Do you believe that you are a child of God, the king of the world? So, you are a royal heir inheriting the entire kingdom! This daily devotional will share how I came to a wholehearted realization of what it means to understand and embrace the fact that I am a child of God.
The format of this daily devotional for women is “self-examination” so I’ll be sharing my personal story of how I discovered what God says about me and how I came to believe that I am a child of God. It happened when I was suicidally depressed due to a narcissistic marriage. That was when God drew me close and strengthened my faith.
READ: What is Faith?
The format of this devotional is “self-examination.” I trust that sharing my deep insecurities and spiritual breakthroughs with you in this Biblical devotional will encourage and empower you. I pray that you’ll be moved and inspired as you witness this story of Jesus’ glory.
READ: Who is Jesus?
May this devotional be a blessin to you!
Daily Devotional for Women: “I am a Child of God”
All my childhood was spent wondering about my identity. I couldn’t believe that I in any way possible was my mother’s child. I couldn’t accept that I truly belonged to the family I lived with because they claimed that I was a worthless miscarriage.
My Identity Transformation Story
My Early Life in Russia
I was born out of wedlock in Russia in 1983 into a family of alcoholics to a single mother who hated me.
There were ten people in a 4-bedroom condo: my mom, me, her middle sister and her daughter, her little sister and her family, and my grandparents.
My grandma was so ashamed of me being fatherless, she insisted that I never call her “grandma” in front of people.
[my grandmas picture with me]
My family made and sold their own alcohol. My grandma, my aunt, and my mom were all working as generators, and they envisioned that same profession as a perfect future for me.
Emotional and physical abuse, rape, two suicide attempts – I’ve been through it all. My life at home was awful, abusive, humiliating and debilitating.
My mother started getting me addicted to porn when I was very young. I kept my virginity till 16, which was too long for her and she highly encouraged me to finally just give it away. So, I did.
My mother told me on a regular basis: “You’re worthless, I hate you and I just want you dead!”
I tried to commit suicide when I was 11 and 12 because it seemed a much better idea than living with my mother. She made me feel unwanted, unwelcome, and unworthy.
She even used to dressing me up as a boy because she resented who I was.
[picture of me dressed up as a boy]
I couldn’t make peace with the fact that I was that family’s child. I rejected that identity and wanted to break free from any association with the people whom I grew up with. I wanted to have a new identity. I wanted to be free from those people who abused me as a child.
[pictures of my family]
Later in life, I moved to America and established a name for myself as an author and speaker Anna Stevens.
My book about smart goals was recognized by International Book Awards and Indie Excellence Awards.
[book testimonials videos]
Articles were published in magazines about me. Television programs featured my life story. Multiple podcasts invited me regularly to be a guest speaker and share my point of view. I stood comfortably in my identity as Anna Stevens, until it was shuttered completely.
Here’s how it happened.
Marriage with The Narcissist
I remember January 31st of 2016, a beautiful cool last day of a special month.
I had a boyfriend. His name was Michel.
I wanted to help Michel feel special, so I prepared a picnic for him that day. Homemade food and a beautiful view of a fountain on a small lake. The scenery was breath-taking. It all took place at Perimeter Church late Sunday afternoon.
Why was I with my boyfriend at church picnicking late Sunday afternoon? We were getting ready to go to pre-engagement counseling class at Perimeter Church called “Right Path.”
Michel signed us up for that class because he had told me he wanted to marry me a few weeks after we started dating. I said I’ll consider if we go to pre-engagement counseling. Michel chose Perimeter Church because he graduated from Metro Atlanta Seminary there (according to him).
I said I would need pre-engagement counseling before I could respond to that idea of marriage. That’s how we got into the “Right Path” class.
That afternoon, we were hungry. We were about to go to the class and learn about marriage. A picnic seemed to be the best way to spend our time together while waiting. I thought it would make Michel feel special.
The weather was cool that day, so I brought a blanket. I was wearing a black jacket with a leather belt from H&M to stay warm.
picture of us getting engaged from IG
I was setting up the picnic, turned around, and there was Michel kneeling in front of me with a ring.
Are you curious to know my response? First I yelled “What the hell?!” No, I’m not kidding… I actually responded with those very words. Really.
After that, I looked at Michel and saw a future together. I saw the man I respected and loved. Seeing him humbling himself and kneeling before me with the ring, not only did I say “YES” to his marriage proposal but I also said this:“Michel, you are the most Christ-like man I’ve ever met. With your behaviors, actions and interactions with me and others, you’ve exhibited the Fruit of the Spirit” – and I named the nine – “I’ll be honored to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Michel worked at a mega-church in Alpharetta at the time and portrayed himself as a seminary graduate who loved Jesus. It seemed as if God was Michel’s priority.
All the qualities I listed verbally as his own, he truly exhibited in our dating relationship. Most of the time when I thought about Michel, I thought “Christ-like.”
We were married on May 14th, 2016 in front of family and friends.
