron says
Oh Kathy, what a challenging season. Praying for you!
LeeAnn Taylor says
The discovery process is a journey for sure. Would love to win this book to dive deeper!
Laurel Emory says
So grateful for women like Jenni who are stepping up and providing desperately needed leadership in the church. We will all be better off because of it.
Wini Schiemann says
Did you ever discover your true self, Jenni? Thank you for you wise and revealing words.
Wow as I sit here I am wondering. I don’t have an answer to that question either. I so need this today. I want the book now too.
Would love to read this book, also have a friend who could really use it right now. Thanks.
Wow that really is a difficult question to answer . . . and I agree, it is easy to just start listing off what we DO rather than truly who we ARE.
Kristy Brown says
I would love to read this book. What a great question.
I too have struggled for a LONG time with the question, “Who am I?”. I would love to read this book as part of my journey of discovery. Thank you for the blessing of your story!
Jenni, thank you so much for posting this! I have found all of this to be painfully true in my own life- an intense struggle with depression over the past few years stripped of all the things that I so desperately strived to define myself with. How sweet it is to be emptied of everything we try to cling to, only to find that only one thing is needed, and that is Him! I am so grateful for the affirmation that reading your post gave me!
Trudy Den Hoed says
This connected with a deep longing in my heart. I love the levels of awareness, the Ephesians verse, and your message: “In order to fully understand your plan, your purpose, your intention, your influence – what I call your clout – you have to get to know the one who created you.” Beautiful. Thank you so much, Jenni.
Mary McAlister says
This is indeed something I struggle with– Who am I below the labels of Christian wife, mother, lawyer, church leader? I tend to identify myself with my labels without really understanding who I am at my core. Thanks for this timely reminder of needing to understand who we are in God’s eyes.
Love this post. I have been feeling this tugging in my life to do MORE for Him and have been searching His Word for what that might be. So thankful and encouraging to hear that there are others on this journey with me!
This book sounds perfect for where I am and what I do. I teach a class once a month at my church on personality and spiritual gifts, helping people discover how they are wired and who God designed them to be. This book would be good for me personally and sounds like it would also be a good addition to what I teach.
Norma Sisemore says
I need to read this book after losing my 17 yr old son and my 57 yr old husband of 37 yrs, I am trying to find who I am. I have read other books you have written and found myself looking for God’s plan for my life now. Thanks for such inspirational challenges
I’m always wondering what my purpose is. I do understand that the closer I get to God the more I’ll understand. Thank you for writing this book to help others discover their purpose.
Thanks for the great devo! Very thought provoking….i’ve been trying to figure this out for sometime. When my boys left for college I struggled looking for my purpose. I’m still on that journey 6-10 year later 🙂 I”ve taken a Fruit of the Spirit class at church which helped but I continue to ask for guidance ~ think i just need to listen better 🙂 The “be still” part of “be still and know that I am God” is a challenge. Would love to read your book! I’m also in Nashville ~ hopefully i will get to meet you sometime!
Michelle Killpack says
The same question I am working on with my counselor!! Sounds like an amazing book – can’t wait to read it!
Susan Gruener says
Thanks Jenni. We all need to learn about God’s “Clout” for us!
Wow I have asked this question not just to myself but to God asking him who am I who have you created me to be. To make me that person he has created me to be. I’ve asked what is his purpose what are my gifts where or what does he want me to do or be.
Terry Dykes says
My first thought when considering whether to comment in order to attempt to win was “There is no way that I can develop a comment that is good enough to win the book.” That made me decide to comment because the immediate thought of not being good enough was confirmation that I truly needed to study this book.
Jenni Catron says
Glad you commented, Terry. Isn’t crazy the little ways we question being good enough?
Kathy McCall says
I thought, “yes I can give this book to a friend” but after reflecting on the questions, I came to the conclusion that as an encourager, I need encouragement. I have learned to look outward and up to ask the Lord to help others but always neglecting myself. Now its time for a deeper dive to within and answer the question “who am I”. I look forward to studying this book as I take a deeper dive into me.
