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who am i?

I sat on the beach, tears streaming down my cheeks, asking the hardest question I could think to ask: WHO AM I?

IMG_7131 Towards the end of our trip to Hawaii last spring, I just needed a moment to myself. Just me. And God. On the beach.

I get this way sometimes; it’s the true introvert in me. After months of being ignored due to daily routine and busyness, my introspective self yells, Stop the madness! Take a deep breath! Slow down! Attend to your soul!

This time felt bigger, though – more important and more urgent than ever before. Like I had been putting of some real soul-attending for a long time and that time had come.

I knew all of this would catch up with me. While in Rwanda nearly two years ago, my friend Jennie asked tough, pointed questions and kindly called me out.

It sounds like everything in your life right now is good”, she said.

But what if it could be better? What if really digging into all these insecurities and questions could result in something even greater than you could even imagine? Maybe it’s time to let go of good.”

I came home with every intention to dig in and search for better and instead just jumped back into regular, everyday, good life.

Thankfully, God didn’t let me stay there. He grabbed my attention one year later on that warm evening in May and began the gentle undoing that is leading to better.

I sat there on the sand listening to the rhythmic crashing of the waves for a long time. Praying, crying, thinking, searching, breaking. I’ve been in that praying-crying-thinking-searching-breaking spot ever since, continuing to ask the question:

Who Am I?

After nearly nine months of introspection (which, by the way, hasn’t stopped since that day on the beach. It’s been a big, hard, heavy, messy year) I’m one step closer to finding an answer.

I’m slowly reading/working through a book titled The Search for Significance. I’m not typically drawn to Christian living/self-help non-fiction books, but this one resonated with my from the beginning and I’m pretty desperate to heal and grow, so I’m doing it.

There is a statement that is repeated throughout the book – truth that I know in my head but haven’t fully believed in my heart. This approval-addict, affirmation-seeking girl needs these words to sink in and take root. These are words that bring freedom. That offer hope. That deliver grace and kindness. That hit to my core and are so hard to wrap my stubborn head around.

It is the absolute antidote to the performance-based acceptance lie I’ve held onto.

And it answers my big question.  Who Am I?

I am quote / jones design company There it is, right there.

I can add nothing to it. I did nothing to deserve it.

For a girl who gets a whole lot of meaning from doing, striving, performing, this truth feels like freedom. It is lofty and vague and intangible and I don’t quite like that (I want a check list! A to-do list! Actionable steps I can do), but it is just what my soul is craving.

I’m trusting that as I sit in this deep place of seeking, good will come from it.

Actually, I’m believing for even better.

double-line-tiny This journey I’m on (and maybe you are to?) is about discovering who God says I am and replacing subtle lies with this great truth. If you find yourself in a similar spot, first of all, know that you are not alone. Second, dig in. It is hard and what you’ll find might be ugly, but it’s worth it. And finally, let this truth about who you are sink in. You are deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted and complete in Christ. #goodnews

I made that little print up there for myself to keep as a reminder. I have in on the wall above my desk to keep my eyes and heart focused. I thought you might enjoy it, too. There are two per sheet, so feel free to download and print, keep one for yourself and share the other with a friend.

Free I Am art print / hand-lettered by Emily of Jones Design Company

The art print is in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

I would love to hear what this statement means to you. Feel free to comment below or snap a photo of your print and post to instagram. Be sure to tag me (@jonesdesigncompany) so I can hear more of your story. xoxo.

86 Responses to who am i?

  1. Deb Lewis May 23, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    I found your blog quite randomly. Now I know why – I feel connected. Love the Airstream and the travels. Love your introspection. Love your DIY creativity. This is just what I needed to find. :) deb

    • emily May 24, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      Thank you so much, Deb!

  2. Tami February 20, 2016 at 6:17 am #

    Great post & beautiful art! I am so thankful to have found someone who blogs that loves the art of lettering the words, the truths & the Word of God! I just got interested in hand lettering & figured they are the best “phrases” to practice on! Those are the words I want soaking into my soul!

