What’s your father’s name? Who are your parents? Whose daughter are you?
Daughter [noun] daugh·ter | \ ˈdȯ-tər: A) a female offspring especially of human parents, B) a female adopted child, C) a human female descendant
The defining questions of any daughter in the Hmong community. As I have lived the past 11 years apart from my parents as a single young woman, I frequently answered these questions as I was constantly meeting new people during my years at college and then later, travelling for my job. When I graduated college and started living on my own, I had an identity crisis. Things that once filled my time and were my community (ministry, school, friends, and fellowship) became the previous chapter in my life. A new chapter had begun, and I didn’t know the middle or ending of it. I realized that my identity had been rooted in those things instead of first and foremost in Christ. Those [good] things I was doing and being a part of falsely gave me security that my identity had been rooted in Christ and when I was faced with a new place, an empty calendar, and no ministry responsibilities, I wasn’t sure who I was. I had first defined my spiritual life by the roles and responsibilities I had—I had it backwards. Ministry was still my heart’s desire but figuring out what it looked like in this next chapter of my life was fuzzy.
Who God says I am I struggled with the connotations of being a single, young, Hmong woman and the guilt of not being involved in lay ministry anymore. This time in my life pushed me to seek for answers and to critically examine my spiritual life. As I sought to be a woman after God’s own heart, I came to a point of reflecting on who God says I am. Through much reading and studying the Word of God, I concluded that, through the work of Jesus Christ, I am a child of God, His daughter. As simple as that. It says in John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” My identity needed to, first and foremost, be rooted in Christ as a child of God, regardless of my ethnicity and regardless of the things I was doing. The hymn Be Thou My Vision became my prayer for my life.
How then should I live? Because I am a daughter of God, therefore, my life is God-ordained and this new chapter, a new place with new people, held new God-ordained opportunities to minister and share the gospel and be in community with fellow believers. By first rooting my identity in Christ as a daughter of God, I was able to be set free from the guilt I felt for not having it all together spiritually and it allowed me to live in the confidence that where I was physically, was both where God called me and who He was calling me to be in community and fellowship with. With each new opportunity, I prayed that if this is where God wanted me to be serving, that He would give me the wisdom and strength to do so. There were some opportunities where I thought, “Why me? There’s someone else way more qualified to do this.” My life verse has been and still is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I had to remind myself of this verse daily in order to live confidently that as a single woman, God can use me to further His kingdom; as a young Hmong woman, God can use me to further His kingdom; and as a single, young Hmong woman, God can and will use me to further His kingdom—though it may look different from one chapter to the next, I need only be obedient and trust in Him.
Sisters, may your identity in Christ as a daughter of the Most High King lead you to—
Live: in full confidence and freedom that He can and will use you to further His kingdom, no matter which stage of life (single, married, mother, widowed, etc.) or profession you are in,
Love: your God and your neighbors as yourself, and
Be a light: wherever you are, sharing the gospel both in word and deed to all those who you come into contact with (even if it’s just 5 minutes).
My prayer for all of us is this: Regardless of age, stage of life, profession, in full-time ministry or lay ministry, actively serving or not, have it all together or not, that we will first seek God with all our hearts and minds and then live with intentionality, where we are at, and point people to Christ as His ambassadors—as daughters of the Most High King.
1“Daughter.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daughter.
Yeng Her currently serves on the Missions and Outreach Committee and in youth ministry/single adult ministry at her local church. She graduated from Toccoa Falls College with a B.S. in Cross-Cultural Business Administration where she was involved in local church ministry, urban outreach, led a Bible study for a women’s homeless shelter, and served as Female Chaplain for the Hmong Student Fellowship. She previously worked as the International Placement Coordinator for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) and recently transitioned to working in the healthcare industry. Living in beautiful Colorado, she enjoys being in God’s creation, fishing, and the constant mountain views. She also loves traversing the world and experiencing and learning new cultures.