Discovering My Identity Again
Pulling the cover over the mattress, the silence around me was loud. The room was empty now; the bed being unmade almost made me happier. That’s how the bed usually was. While I breathed in the peaceful stillness around me as my tired body had ached for this moment, my soul felt the hurt of her absence. One by one they have flown the coop, and time seemed to speed up these last few years. In the midst of helping everyone else, I lost a bit of myself. And now in the silence, I wondered who I was. The years had changed me, and yet they hadn’t. It was like discovering my identity again; this place of wonder as this new chapter loomed over me. As much as I had thought my identity had changed—transformed,
I realized in that moment that my identity was the same it had always been since I came to know Jesus—a child of God.
Discovering My Identity Again—A Change of Heart
I had not had much time for rest before and by the time I looked up and realized everything around me was changing, I struggled to figure out how I should respond to it. There is joy when loved ones grow and sadness when your role in their life changes. And while sometimes we think everyone changes but us—on the outside we look different, but on the inside, we feel the same—we understand that the biggest change in us was a change of heart. While we raised our children, they were raising us. God used them to shape us and mold us into His image. And we did the same for them.
Discovering My Identity Again—A Change of Role—Letting Go of Roles as Our Identity
As I gathered pictures to celebrate my 3rd and 4th children’s graduation from college, my heart longed for the times when it just seemed simpler. My kids needed my husband and me—and we could protect and provide for them. But memories have a way of deceiving us. The former times were not as easy as we recalled. Letting go of the role I had played did not mean that I let go of the bond I had with them. It just meant that the role would change.
Change wasn’t all bad. It opened the door for new ways of relating that were in many ways superior to relating to a child. It was in letting go of the identity in the roles I had played that I rediscovered my true identity. Letting go enabled me to accept the change and embrace the new way I would relate to my precious children.
Discovering My Identity Again—A Change of Perspective
Understanding that each moment and each relationship are gifts that are not promised, I cannot hold onto what is merely on loan to me. Finding my identity in people, relationships, positions or roles will leave me dependent upon those things for my identity to be whole. Christ is my identity. He laid down his life as a sin offering on our behalf to give us His identity for ours. And now, to live is Christ. In any position I am in, I serve in those spaces and places with Him in mind. This frees me from trying to hold onto what really isn’t mine. In one breath, this is what makes life hard. We cannot stay in what seems comfortable to us — for that would mean we would become stagnant. We are always to be growing and helping others to grow, too.
Discovering My Identity Again—Being Present
I don’t want to hold onto the past or look to the future so much that I miss the present. Living into the here and now and being fully alive to the pain and the pleasure of each day, we walk in our identity when we abide in Christ, Who is our guide in this crazy life.
As I sat down to work, suddenly the phone rang. It was one of my daughters who just needed an ear. And then a few minutes later, it was my oldest son who texted me with his latest news. Still later, another one of my daughters called just to encourage me. What a blessed life this is. And then I realize it . . .
it is Jesus in me that they really want to see and spend time with. His presence in my life enabled me to be what I needed to be for them.
Doing life with those I love dearly looks different now, but I am just so grateful I get to walk with them and my precious husband — and to do so with Jesus as our identity.
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