    Anyway, the reason I wanted to respond was to say thank you for the artwork & the book suggestion. I just finished reading Beh Moore’s book So Long Insecurity & it was great! I normally never end up finishing self-help books, but God kept nudging me to (even though it was over 2 or 3 years). Now that I am finished with my it, I just might need to read this one next.

    Thank you!

  3. Ellie February 17, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. I read it several times and resonate with it deeply.

  4. Nicki February 16, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    Your email goes into my “social” tab in Gmail. Usually I scan and then do a junk delete in this tab. I did that this morning and after clicking delete I saw the line “who Am I?” I selected undo and searched for the email attached to this question. Years ago God took me on a journey of “Who Am I?” – this was after a heartbreak. That was quite a journey- I would come across that question in the most unexpected places and I grew. A year later- after this search for who I am I reunited with the person who broke my heart- thinking it was “true love” – for seven years I have lost myself- hurting. getting angry, feeling so afraid to face God. And last night he drove me to a devotional that spoke about facing who I am and now this morning your blog post. Thank you for sharing. thank you for helping me to get back on the path of finding out who I am in Christ!

  5. Kate West February 15, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    A few days before i read your post In was on a site called The Small Seed. They are doing an 18 day challenge geared toward helping girls and women find out who the are and to have better self esteem. Please check it out. I think you will find it help fun on your quest. It has helped me. Kate ( I have enjoyed your blog for years. Keep up the good work)

  6. Beth February 15, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    Amen and Amen. This moved me to tears and is exactly what I needed to hear in this very moment of life. Thank you for your words and for sharing your journey.

  7. darlene @fieldstonehilldesign February 14, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

    it has been a long time since your friend {dar} commented! hello, sweet friend!
    I had to thank you for this graphic from the bottom of my heart.

    I too, owe so much to this book and to the “significance creed” at the end of the study. It is a beautiful truth.

    oh yes, ma’am. These will be printed out and placed on all of our headboards for a while.

    thank you, dear friend! xoxoxo

    <3 to you!

  8. Suezoo February 14, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    I am going to add my reply without reading the ones previous, or I will chicken out.

    I’m good with the intent of all of this, until I get to the last line of the print.

    Actually, it is the last word “Christ”.

    I’ll just throw this out into the universe.

    Is there another word that could be used that is more inclusive? Inclusive of other religions, or no religion?

    Is there another word for “Christ” that could be used so that your agnostic, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Mennonite, Amish [ok, maybe not Amish, they are likely not online :)], Rastafarian, Seventh Day Adventists, Scientologist, etc., etc. … so that everyone could use your gift?

    I am not judging.

    I DO NOT want to start a flame war or a discussion on religion.

    I am not asking to be saved.

    I am just asking if there might be another word.

    Thanks for considering my request.

    • emily February 14, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you for being brave enough to put this request out there … I truly appreciate your humility and kindness in the asking.

      I guess I would just say that my conviction is that Christ IS the answer to all of this. The universe, buddha, self-actualization – these will not satisfy and fill the longing in our hearts and depravity of our souls. Only through Christ’s sacrifice and unmerited gift of grace do we experience freedom. I know you are not looking to be saved and I do not wish to force my beliefs on you, but I also can not remove the foundation of the truth of these statements because without Christ, none of these things are true.

      • Kyrie February 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

        Amen.

        • Nicki February 16, 2016 at 8:01 am #

          Spirit guided response. Praise God!

        • Suezoo February 16, 2016 at 9:37 am #

          Thank you for considering my request and for your forthright answer.

          I truly admire your conviction and sense of peace.

          I have rarely felt safe enough to ask my question and almost never receive such a gracious and kind response. So. Thank you.

          • emily February 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

            Anytime. It takes courage on both sides. You are always welcome here. xo

  9. Annalee February 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Yes, and amen to this, Emily. Christ led me to this post for the exact reason you stated… I’ve been living my life in fear of displeasing Him, trying to perform and be “exactly right,” to ensure my right standing with Him. You’re right, it’s so easy to SAY we believe He Loves us, and to believe it in our minds… but when it reaches our hearts, it completely rocks our world– with tears, with ugliness and pain, but also with relief… with freedom.