I went directly from parenting my children (does that ever really end? ) to caring for my aging parents. I feel like I have never had time to figure out who I am outside of caring for others. That is a high and worthy call, but is there something else that God may want for me to know about myself and His purpose for me?
Linda P. says
This question has been rolling around in my head and heart for years. From all the comments received, I am not alone. God has given us “Clout” as a place to begin finding our purpose in Him. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Who am I? An oldest child, a fixer/problem tackler, a server. But is this what I’m supposed to be? Is this my gift? I don’t know. At age 64, maybe I’m too old to find out.
Debi Schuhhow says
Does anyone not care what the calling is? I mean, I have no calling to go be a missionary, be a Sunday school teacher, write a book, talk to women, etc.-nothing. I just know that I am called to depend on Him each moment. It’s weird, I really don’t think I am called to anything in the ‘Christian Culture’ sense of the word.
In this season of my life im beginning to question What is my purpose? I want to know what God has placed on the inside of me. I believe t his is confirmation, that i have clout! Im ready to.embark on this journey.
I couldn’t stop reading this. I kept waiting for the answer…who are you?… hoping MY answer would be there as well. Need to read this book!
Laura Rath says
Great question! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book. 🙂
To Jenni, Rebecca, and SheriW-
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings on finding who we are. I am very grateful for it inspired the stuff below.
I understand and empathize with you Rebecca and SheriW. Something I just realized recently as I struggle with maybe being too old is that life in Christ is a journey of learning and growth who I am that never stops. As God is infinite, so is the journey I guess. This gives me peace as I struggle to let go of what was, let go of the busy for a few peaceful moments. I feel challenged to not just find Christ and God in everyday blessings, yet also in how I respond to the peaceful, small, and tough moments. That tells me who I am in Christ and who Christ is in me and the world I guess. Its a new adventure that I am scared and excited about.
I hope that we all learn who we are and who Christ is in us. I am grateful for each of you 🙂
Amy B. says
I’ve been struggling with this question lately & feel a bit lost. I would love to read your book!
As an empty nester that is the question I am pursuing in this season of my life – who am I and what now, Lord? I love the circle drawing.
Isn’t that difficult? I have found myself in the empty nest also over the past year. But it isn’t really empty….Their rooms are full of their stuff as is my garage. One has been married for a year and lives in a wonderful home. And still her stuff is here to remind me: What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Those thoughts always linger on the edge of my heart. They are not the little girls they used to be. I don’t get to hear all about their day each evening. I miss the energy and love of life they brought into this house. Now it is just about coping with each day and hoping to make it through. I don’t like this season at all.
Carrie Hind says
I would love to be able to answer this question. I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12 years ago and have lost everything I knew. I have an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) now . Lost my marriage children career as a teacher my ability to walk well plus more. I truly don’t know who I am anymore because I’m not the same person . I became Christian after this all happened to me. I know God loves me. I have to learn to get it to be heart or soul knowledge rather than head knowledge . I definitely need help with this as I’m struggling .
I agree with so many of the others; that this was so timely.
Jenni Catron says
Carrie, praying for you… can’t fathom all that you have been through.
Heather Woyak says
I would love this book!!
I know I am a child of God.
I have a compassionate, loving heart.
I always look for the good in someone or something.
But I also fall in the trap of depression way too often.
I am always looking for ways to escape that trap before it claims me.
I don’t like having to take 5 different meds to keep me going.
And I also don’t like their side effects.
So funny, I’ve been asking myself this question throughout the day today after earlier listening to a radio program in which the host, of Chinese descent, interviewed a guest, of Iranian descent – and both people felt they didn’t belong. I’m of Irish descent and I’ve felt throughout my life that I don’t belong – anywhere. I’ve always felt like a outsider regardless of where I lived. Recently I’ve lost my career, many of my day-to-day abilities, and the love of a daughter who has turned her back on her family. My identity with career, ability and family has simply been slipping through my fingers like sand. While I do believe with all my heart that God calls each of us to great things, I can’t seem to find what mine happens to be. In my heart I know His plans and purposes for me are beyond my wildest imagination, but they will simply be imaginings and unmet expectations if I cannot fully grasp this deep understanding of who I am in Him. Perhaps reading your book will help me to better define what my God-given influence happens to be. I would so deeply appreciate receiving a copy of your recent book, Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence. Thank you for the opportunity to receive a copy.
