Last Tuesday night during nighty-night-time Lyric, my five year old daughter, asked, “Daddy, can we go up to God?

”Why do you want to go up to God?”

”I have to ask him something.”

”Well we can talk to God right here, right now.”

You can imagine how the rest of the conversation proceeded. If Lyric had her druthers she’d board her rocket ship and visit God daily just to talk with him. Discussions like this one occur about every five seconds when you have little ones. And I am always struck at the unique perspectives my girls possess.

When do we lose our unique perspectives?

In the cultural ocean of sameness the only things that distinguish us are those unique qualities that make us, well, us. But the temptation in our specialized culture of sameness is to drill down on our strengths—thank you Marcus Buckingham. But as my good friend Dr. Stephen Graves reminded me recently: if you only focus on your strengths you develop blind spots and become one-dimensional.

Developing core competencies is important. But we should never shelve things about ourselves simply because they appear either weak to the modern world or because they don’t fit in traditional paradigms. Who wants to be one-dimensional anyway? I like stick figures, but I don’t want to be one.

Lyric’s rocket ship perspective on communicating with God melts me—it makes her unique. It’s not my job to instruct her on the postures of prayer. It’s my job to learn from her unabated uniqueness—a uniqueness, an identity, still untarnished by adult hang-ups.

You are not everyone else. You are you. For you were made in the secret place. Woven together with threads of fear and wonder. God fashioned your physical body with special intent. He blew into you his own breath, quickening your innermost parts—your soul.

In the quiet of eternity God saw you—the you that is full of complexity, quirks, silliness, warmth, intellect, dreams and giftings. Wherever you go, God is with you. Whatever you do, his sovereignty holds you.

Today and forever, don’t let anyone dictate your identity to you. Rather, with sweeping delight, let the light of your life so shine before the world. And, lest you think I am bewitching you with self-help hoo-ha, think again. To understand your identity is to rest in confidence in the will of the Father for you.

”Guide us with your will, Oh Father. Help us be ourselves—fearful and wonderful children of the heavens!”


— Be You

Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.