    Last month, Christ really led me to meditate on and dig into this verse: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). To believe that I am not merely a servant, but a CHILD and BRIDE of Christ, lavished in His Love. That He has set me free for freedom (Galatians). It was so moving.

    As I read this, the tears flowed; the song “Your Love is A Song” by Switchfoot played in my head: “Ooh, Your Love is a Symphony/ All around me/ running through me./ Your Love is a melody/ underneath me/ running to me./ Your Love is a Song.” Thank You, Jesus! And Thank you, Emily, for this. Jesus is using you in amazing ways.

  10. BaileyG February 14, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    This speaks to my soul, it’s good to not feel alone.

  11. Norma February 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    Dear Emily
    I am sure so many of us feel as you do but are unable to share those feelings.
    Thank you for sharing and also for the loving quote.
    (Personally not sure if I am “fully pleasing” but will keep meditating on it).

    God bless you
    x x x

  12. Heather Mills February 13, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your heart! This is a great thing for everyone to think on.

  13. Jo B. February 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Wow. Im saying it backwards, wow. What a beautiful, introspective piece to ponder and internalize.
    Thank you for your gifts of writing and your printables. You are making my world a better place.

  14. Kelley T February 13, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    Oh, I could have written this myself. I’m one of those outgoing introverts that nobody understands. I’ve been doing much soul-searching and hashing things out with God for the last little while. This is my heart. And, this print is EXACTLY what I’ve been repeating to myself daily. I’m hanging this up right now. Thank you!

  15. Lexie February 13, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    I ask the same as I stand in lines at food banks, unable to afford food , unable to pay bills I ask him and I reflect not from a beach in Hawaii like lucky you but in the pouring rain freezing cold standing in line hungry waiting for that one can of beans to get me through the week and as I desperately struggle for food and shelter.

    • emily February 14, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

      Lexie – Thank you for sharing. I sure sound like a spoiled brat and can certainly act like one too, but the truth is, we’re all going through the same internal things, just with different external circumstances. I’m so sorry for your situation right now. Thank you for sharing just a piece of your story. xo

  16. jenny February 13, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Emily, do you know Glennon Doyle Melton http://momastery.com/blog/? And Elizabeth Gilbert http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/?

  17. Anna February 12, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    I have been on a similar journey this past year. The book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge (along with her book Captivating) has been life changing for me. May Jesus fill you with His LIFE as you learn to abide in Him. (And thank you so much for the beautiful print?)

  18. Cat Kotaka February 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

    Beautiful words. Thank you.

  19. Jaclyn February 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    I first discovered/studied Search for Significance around 1996 !!
    It made a HUGE impact on me and I have often said it was the
    BEST book study I have ever done !!
    Good luck…you are on the right track !!!

  20. Angie K. February 12, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

    Oh this post so resonates with me! I’m not sure how to sum up everything that has brought me to this point of trying desperately to find out who I am, but it’s been a long time coming. I have had some changes to my life in the last year… I found some new freedom in belonging to a church filled with the Spirit and not full of rules/religion, I turned 30 this past summer (gulp!) and I welcomed my second child, my first daughter, into my life. All of this put together has made me start searching for who I really am in Christ. I want to be someone my daughter can look up to and admire as she grows up. I want to be a woman who makes her want to love Jesus because she sees Him radiating out of me.
    Honestly sometimes I don’t even know what my own style and passions are because I get so caught up in wanting to be accepted by others and liking what is considered trendy just because it’s that… trendy. My prayer is that the truth you have beautifully written on your printable would sink into the core of my being and that Jesus would show me exactly who He as made me to be. That I wouldn’t let others dictate who I am.
    Thanks so much for being honest and vulnerable! You’re amazing! ;)

    • emily February 14, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

      This is such a good point and a total struggle. We try to do things to fit in or because others are doing them when it’s not really us. Praying for courage and revelation about what your thing is!