Thank you for this post. This is an “in-between” time for me as a teacher and leader with summer vacation so I”m trying to get back to resting in God as a beloved child to heal from a challenging school year.
Love this question!!! Makes us all stop and think.
The past five years has been all about letting go, sometimes because I had to and sometimes because I chose to. Last week I let go of one more thing, this time to grab hold of something new. I feel as though God is preparing me for the next step and am struggling with what it looks like. Thank you for the reminder that ultimately who I am is not what I do but whose I am. As long as I keep my focus on that I know the rest will figure itself out.
Mary Ellen says
Oh how I needed this today! I have struggled in the same way all of my life and was praying about it just last night! I need this book! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!
God bless you and your ministry!
Thank you for this post!
Sherry L says
As the years pass, I finally realize that my goal in life is to love well. Every person, every day.
Kathy D. says
I like you, jenni do not know who i am. I am searching in my faith and in my lord for a sign to point me in that direction. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and am anxious to read your book. Thank you.
Diane B. says
Ah, you speak His truth. It is so true, that we are made in His image so, it follows that, to know ourselves, we must know Him. And what a blessing, honor and privilege it is to get to know Him, He just opens up when we seek Him. Would love to read your book!
Book sounds great. While I’ve had a productive ministry life,good marriage, solid Christian I’m in a phase of being engulfed by a high needs teen son. Want to do more than keep my head afloat.
Kathy Carlton Willis says
Jenni’s book, Clout, sounds right up my alley. Thanks for this post! I’d love to be entered for the book giveaway!
Thank you for your message today. It really got me thinking. I love God, but I’m not sure how I’d answer that question. I don’t feel real joy in my life. Maybe your book would help me find some answers.
Wow….I just came across this blog and I am happy to add it to the list of blogs I need to keep up with! I have been dealing with this topic lately, and trying to identify God’s will for my life right now, so it was great to see how God worked out for me to be reading this post! Definitely want to read your book too- I am so excited to see what God has in store, and anything that helps me get there is great! Thanks.
Really liked this post…I struggle with the leadership role God has called me into and would love to read your book!
Kristen Gray says
I am a CHILD OF GOD! I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God is taking me through this process (season) right now. I am excited about His plans that He has for me and I believe your book is very timely to those that are in and will go through this season.
eileen forman says
I love this insight! Knowing God! The greatest thing in all my life… Knowing him, loving him, serving him. Hosting him. Where ever I am, He IS! YES!
kerry b says
wow! i’m so excited to read this book..:) thank you jenni!
Sue K. W. says
We all have circles of influence. At my age, I know this, but this book and its message needs to be passed onto those in my circle who are young adults. We are “ambassadors” of someone or something, and when we take that seriously, we can blossom and touch those around us positively in our circles of influence.
Julie Sunne says
God definitely has a specific purpose each of us, grand in His plan. I agree we need to know who we are in Christ, and then we have to surrender our desires and follow His will because our Creator will always know us better than we know ourselves. Sounds like a book with an important focus.
I would like to read your book.
Thank you for this!
Thabk you for posting. The ring illustration is a great tool for looking at myself and I look forward to learning more about your book.
I would LOVE to read this book!
Interesting that really at the core of our influence is who we really are… Lots of food for thought.
What a great giveaway! Who am I? I’m often so focused on who (or what) I am not…would love to read more!
Carmen N says
I would love to read this book!
Peggy Forstad says
Reading your blog took me back to a crisis point in my life, when all things in my life had fallen apart. My precious favorite aunt asked me who I was. I said, “I’m a wife, a mother, a singer, a…” and she said, “No, you are none of those things. Those are all things that you DO. And if you were suddenly unable to do the wife, the mother, the singer, you would still BE Peggy Forstad, Child of God. Upon that identity you make choices for what you DO, because of who you ARE.” That was a crossroad for me that has been a determining factor in the direction my life took from then on. Society, even the church sometimes wants us to be human doings, when Jesus asks us to be human BEINGS, and sit in the timeless realm to hear His heart for our lives. His running orders are never cumbersome or burdensome. Thanks so much for writing your blog! I needed re-reminding!
