I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. My first word was probably “horse.” I had horse shirts, movies, books, and a room that was saturated with every possible horse knick-knack. My friends in school called me “Horse Katie.” If there was an option to choose topics for school projects, I wanted something horse-related. If there was a horse movie out in theatres, I begged to see it. My birthday and Christmas lists were filled with horse paraphernalia. In short, I was obsessed with those majestic four-legged creatures, and I’m probably the reason there are jokes about crazy horse girls in Jr. High classes. Being the “horse girl” was a significant identifier for me growing up, but it’s not where I find my worth anymore.
For a long time, I held on tight to horses as the nucleus of my identity, so when I was no longer able to work with them due to a serious injury, I was lost. I felt like a ship with no anchor, victim to the wind and waves of uncertainty and depression. I had lost the only thing that made me unique, and so I no longer knew who I was. I put so much stock into that area of life that I was torn apart when it was taken away from me (even briefly). But in those fragments of what I thought was my identity, I saw who I really was, who I was created to be and where my worth and identity actually come from.
We will never be fulfilled when we find our worth in the world because it is all vapour; it all vanishes at some point.
When we resign ourselves to one descriptor, one style, one type, one box, we diminish our capacity to live. God didn’t create us to be two-dimensional beings, locked in a particular path day in and day out. We were created to create because we belong to a creative Creator. We don’t have to live confined to the world’s labels; we are free to live as children of God. When we find our identity solely in Christ, we live as who we are meant to be because we listen to the One who formed us in the womb. We give power to whatever we let define us, whether that’s our job, how we look, or another person. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want another person or thing to have power over my life if they don’t want the absolute best for me.
The only person I want to dictate who I am and who can define me is someone who willingly died for me before I was even born — someone who is the embodiment of love and someone who desires to see me flourish. I no longer find my worth and identity in my job, hobbies, friends, or anything else. The only place I look to for my worth is the One who created me because he saw that I was worthy of being created, and he has been ever-present since before time began.
Redefining your identity may be challenging. In fact, it might be one of the hardest things that you do, but there is freedom to be found on the other side. When we stop to reflect on all we’ve done and gone through, we can see the evidence of how God has moved through our lives. Each moment is an indication of how God is growing, pruning, refining, and sanctifying us. We may not always like the process, but the person that He is shaping us to be will always be worth the journey.
I still love horses, hence why I work with them every day, but I know that I am so much more than what job I have or what books I like to read. I know that I am a beloved daughter of God, and that’s what I come back to every morning when I wake up. All of you are so much more than the sum of your likes, dislikes, pasts, and futures.
We are all beloved children of God. And when we step into that identity, when we let that knowledge sink into our hearts, and when we walk forward into who the Lord is creating us to be, we encounter wild freedom, unlike anything the world has to offer.