  21. Maria February 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Loved your post! I, too, have been learning a lot the past couple of years about who I am in Christ. Getting that truth down deep in my heart is freeing. Our women’s ministry at church is in the middle of a study called “Who I Am in Christ” and it’s really good. You can listen at http://www.reynoldachurch.org/awakenings. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  22. Danielle Dibba February 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    Dear Emily,

    I CAN identify.

    The fact that you are even asking this question speaks volumes about your character. The Lord is working miracles in your life right now, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You are seeking Christ and your search will not be in vain. Healing has already begun.

    You are a blessing to those who read your blog. Your honesty and vulnerability are rare.

    I am sending up prayers for you right now.

  23. Pamela February 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I’m also a high achieving, list making super introvert who regularly needs soul seasons connecting with God. It takes me months and months even years to grapple with some of the subtleties of the lies I believed about myself as a child. Unintended words and wounds that the enemy knew my little child-mind could not process that I unintentionally used to define myself. I’m a woman of a certain age with grandchildren…2 years ago God took me back to my little girl years and I was quite annoyed and feeling foolish. But the end of it was that He invited me to dance again! The problem with learning to unbelievie lies is that you have no idea it’s a lie…until He reveals it, because of His deep love for you and satisfaction in keeping company with you and His ability and desire to bring wholeness back into the little girl He lovingly created. ❤️ Now THAT’S A VALENTINE!

  24. Anita February 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    I just finished my daily Bible study and read your post…this designates with me in so many ways! Who am I?
    I am broken but through God’s grace I am forgiven!
    I am seeking truth & through the Holy Spirit it is revealed!
    I am lost but thanks be to God I have found what I need to find peace & comfort!

    Thank you for your openness & your comforting words! I love the art print & will be printing it to share with the other ladies of my Bible study!!

  25. Monica February 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    Emily,
    Thank you for sharing your struggles. It is so hard to admit when things are not so perfect in our lives (especially when most social media leads us to compare ourselves to others). I applaud you for being so vulnerable in sharing your journey to find your true self in Christ.

    I too am on a similar journey, trying to find my true self. I am so very busy taking care of others (my husband and 4 boys), I often forget to nurture my own soul. I continually pray to Jesus to show me his Will and I will follow. I trust in him that he will lead the way for me.

    I have printed the quote and have framed it and put it front and center on my desk. What a joyous reminder that we are loved and valued by God for exactly who he created us to be.
    God Bless on your journey and thank you again for this wonderful, honest and heart warming post today.

  26. Dana Dodson February 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    Wow!! Normally I just scan through my emails but this one caught my attention. I’m just where you are—-for so long I’ve tried to fit in with my family and even buy love from my mother. I was at a point where I didn’t think I was love but I had to snap out of it because if no one on this earth loves me I know for sure God does. I pray for God to connect me with women that are going through what I am so we can connect in prayer and overcome this hurdle. I will lift all of you up in prayer and I know we will make it! God said in his word when two or three agree in prayer he’s in the mist.

  27. Angela February 12, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    I’ve been struggling through this question intermittently. And for me it comes from a different place. My life is not “good.” It may never again be my limited, human definition of great. It’s not comfortable, easy, or #blessed. My life used to be that way. And honestly, it’s kind of embarrassing to admit, and I NEVER would have said so at the time, but there was a measure of personal pride in that. I was a “good” person. I made all the right choices. I chose a good husband. I am responsible, and make the “right ” decisions. And I think I equated God’s approval in those blessings….financial comfort, marriage, children, etc. I am now discovering that while humans may be uncomfortable with sin, divorce, and pain, God is not, and He sits with me in the midst of it. That He approves of me no less and loves me no less for the hurt I am experiencing. That the bitterness I am tasting seems anything but good, but the fruit He is producing in me is sweet, and someday I will call myself blessed to have experienced this refining process (just not yet, honestly). That the true blessing is nothing that we see when we scroll through facebook or an instagram feed, but God with us when our life is anything but good.