This is exactly where I am with my counselor. We have found that my issues stem from feelings of worthlessness. Now I am seeking to find my value not in my job or my family but in my heavenly Father. Before I can minister to others I have to see their value to God by appreciating my own. It’s an amazing journey.
I posed this question to my women’s bible study group and as I read the post, a deafening silence fell over this room of usually chatty women. It was something that they/we/I rarely consider. For some, it was too much…too insightful…too thought provoking. For others it derailed them. It was interesting. My original idea was to take this ‘bullseye’ and share each ‘ring’ together. It became homework because of its overwhelming content! I was a bit surprised.
I am living hopeful. I see that my outter ring and inner ‘eye’ are coming closer. I am grateful for my journey and the leadership I receive from Jesus. Without Him, I’d still be living in the outter limits….
Jenni Catron says
Wow, Cathy! Praying for your group as you process this together.
“We are made in His image. He has bestowed us with gifts specific to the purpose for which He has designed us. When we take all of that into consideration, it stands to reason that understanding our God-given influence means getting to know the One who created us. The journey to the center of who we are begins with discovering more about the One who designed us. We learn to find confidence in who we are because of Him. His voice becomes more and more familiar, and we begin to step more confidently into our God-given influence.”
Such a great reminder to dwell in Him. . .thank you!
Teresa Camp says
Thank you for the inspiring post! Really, who am I…….? I don’t know! I know that God is calling me to be involved on a higher level than I have ever been. And , I have always been evolved with family, friends church and community… I know the closer I become with him, I will reach where he wants me to be…and then I think I shall know, who I am… That is, until he reveals to me what is next in the chapter of my life… I will then probably struggle with things like, “am I good enough” . I’m laughing as I post this but it is really true…
Looking forward to more of your future post…..and reading your book!!!
Carol Mccarthy says
I am 57 years old now. All of my life I defined myself as a daughter, wife of David, mother of 2 adult children (now), kindergarten teacher (now retired after 25 years.
Now I am in limbo as I try to figure out what do with the rest of my life. Your book captured my attention because I am seeking for God’s will. Who am I, what is God’s will for me now? I would love to read more.
Deborah Ruth Bixler says
Thanks for this inspiring book I cannot wait to read! Just attended our first Women’s Conference at Harvest Church here in Pensacola, FL. The topic was Do You Know Who You Are? Do You Know What You Have a Right To? in which Shri Williams gave us 6 7 1/2 pages of scripture all throughout the entire Bible as to who we are in Christ Jesus! She said to meditate on each one like a cow chews it’s cud! Being a Christian wife and mother (all I ever wanted to be) of 4 grown children at almost 65, I find myself helping to raise 2 grand children. I am also a substitute teacher who prays over each name in the class I am teaching and consider it more of an outreach ministry, an opportunity to witness for my Lord! Would love to read your book so I hope you pick my name. God bless you riichly is my prayer. I send out birthday (“birthaversary” cards because it really is then anniversary of that very first Birth Day!) for members of our church also because I love to write, having an encouragement ministry(Holy Spirit showed me one day!)
You are so right on that we must know our Creator in order to know who we are! We must get to know Jesus also as He came to show us the Father God! We must get to know Him truly thru reading His Holy Word daily, praying, seeking His will! Not just knowing about Him but seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ! Christian books like yours will help us also! Thanks again!
Deborah Ruth Bixler says
I meant to say 6 & 1/2 pages of typed notes by Sheri. /Sorry about the typo as it is so late. One verse she quoted from Deuteronomy 28:12 “The Lord will open the windows of heaven and rain on you His good treasure at the right time and bless ALL the work of your hands. YOU WILL BE THE LENDER AND NOT THE BORROWER.” STOOD OUT TO ME! I had been lending money to people and not getting repaid. The Lord showed me that I was to lend the money and not expect a return or be repaid–just forgive the debtors as I am forgiven! WOW what a good work and word to relieve the stress because what I loaned was really a gift from the Lord and the good Lord Jesus will mulitiply that gift many times over! Blessings, love, & peace! Prayers too!
