June 1, 2020

Daughterhood: Our Catholic Identity

Apparently "daughterhood" isn't a word that Google or whoever is spell-checking my writing considers to be a real word. It's underlined in red squiggles.

Of course, that isn't going to keep me from writing about it. Daughterhood is probably one of the most important words in the dictionary. Or... not in the dictionary?

Either way, it's important. And necessary.

I've been very contemplative lately. I've had some things happen in my personal life that left me completely turned upside down. That's not what I'm writing about today, but as I work through the pain of the past few months, I've been thinking a lot. Specifically, about my Catholic identity.

Our Catholic Identity


Identity is who we are at our core.

It's so easy to place our identity in the things of the world.

I'm a student.

I'm a mom.

I'm an athlete.

I'm a [insert a political party, occupation, hobby, etc.].

That's how people define each other. When you meet someone, they ask you what you do. We've made it normal.

But when all of the jobs and hobbies are stripped away, who are you?

That's your real identity.

I think COVID-19 has given us a beautiful opportunity to explore our REAL identity. Because it took away our jobs, our hobbies, and the things we spend our time with. No, none of those things are completely gone, and yes, they will come back. BUT at the end of the day, those things are surface level.

Who ARE you?

What is YOUR identity?

Maybe you've experienced a loss recently. Maybe you lost your job. Or a family member is dying. Or maybe you can't go to the gym.

Whatever it is, big or small, you probably know what it feels like to have something taken away from you. The question to ask next is: who am I when that's gone?

Be honest with yourself. What comes to mind? Is your answer just another thing that can be taken away? What if that goes away too? What's left?

For me, the only thing left at the end is my daughterhood. My identity is in the Lord. I can lose my job, my friends, my hobbies, everything, but I would still have Him.

Our Catholic Identity

And that is the biggest consolation I could ever know. When everything is gone, I have Him. He is everything I could ever need.

He desires me to know that. And He desires YOU to know that.

But friends, He wants more than for us to just know that He is everything we ever need. He wants us to LIVE it.

That may require making some changes. In fact, if after realizing your true Catholic identity, you don't want to make changes in your life, I'd love to meet you, because you sound perfect.

Embodying our true Catholic identity is a lifelong journey. It's not something we can just do all at once and never again. But you can make some changes that help you realize who you really are.

Personally, I'm doing a lot of things. But I want to share something small that pertains to this website.

You'll notice my bio -- it's in the right panel, if you're reading on your computer, or at the bottom of this page, if you're reading on your phone. I did a little tweaking...

Our Catholic Identity

Why I Changed My Bio

My bio used to start with this:

I'm Elizabeth, a college girl who eats plants and loves Jesus.

Do you see how I immediately placed my identity in being in college?

When I graduated college, I didn't have a full-time job, so I changed my bio:

I'm Elizabeth, a (no-longer-in-college-but-still-in-college) college girl who eats plants and loves Jesus.

While true, I just altered my bio to reflect what I wanted people to know about me:  I'm college-aged.

A few weeks ago, I started reevaluating this statement. I'm not in college anymore. And I'm no longer gallivanting around my college campus, pretending I'm still a student. Who am I?

I still don't have a full-time job. I'm not in school. What other defining characteristics make me interesting?

Well, actually, I don't need to define myself based on my occupation. Or my eating habits. Or whatever. And it wouldn't make a difference if I had a job or not. My job or my student-status isn't who I am.

I AM a daughter. All those other things mean nothing compared to my daughterhood.

Our Catholic Identity

So I changed my bio:

I’m Elizabeth, a daughter of the Lord who eats lots of plants.

You can change your bio too. Maybe you don't have a website with a bio, but you probably have a bio in your head. You have a narrative that you tell yourself, consciously or not.

So I challenge you: think about who you are and change your bio accordingly. It might just change your life.

P.S. If you want a good scripture passage on Catholic identity to meditate with, Psalm 139 is one of my favorites.

P.P.S. You might enjoy learning how to Honor God with Your Body. Or for some actionable tips, read 5 Practical Ways to Eat Intentionally.

Our Catholic Identity

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