    • Dana Dodson February 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Angela,
      I’ve been where you are and I too had that bitter taste in my mouth and to be honest I didn’t want to let it go because someone hurt me that bad. But God asked me Dana how can you pray and ask me to purge and fix you when you have such bitterness in your heart towards your ex-husband? So I had to pray constantly and eventually I forgave and let God fix the things I knew I couldn’t. So I will lift you up in prayer and will be waiting on your praise report ;-).

    • Annalee February 14, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Your words resonate with me so deeply, Angela. That Jesus just sits with us in the midst of it, of everything. I pray you would feel His hand holding yours, quietly, gently, steadfastly– when everything else hurts, and is not good in any way, shape, or form. Jesus Loves you. We, the body of believers, love you. You are safe, here. Thank you for being so vulnerable… I praise Jesus for your words. <3

  28. Trish February 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I read that book a number of years ago. I remember writing, underlining, and giving it a real workover. I need to revisit that book. Thank you for sharing from the heart and planting a seed of a place I need to revisit in my life:)

  29. Jeana February 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    Reminds me of the song “you’re a good, good Father, it’s who You are… And I’m loved by You. It’s who I am..
    And every time I hear that song it brings me such peace just knowing I AM LOVED by God Almighty, who gave His Son in my place so that I can be with Him someday.. That’s how much He loves me!! It blows my mind every time when I just let myself become saturated in that thought.

    Thank you so much for sharing so deeply.. And I love that you stand for what you believe in. May God continue to show you exactly who you are in Him. Xoxo

    • emily February 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

      I have had that song running through my mind so much recently!

  30. elizabeth February 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    I read through Search For Significance years ago. I was struggling with identity post college and the truths of that book have stuck with me for the (ehm…many) years since. Thanks for sharing your struggles, in a world of comparison it’s so easy to assume everyone else has it together and that thought can lead to such isolation. You have a beautiful blog by the way!

    • Annalee February 14, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      “in a world of comparison it’s so easy to assume everyone else has it together and that thought can lead to such isolation.” This is so sadly true, sister. Especially in church culture, at times… so many people feel so isolated and ashamed because of these worlds of grandeur we have built ourselves up to be. May Jesus smash those pretty, “white-washed tomb” walls to dust, and rebuild us from the inside out. I pray for true fellowship with other believers, where we can be real, really broken and messy, and yet, really, really loved with Christ’s love. Blessings, sister.

  31. Amy February 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your print – as I was reading the post, I hoped there might be a download! Perfect words to meditate on x

  32. LeAnne Martin February 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your struggles and your gift. I have been thinking about and working through identity–mine, and ours in Christ–since last summer. I’ve written a little bit about it and am currently leading a small group using the book, Gospel Identity.

    It’s definitely an ongoing process. I want to be able to just “get it” and move on to the next thing I need to learn in order to grow the way I want to. Identity is something I think I’ll always need to revisit, though, and that’s a good thing–to continually be reminded of who I am in relation to Him and because of Him.

    Thank you again for sharing yourself and for this beautiful blog and printable. Coming here is always a treat.

  33. Jen February 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    I’m on the same journey as well Emily. Thank you for being so open to us, it’s easy to feel isolated during this time. The line in the quote that surprises me the most is, “fully pleasing”. I can believe the rest of it but for some reason the idea of being pleasing to Him seemes like more than I should expect. How crazy! I’m going to let this one sink in for sure. I’m printing and sharing with with my bible study group.

  34. Suzie February 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    I read that book in a group study more than 20 years ago. It changed my life forever. Knowing who God says we are instead of what the world ( and the church) says has been so freeing! Blessings to you!

  35. judi February 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    ditto to all that you wrote (fellow checklist maker, approval seeker, and insecure in His love-which makes no sense!) I’ve had a turmoil going on for several years in many different forms because I let go of exactly what I’ve needed to be “doing”. thank you for sharing your heart as that is who God wanted you to be in this moment of time.
    and thank you to the fellow commenters for sharing as well…so much truth spoken in such a time as this.
    I’ve decided to focus not on the stress but how I’m blessed. it’s a start :)

  36. Dana February 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi, Emily! I’d like to tell you that God placed you and your message right where it needed today – especially for me. I was reading a short devotional this morning about forgiveness – not about ours for others, but about God’s forgiveness for us. I have been a Christian most of my life but I truly have a hard time grasping this concept. Because I haven’t completed the “checklist” and been “promoted” to the next level of who knows what, I feel unworthy. And guilty. I know that His grace is sufficient but it is SO very hard to believe. SO easy to doubt this “easy-out.”

