Recently, I was dealing with some insecurities about my identity. Identity insecurity is an unwelcome but regular visitor in my life, especially as someone who today identifies as “queer” and “female” and “pastor” in a world that often considers their coexistence to be oxymoronic. Some days holding those identities together feels like trying to assemble a puzzle on the bottom of a swimming pool.
Thankfully I meet monthly with my spiritual director, who’s excellent at processing these things with me. I told her about my most recent episode of insecurity, and, after some deep listening and clarifying questions, as is her practice, she invited me to take some time during our session to listen to God. The question she wanted me to ask was, “Jesus, what words would you use to describe me?”
I listened. The first word that came to me was “beloved.” I instinctively dismissed it, listening for other words. When she checked back in with me, I briefly mentioned having moved quickly past “beloved,” and of course, instead of letting it slide, she dug in and asked why.