Jeanne McIntyre says
It continues to amaze me as God shows me who I am. He is using gifts that Satan had taken from me years ago. I am a singer, among other things. I had been told I could not sing when I was a teenager, and I bought into the lie. Satan had effectively stolen the gift that God wanted me to use. That gift was for God’s glory. It has taken many years in His word and coming to believe the people He put in my life to help me regain my gift. I finally believe (most of the time) that I really have a beautiful voice, that I can sing for His glory and that people love to hear me sing. But as I read over this I’m thinking ‘how conceited can you be?’ Guess I have a ways to go. Back to my Bible.
Thankfully I am a work in progress.
Thanks for the reminder.
Talk about a lighting bolt! I have been reading ‘Stronger Than You Think’ by Kim Gaines Eckert and I have been realizing how much I struggle with knowing who I am. I literally came to this website looking for books/resources that might help me on this journey and what just happens to be posted today! I am going to have to get my hands on this book!
Sarah M says
This. So this. Thank you.
Great reminder, we are nothing apart from Him!
Amber Chapais says
this book sounds so good… i’ve heard great things about this great writer, i hope i win, so i could read this great book.. God Bless.
Beth WIlliams says
This year especially I have been struggling with who am I. I am a daughter, wife, worker, Child of God, but I just didn’t feel it. My emotions were raw and I became angry and frustrated with all the stressors in my life–especially those from work and my aging dad.
Now that part of my life is settled some I can try and deal with who I am. With God’s help I can reign in my emotions and get back to the me I used to be. The loving, encouraging, happy person!
Sandy O. says
I used to know who I was. I was a teacher, a professor, an educator, a champion for children, mothers, and babies. I was always for the underdog. My name, Sandra, comes from the Greek, Cassandra, meaning, “Helper of Mankind”. It seems that I’ve been doing that all my life. But God wasn’t in my dreams and in my life, until I went on a Cursillo Retreat, and found a personal relationship with Jesus. Later on, I was saved in my car, 2003, by accepting His forgiveness. I could never forgive myself! But when I accepted His forgiveness, a cross fell off my shoulders. I then began to be hungry for His Word, and became on “Fire for Him”. I was baptized at a small bible-based church in a little town in LA, where they mentored me and answered all my questions with love and acceptance. Before that I was the most abused woman in my world. Then my body started to fall apart. I had to quit teaching after 34 years, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, then seizures, then TIA’s, then C.O.P.D., then flunked my swallowing test. My body was weak, but my inner man was strong in the Lord. I’ve been home-bound for 8 years. I’ve given up the dream of getting my doctorate. I’m also wheelchair bound, but I consider myself handicapable. My only problem is that I don’t have any problems with my handicaps, but everyone else does. I have a daughter with postpartum depression, and has disappeared with my only grandson and won’t talk to me, which makes me feel so depressed most of the time. I pray that she will eventually come out of it and talk to me and others. So, I myself am at a crossroads, emotionally. I used to be a prayer warrior, poet, writer, encourager. Now after waiting on the Lord for 8 years, being a prayer warrior, I feel depressed and discouraged and don’t really want to go on living (part PD depression and part, losing my only daughter and grandson). Children used to be my life. And life has become very lonely. I know that the Lord has plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11-14 ), but I’m getting tired of waiting and for what? So, I’m trying to hang on and find a reason for living. Because I know that His plans for me are for hope, not for woe.(Jer.29:11-14) Even though I feel like Job most days, I know that after the night comes morning, weeping lasts into the night, but a shout of joy cometh every morning! (Ps. 30:5). I’ve reached out into my community, and have been rejected many times. And frankly it hurts. My family has abandoned me, but I know that God has never abandoned me (Heb. 13:5). So I’ll have to cling closer to Him who has known me from my mother’s womb, and has written me on the palms of His hand. That’s the hardest part, waiting. Listening and obeying is even harder. But God and I are very close. I’m sure that He will reveal His plan in His time, not mine. This part of my life is called being obedient and listening to Him. “The Lord’s Lovingkindness never ceases, His compassion never fails, they are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord.” Lam. 3: 22-23
God bless you on your journey,