    Thank you for this message, this art. You have no idea what it means to me to not only see it, but to read your words.

    God Bless!

  37. Sarah Wood February 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    excellent post! thank you for sharing. Already bought the book on audible by clicking through your link …and downloaded and printed your free pdf! I LOVE IT! thanks again!

  38. Debbie February 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    Emily,
    I so appreciate your willingness to be open and honest in all your endeavors. I’m not a blogger, or at least don’t think I am, and assume I’ll be hearing back from you via email – right? I knew I wanted to do something special for Lent, and believe you gave me just the resource I need, ‘The Search for Significance’. I’m going to get the book ASAP. I notice on Amazon, they also have a related Journal, Student Edition, or Workbook. My intention is to read this individually. What edition(s) would you recommend? I look forward to hearing back from you ASAP. Thanks Emily.
    Debbie

    • emily February 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      I have the book and there is a whole section with questions in the back. Make sure you have those questions because it really makes you stop and think on the different chapters.

  39. Lisa Marsack February 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    I believe you are not on this journey alone. I believe there are countless men and women searching for more, desperate for it. I know I am. Have you heard the song, “Good, Good Father?” I am a worship leader at my church and one evening we had a worship night. God spoke to my heart as I put the set list together to select this song. Before the worship night I marinated it in. As I did, tears ran down my cheeks as God did some healing in my soul. I needed to be confronted with the lie the enemy wanted me to believe. I needed to hear, “You’re a good, good Father… it’s who you are… it’s who you are… it’s who you are… AND I’m LOVED by You… it’s who I am… it’s who I am… it’s who I am. I was so wrecked (in a good way) by the song I just knew God meant healing for more than me. The night we sang together as a church God moved in a powerful way. His presence was tangible. This is what I heard in my head as I read your post. You are LOVED by him. Period. It is who you are. Thank you for sharing something so personal. It helps more people than you know!!!!

  40. CJ February 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. I think all Christians have been where you are at some point in their walk with Christ. A year and a half ago I took a new dream job, moved to a new state, left a great church home and great friends behind and Who?, What?, and Why? were questions that plagued me for months after I moved. It felt like my whole world got turned upside down and I was questioning everything about myself and my life. But I think God used this opportunity to move me out of my comfort zone. After some honest introspection, I admitted that I had become so complacent, lazy even, in my faith and walk with Him. I went to a great church that I hated to leave behind, but I recognize now that I (also a people-pleasing, approval-seeking junkie) had become too dependent on the counsel and faith of others to prop me up and guide me rather than taking the quiet time to seek and listen to what God was speaking to my heart myself. I needed to learn to stand on my own two spiritual feet again. It hasn’t been an easy transition, but boy have I grown and learned a lot about myself!

  41. Amy February 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you Emily for sharing your heart! Approval is an area I’ve struggled with most my life. He’s still working on me. It is hard and sometimes ugly dealing with the sin we hold onto. Thankful that the grace for the next step and the courage to receive it will be given! My pastor shared a prayer in church on Sunday from a book called “Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning.

    “Abba, I surrender my will and my life to you today, without reservation and with humble confidence, for you are my loving Father. Set me free from self-consciousness, from anxiety about tomorrow, and from the tyranny of the approval and disapproval of others, that I may find joy and delight simply and solely in pleasing you. May my inner freedom be a compelling sign of your presence, your peace, your power, and you love. Let your plan for my life and the lives of all your children gracefully unfold one day at time. I love you with all my heart, and I place all my confidence in you, for you are my Abba.”

    Thank you for the beautiful print and the the words to remind us who we are in Christ!

    • Jenni February 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      What a beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing it, Amy!

