One of my strongest identities growing up was being a coach’s daughter. It was important to both my dad and me that our relationship did not give the impression that I was receiving a free pass in any way. Consequently, I developed daily disciplines—even completing shooting drills in my driveway in unfavorable ninety-degree heat—to ensure I was giving my best possible contribution to the team.
Inevitably, there were times I performed poorly, and I feared in those moments that others thought my dad placed me on the court only because I was his daughter. I felt significant pressure from others, but also, I realize, from myself. I knew I could not become transfixed on this pressure or—more importantly—let it affect how I treated those I felt judgement from.
I feel my identity as a coach’s daughter mirrors in some ways my most important identity as a daughter of God. While developing my relationship with God, I often practice disciplines that are uncomfortable or unpopular. As I strive to emulate God’s love, I can still fear judgment both from others and myself.
Part of the challenge of walking through the narrow gate is that our individual roads toward it are not identical. We must support each other with boundless love as we each navigate different struggles along our paths.
Today, I invite each of us to ask for strength and guidance in embracing our Christian identity to reflect God’s radical inclusivity and understanding to each other. Let us work, as Jesus did, to accompany our fellow sinners along the path as we strive to be saints in daily life. Today, I ask myself what grudges, judgments, or misunderstandings I need to overcome. How can I give to others the same abundant love I yearn for as we journey together toward the narrow gate?
Matthew 7:6, 12-14.
University of Notre Dame | Class of 2020
Psychology | Theology