In life, when I think about the many roles I fill, I always think of these five: Christ follower, dancer, friend, sister and lastly - a daughter. Growing up, I had a wonderful family and a lot of privileged opportunities. It was not until recent years that I began assessing my role in my family and what that looked like. In our household, my parents' expectations of us were normal: obey authority, be respectful, make good choices, work hard and always do your best. These are not unreasonable requests and I did my best to meet them, sometimes better than others. However, the issue for me and my confusion of my role came when I turned these simple expectations into this false image of who I thought my parents wanted me to be. So during my high school years, I strived to be the perfect version of me to please my parents.
In my mind, the perfect version of Rebeccah was as follows: independent, respectful, straight A student, be a size 2, always wears makeup, super Christian, emotionally independent, always happy and the list goes on.
Normal Teen Rebeccah
The struggle with this is the real me is: dependent on thriving relationships, I was a B/C student, I was a size 6 at the time, I actually hated wearing makeup back in HS, I doubted if Jesus was real a lot, I enjoy being able to express my emotions to people, and I was not happy all the time (I was a teenager).
These thinking patterns followed me into my later years of college and then I piled more burdens onto myself. I felt like my family had to know I was there for them. Every single member needed to know everyday I loved them unconditionally and I would do anything for them. I then developed a sense of having to call and check in on my parents and grandparents daily. I was their fixer. That became my role as a daughter: the FIXER - if there is a problem, Perfect Rebeccah who everyone loves is coming to fix the day!
What I did not realize was that my burdens of always trying to seek approval from my parents and extended family and the other burden of always feeling like I had to fix any issue that might arise in the McCully household all came to a screeching halt when I let my family down and showed them I had been faking it and I had been trying to be someone I was not. My dad has a way of speaking to my heart in such a sweet and tender way and said, “Rebeccah, you are my daughter; there is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you less or more. I love you just the way you are. Our family does not need you to be the fixer or pretend to be this version of yourself you are not to please us; you are to strive to who God has called you to be. God is the glue of our family and He is the one that created you to be you! So give these frustrations and worries over to the Lord."
It was in that moment that I realized that my role of a daughter was simple.
The Roles of a Daughter
1. Love God with all of My Heart
Luke 10:27 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind."
2. Pray for my family
Philippians: 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
3. Trust God with my family and any obstacles my family may face
Isaiah: 40:28-31 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
4. Be the person God has called you to be, not the version you think your parents want you to be or are trying to make you be.
Galatians: 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Now I am not sure how you feel about this topic or if you can relate to this struggle or my burdens of being a daughter. But what I do know is that we all have burdens that are related to our roles as daughters. Being a daughter is no easy task; it can be frustrating, tiring, worrisome, but it can also be fun, joyous and so rewarding. I pray that when you think about your role as a daughter, know that you have been placed in that role for a purpose and a reason. Don’t let the burdens you may bear by being a daughter overtake you and keep you from the satisfying relationship you can have with your parents. We are with our parents for only a short time, so give your burdens to Christ and let him be the center of your relationship with your parents.