  42. Kari February 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    So timely. You are the hands and feet of Christ, as I needed to hear this today in this moment. Thank you for that.

  43. Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    I’ve followed your blog for many years and have always felt like we were kindred spirit {not to be creepy}. But truly appreciate your honesty and transperancy. I’m walking/working through The Search for Significance as well with my accountability group. Agree, I know these truths in my head but now I’m going to settle them in my soul. Absolutely love the print! Thanks for sharing!! I’ll print and share with my group!

  44. marlene strait February 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Thank you, you will never know how much I needed this today, of all days. Bless you

  45. Natalie February 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Thank you Emily. I think we often forget who we are. I think if we truly truly understood how God sees us it would bring us to our knees more often. In this world of social media it’s easy to loose sight of our potential and easily become wrapped up in what we are not. At least for me. ;) I found this quote the other day and put it on my fridge. ”
    Looking out through a window, not just into a mirror, allows us to see ourselves as His. We naturally turn to Him in prayer, and we are eager to read His words and to do His will. We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram.”
    I will add your print to this. Thanks again for the reminder! Beautiful post!

  46. Gray Maher February 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    I am going to send you an email. We are kindred spirits.

  47. Heather February 12, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Thank you for this sweet (printable) reminder of who we are in Christ and sharing your heart- I love your blog for so many reasons, and I am so glad that this is what God has called you and empowered you do. I am thankful for the way you are using your gifts to bless others (namely, me!).

    everywherejoy.com

  48. Krista February 12, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    you are amazing and my new favorite blog! I am going through a similar journey. nice to know i’m not the only one :-) (i do the crying on the beach thing too. one of the things I miss a lot since having kids. harder to find time for it). thank you!

  49. Mary February 12, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    Beautiful Emily. I think God is teaching many of us the same thing. I loved “Good News for Weary Women” by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Thanks for the print–I love it. http://www.marydeandraws.com

  50. Alicia Chafin February 12, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Well, goodness, if your post didn’t just dredge up all the feels in me. I guess I must have some hidden similar feelings. That was totally unexpected. So many of your sentences sounded like me (don’t usually go for the Christian/self-help books, need an actionable list!) I will need to think on this, but perhaps it is my time to seek this journey as well. XOXO.

  51. Kimber February 12, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    These are such beautiful words. I can’t wait to print a reminder for me… alas, I could not find it in the archives. Looking forward to seeing it there soon.
    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, your journey and your talents!

  52. Anne Pik February 12, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Also couldn’t find it in the archives. Thanks for a heartfelt blog post and tender print which I would like to print to remind myself how blessed I am.

    • Anne Pik February 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

      Thank you Emily, I found it!

  53. Chris February 12, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    I loved reading this post! I love the print and will be printing it off as well. Thank you! And thank you for sharing a vulnerable side of you. It’s so nice to connect with you in this way. ❤️

  54. Brittany February 12, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    Emily, I needed to hear this message today. Thank you for helping me remember that I am not the only one struggling. I need to have confidence that God has the plan – I don’t bear that burden. Thank you.
    Went to go download the print so I can take it home with me today and put it up but couldn’t find it in the archives.
    Thanks again,

  55. Annie February 12, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    I have walked with the Lord for almost 40 years. You would think I’d have it figured out by now, but each day I learn to let what you wrote sink in, REALLY sink in. Because I am a doer, an action person, a recovering people pleaser, and I really needed to read these words again (and again). I don’t think this journey ever stops to realize who we are in Christ. Thank you for sharing the depths of your heart publicly. I sure do appreciate your generosity and tenderness.

  56. Allie February 12, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    Emily,
    I just love your blog and am so thankful for the prints you create!
    Your words are so relatable and I cannot wait to read this book!
    I am having trouble finding the print in the archives though. Perhaps I am missing something?

