Thursday, October 13, 2011

Identity

Lately I have struggled with "identity".
 It sounds so silly, but I believe it something we all struggle with at some point.
 I know whose I am and I know that defines me, but sometimes I just forget...
We go through seasons in life. Sometimes we are very sure of who we are, where we are going, good relationships, and that makes us confident.
In another season we may feel without direction, unsure of where we are, relationships feel like they are "dying", and we feel a bit disoriented.

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 I am kind of in that disoriented season. I am really unsure of what I'm supposed to be doing and where we should be. For the past two years I lived in Denton, TX and went to school at the University of North Texas. I LOVED that place and I became so attached. We had plans to move there after we got married. I was going to finish school and Kendall was going to find a job. We were going to find a cheap apartment and get involved with ministry at a local church.

 Around January of this year when I went back to school I got a call from Kendall saying he didn't feel us being led there. He explained to me that he thought we would be there one day, but right now wasn't the time. Let's just say, I didn't take it well and he hit me with a lot of questions that convicted me. I cried...a lot. I pouted... a lot. I didn't want to listen to what God was telling me and I didn't want to confront the peace inside me that he was right. I was so happy and comfortable where I was. My friends were great (and still are) , I loved my major, I loved my school, my roommates, my house. I loved the idea of going to farmer's markets together, going to musical festivals, and riding our bikes places.

That night, I went to bed and prayed that if this is God's will for us that I would be okay with it, that I would respect my (soontobe) husband and be supportive. I woke up with His new mercies on my heart and I called Kendall that morning and I said "okay, I will go."

A couple hours later his job offered him a raise and a couple days later our friends offered us a "free" house half way between his work and my school. In August we settled into a new home and I made the transition back to my hometown area.

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Now I sit here at my "new" school who only took 48 of my 60 hours, who also does not have my original major nor anything I am thrilled about doing.  I try to keep my attitude thankful and positive that I even have an opportunity to go to school, but sometimes I ask God, "What the heck do you want me to do? Why am I here? I just want to know but I'm learning it is okay to not know. Why am I going to school if I don't know what I am doing." It is frustrating. I feel like I am wasting my time.

I am in what feels like an awkward transition of learning and letting God teach me what my ministry can be here. I am understanding that it may look different from anything I've done before and that even if I am unwilling God will still use me whether I like being here or not. My first ministry is my husband, but I want to serve others here because I realize this is my second chance at ministering to people in my hometown that I never ministered before. No regrets this time. Please keep me accountable, ask me what I am doing, give me conviction when I am not doing things I know I should.

I've realized in my stage of bitterness that I have begun defining myself in a different way that is not okay, it is harmful. Bitterness, anger, frustration take away my beauty. It makes me feel ugly inside which makes me feel ugly outside. Feeling ugly takes away seeing myself as a beautiful child of God. Feeling ugly makes me binge eat and feel worse about myself. I realize I need to change this, so the next few weeks I am letting Father do a little transformation in me (and beyond that).

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I need a heart change.

My personal prayer of Identity:

I am not a wife, daughter, sister, and friend.
I am not a student.
I am not a missionary.
I am not patient, kind, a listener, thoughtful, or passionate.
I am not a procrastinator, defined by a scale, lazy, unorganized or selfish.
I am none of these, they do not define me.

I am a beautiful daughter of God clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
I am loved by a king who desires to use this unworthy servant willing or not.

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If you wish to remind yourself of your true identity:

I am not (my relationships)
I am not (my training/degree)
I am not (my job)
I am not (my gifts)
I am not (my failures)

Do you forget whose you are and where your identity comes from?
Who are you?

I found this identity prayer at the wonderfully made blog.

If you read all of this, thank you.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my darling dear. I feel like such a terrible friend, because my brain was still imagining you in Denton and it just now dawned on me that you're not there.

    You are a wonderful person and will figure out the wonderful Plan that is in store for you and your dear hubby.

    I love you and miss you, lady.

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  2. I loved reading your thoughts about identity! My husband and I are moving overseas in a few months, and I've been doing a lot of pondering about my "identity". As I read about the struggles most women go through when they move overseas, I keep seeing a reoccurring theme of "I lost my identity" and "I didn't know who I was anymore". In my efforts to be as prepared as possible for living 8000 miles away I've been thinking, really thinking, about how I define myself and where I get my identity from.

    All that to say, I'm still pondering this and wrestling through where I get my identity from. I mean, I know I'm a daughter of the King and my identity comes from God's love, but how do I flesh that out every day and make that the number one source of my identity? (Instead of my identity coming from being Josh's wife, Katie's sister, extrovert, friendly, etc etc)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it and now I'm off to go read "wonderfully made"'s thoughts!

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  3. Leslie, I need to email you! I want more details on your move so expect an email from me soon.
    I never realized that "identity" was something women struggle with overseas. I think you will be fine! :)

    Breanne

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