[our wedding picture]
As I walked down the aisle, there stood Michel, the man I loved and adored! He had the tears of happiness in his eyes. Michel declared his genuine love for me to the world that day.
Our wedding was took place in Norcross, GA, at a Russian restaurant called “Verdi.”
After the wedding, Michel abandoned our marriage and declared to me: “My bicycle is my other wife I cheat on you with.” He said that he wasn’t interested in me and that all he wanted was to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
We never made it to even a honeymoon. Instead, right after our wedding, we went to Chattanooga, TN for an IronMan competition.
[picture of us there from IG]
Michel rejected me not just verbally and with his daily actions, but sexually, too, stating that he didn’t want sex and needed to save his body for IronMan training.
Michel treated me as if I were a stranger in our home. He never treated me as his wife. Prior to our wedding, he requested that I give up Anna Stevens and accept his last name to honor him. So, after I married Michel, I became Anna Szabo.
I was also ashamed of having his last name. I had such a painful inner conflict between Anna Stevens, who I was before we got married, and Anna Szabo, who I became after I married Michel. I felt that Michel didn’t deserve the honor of passing his last name to me.
I felt sad for letting my identity go and becoming someone I couldn’t accept: a woman who’s been traded in for a bicycle.
My identity crisis resulted in a severe suicidal depression. At the time, I had a Biblical counselor. Under her leadership, I decided to refocus from what Michel said about me and instead focus on what God said about me.
I started searching the Bible to find out: what does God say about me? And I found 52 truths about my identity in Christ.
video meditation on identity in Christ
With each new truth I discovered, God gave me a Biblical devotional for women to memorize, practice, and share. One of the devotionals was about my identity as a child of God.
Realization of Who I am In Christ
As I was searching to discover who God said I am, I stumbled upon Galatians 3:26 and John 7:38.
Galatians 3:26 says this: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”What that meant to me was that I could put aside my identity as my mother’s daughter and as Michel’s wife and be who I truly am, regardless of my last name, a child of God.
This was such a huge breakthrough for me. My conflict between Anna Stevens and Anna Szabo was resolved and I felt integrated as a person finally.
[Anna Stevens vs Anna Szabo]
All those years I was wondering: “Whose child am I?” and finally I had the exact truth: I am God’s child.
I’ve learned from my study that I have God’s character, intelligence, sound mind, and a powerful spirit. I’ve learned that becoming God’s child through my faith in Christ would also expose me to the “rivers of living water.”
The Rivers of Living Water in My Belly
In March of 2017, all of a sudden one morning I woke up with a poem in my head. It was the day before our divorce mediation: Michel filed for a divorce twice in our first year of marriage. I was broken-hearted and severely suicidal. It was 4 am. I was in my bed. And I was confused. Why? Because I had never been a poet.
I captured the poem. Here it is for you.
“I am your Princess” 3/6/2017
My heart is broken,My soul is aching,But I have hope,Because you are still reigning.
Your mercy gifts forgiveness.Your grace gifts blessings.We don’t deserve your goodness:Our lives are always messy.
But you don’t rate performance -Our heart is one that matters.So when we fail all over,You raise us from the deadness.
Your strength is sufficient.Your love is enough.I am your daughter -A perfect princess in the fallen world.
The feeling of contentment with the situation began taking over my body and mind. Peace captured my heart and I was able to focus on my identity as a child of God and gain surreal confidence that everything will be ok.
That day, my second poem was born.
“I Trust You With The Troubles In This World” 3/6/17
You said we will have troubles in this world.I would have sure preferred to avoid all my trials…But you also promised to defeat every sword,And with no battles to fight, how could I ever feel the perfect love as your special child?
You promised protection, you promised peace.You asked to not lean on my own comprehension.So, as I’m standing here, crying on my knees,I trust you still and your perfect plan for my eternal salvation.
I finally was able to refocus from my worldly drama with Michel to my beautiful eternity with God.
In the next few months, I wrote 200 poems all based on the Gospel of Truth. How was it possible?
John 7:38 gave me the answer:“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
I believed in Jesus, and He gave me the rivers of living water. They started flowing from within me, which refers to the Holy Spirit in me. Some translations say “out of their belly”.
The Holy Spirit gave me all that content: the Biblical poetry, the devotionals, the podcast… Everything that came pouring later, even the Biblical wall art I designed. All was from God as the gift of living waters flowing out of my “belly.”
I began sharing those spiritual poems, and people were telling me how much the content of my rivers of living water was helping them. None of it was from me.
I wouldn’t even know how to go about writing a poem. It was all the product of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.
And then, #52Devotionals began coming to me, one by one, at 4 am, every day, until the entire book of 52 Devotionals for women was complete.
Let me just tell you this: writing devotionals was not one of my life goals and surely it was not in my plans. Devotionals were not my strength or a priority. I had never ever thought about writing Biblical devotionals. Ever.
But God’s plan prevails. We all know that. And so, I authored 52 Biblical devotionals for women and put them all in a little book I began giving away for free.