    Have a great day!
    Allie

    http://www.homewithyouliving.com

  57. Jenni McCadams February 12, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Thank you for sharing your journey, Emily. You have a deep and beautiful heart. I’m also reaching for better, and I’m learning that means taking the time to sit with these questions. To let myself feel the pain from wounds that would be easier to push away so Jesus can heal those places. To let Him show me the lies I believe about myself and the roots of the acceptance I seek. Healing is such hard work! But it’s always worth it. For His glory and our freedom.
    We for sure need to get coffee in heaven if it doesn’t happen before then. ;) Keep doing and sharing your beautiful work. Xoxo, Jenni

  58. June Pope February 12, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    I, too, am in this seeking place right now. I believe it’s been brought on by the beginning of Lent. I think you would love the Lenten Study you can download at lifeingraceblog.com
    There’s a short devotional for everyday. It’s changed how I feel about Lent. That God isn’t interested in seeing us deprive ourselves of things we love. He only wants to see us responsible for our spiritual lives and dedicating ourselves to believing what he’s promised us.
    Thanks for sharing with us today. Be happy for your life in Christ!

  59. Chowlover February 12, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Beautiful material Emily! How about a message that says Complete with the Universe? Even as optional. It covers a lot more ground and doesnt exclude.

  60. Elisabeth February 12, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    In a time where everything and everyone are so self-centered it is good to follow someone like you who knows her gifts comes from someone Greater. I love everything you do!
    I am trying to find the Beautiful Art print in the archive but I can’t see it. I am probably staring right at it.

  61. Donna February 12, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    I love this, Emily! But, I couldn’t find it in the archive.

    • Carla February 12, 2016 at 11:07 am #

      Emily, your vulnerability and fragile heart resonate with so many, myself at the top of the list in the season of life I find myself. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us with that we are complete in Christ. Period. End of discussion. Nothing else needed. And like Donna, I’d love to download the print, but can’t seem to access it. Am I missing something? Ha! No pun intended. The answer is no, I’m complete in Christ! :)

  62. Elizabeth February 12, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    Oh, Emily. This is beautiful, and so are you. It’s such a privilege to see God at work – thank you for sharing your story.

    I too am wrestling with the same question; your words came at a perfect time. Keep on letting your light shine!

  63. Linda February 12, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Emily!
    This so resonates with me! Somehow even when we know these things in our head and hear the voice of our Father we still need to let it sink deep enough into our hearts to change our thinking. He’s a Good, Good Father and He loves us so. We have nothing to prove! We are loved beyond measure! In HIM we are Enough!
    Thanks for sharing from your heart!
    (Tried to download the print and doesn’t seem to be I the printable files ..yet)

    • Linda February 12, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      It’s up and working now, just printed it off. xoxox

  64. Melinda February 12, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Wow! I’ll be printing this off asap. Nearly 20 years ago, I also studied this book and this was the phrase that I wrote on an index card and repeated to myself often. Thanks be to God, He continually reminds me of His love and that I’m complete in Him. Only when we find our significance in Christ, can we rest. Thanks for sharing, Emily.

  65. Parker Smith February 12, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    I am reading Thomas Merton’s autobiography “The Seven Storey Mountain” about his journey to the Catholic faith and the Monastery at Gethsemani.

    A timely quote: “The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men.”

    So many of our actions are predicated on the thought “how will this make other people perceive me?” It used to be only celebrities stage-managed themselves. In the new world of social media, everyone does it.

  66. Linda Miltzow February 12, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Yes you are, Emily!
    For God so loved YOU that He gave His one and only son, CHRIST, that whoever would BELIEVE in Him would have eternal LIFE.
    We are deeply loved by the one who made us. A beautiful thought and promise on this weekend of love!

    • Linda Miltzow February 12, 2016 at 11:03 am #

      Btw…thank you for sharing your story. It is good for all of us to take some time and reflect with our Savior about who we are and who He wants us to be. I’m glad you listened to His prompting to take some time with Him.
      Thank you for the print…will you let us know when you post it to the archives? I am certainly going to be sharing this. We all need to KNOW this truth in our hearts everyday!

      • Linda Miltzow February 12, 2016 at 11:04 am #

        Got it! Thanks!

  67. Jill February 12, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    That was beautiful. And made me cry. It’s tough to be an introvert in this busy, extroverted world. Brave of you to share and also very kind. Thank you!~

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