[download #52Devotionals for free]
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
My New Life as a Child of God
My new identity as a child of God made the childhood troubles I endured and the confusion of being rejected by Michel after our wedding all irrelevant. I’ve learned to stand confidently in my identity as a Princess, a daughter of the King of the entire universe.
I wrote a gratitude poem about my life and identity, and I’d like to share it with you.
“My life is such a gift” 9-14-17
My life is such a gift.My life is such a blessing.I’m grateful for each day,Which I’m with joy professing.
I’m grateful for the peace,I’m grateful that I’m healthy,For joy that may not cease,And being friendships-wealthy.
I’m grateful for abundanceOf food and drinking water,And clothing choices hundreds,And being God’s own daughter.
I’m grateful for each mentorWho time invests & wisdomTo ground me & centerIn Gospel & God’s kingdom.
I’m grateful for awarenessOf who I am in JesusAnd for my journey’s rareness.To love it I have reasons.
My life is very special,And I am special also -I have a high potential,With Scriptures armed, I know so.
I’ve learned to get used to the rivers of living water pouring from my deepest being. I’ve learned new ways of thinking. I’ve adopted new behaviors. I became new as a child of God in Christ.
You see, my mom hated me. She sexualized me and taught me only evil things. We never were believers. God was never a part of my life growing up. I was taught anger, rage, promiscuity, and alcoholism. I developed desire for perfectionism and control. And I developed depression with that. I was a sex addict for most of my adult life. I was an overspender, an alcoholic, and a very angry person.
But God made me new as His child.
God gave me not just a new identity but a whole new life. He gave me new hope, new thoughts, new ways of living, and a new purpose.
If you’ve been listening to my Gospel-based podcast The Anna Szabo Show and watching my Christian YouTube videos, you know that I always talk about God and His work in me.
[listen to The Anna Szabo Show]
I’ve been sharing about God’s love for His children, His goodness and faithfulness, and His promises. How do I know all this? From my real Father God. That’s the rivers of living water flowing from the Holy Spirit in me. It’s not my own understanding but the infinite intelligence of God revealed to me and through me.
The anger, the addictions, the rage, the perfectionism, and the desire for control – all went away and instead the rivers of living waters began flowing from within me.
My Christian podcast, my YouTube channel fir Christian women, my book of free Biblical devotionals, and the joy I experience daily are all the rivers of living water flowing out of my soul.
Accepting my identity as a child of God allowed me to experience God’s grace, forgiveness, peace that passes all understanding, and the joy of the Lord.
How To Accept Your Identity as a Child of God
The same way, the Holy Spirit lives in you if you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior. You have access to God’s grace, forgiveness, peace that passes all understanding, and the joy of the Lord.
Jesus died for you on the cross so you can become a child of God through your faith in Him.
When you placed your faith in Christ and accepted His sacrifice, the rivers of living water became available to flow out of your deepest being. You just need to be open to God’s changes in you.
Spend time daily listening to the Holy Spirit speak to you from that place of abundance of joy within you. What are you hearing?
The most important thing you must know as you’re listening for the Holy Spirit is that you control your thoughts, your thoughts control your mind, and your mind controls your brain. To hear the Holy Spirit speak to you, take every negative thought captive and submit it to the truth of Christ.
I wrote a poem about your brain’s neuroplasticity and how you control your mind with your thoughts. Here it is for you.
Mind Over Matter 9/18/2018
Your thoughts create your future.It happens every moment.Your pain and wounds you sutureWith every thought and comment.
You choose your thoughts with free will.You are in charge of choosing.Defeating thoughts your dreams kill.Don’t be your thoughts misusing!
Decide to think of greatness.Decide to think of joy.Decide that you with gladnessYour thought life will enjoy!
No matter circumstances.No matter wounds and pain.Your thoughts are your advances.They make or break your brain.
With healthy thoughts, you’re healing.With harmful thoughts, you’re sick.Bad thoughts can joy be stealing -To cause you harm they’re quick.
So, choose to think of blessings,And choose to think of grace.Start gratitude expressingWith thoughts of joy and praise.
Your thoughts create your future.It happens every moment.Your pain and wounds you sutureWith every thought and comment.
You can help yourself hear from God and receive the rivers of living waters by practicing biblical affirmations.
Biblical affirmations help you develop a mental library of positive, Gospel-based thoughts that you can use any time.
When you’re trying to hear from God but negative thoughts disrupt you, practice Biblical affirmations you’ve memorized and see how God will your your mind for His good. The rivers of living waters will flow out of your deepest being when you focus your thoughts on God’s truth.
To tune into the Holy Spirit within, to hear God’s voice, memorize and practice this Biblical affirmation.
I Am a Child of God
I am a child of God In Christ.Through my faith, I became God’s daughter.With a grateful heart, I accepted His sacrifice.From my deepest being now flow the rivers of living water.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Share with me in the comments below so I can cheer you on.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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