Hey friends, how are you today? Although it started off a bit chilly; fall has certainly made its presence felt; the sun is out, the skies are blue, and life is supposed to be lived. It’s so easy to go through the motions of life, rather than actually live life. Intentionality is necessary for one to feel the warmth of the sunshine, to hear the squirrels as they chatter to their companions, to see the birds as they flitter from tree to tree. In order to experience the fullness of life, we must choose to be intentional with our actions and our time. Unfortunately, at times, the death of a loved one reminds us of the blessings to be found in this life.
My father-in-law’s funeral was last week, and I found myself becoming a bit introspective, which is sometimes, unavoidable when a loved one dies. Who am I? Who am I becoming? I struggled with the answers to these questions. Usually, I wouldn’t have; usually with confidence I would claim my identity and may even say what the next few chapters of my life would look like, but this time I found myself caught with some hesitation. Who am I? Who am I becoming? This will determine what is said about me when I too, leave this earth.
I am a good mother; I am sure my husband and kids, perhaps even other family and friends will agree, but with the girls no longer at home; can I claim to ‘become’ a better mom? I don’t think so; a different kind of mothering takes place, but not a ‘better’ mom. My husband will agree that I make an excellent wife (and I happen to agree too), but is this who I am? No, I think that’s wrong too. Am I then a teacher? Is this who I am? Maybe I am a friend, a sister and a daughter, but is this all? These are all facets of me in relation to others, isn’t it? I am that to this person and this to that person. But surely, I can be one thing to all people, don’t you think? Perhaps all, in spite of who they are, should all agree on my identity. Everyone, who knows me, should all know me by this one thing, though I may have placed on various hats in their company. To my girls, I’ll be their mom, to my husband, I’ll be his wife, to my parents, I’ll be their daughter, to my siblings, I’ll be their sister, to my students, I’ll be their teacher, to my friends, I’ll be their friend. But who will I be to me?
These are indeed roles that I’ve been given to fulfill, but surely my identity can’t be found in these, simply because my identity really can’t be interchangeable, can it? When I was a little girl, the proclamation of one’s identity truly wasn’t as murky as it is today. Many use their sexuality or sexual preference to claim their identity, but is this who we are? Why is it so difficult to figure out? As human beings, we’ve been called to function within our society in various capacities using various roles. If my husband dies; am I still his wife? How is that possible? As a wife, I have to perform and fulfill certain jobs or tasks, I do the same as a mom. Am I still a teacher, if I no longer have students? Yes, I am convinced, my identity can’t be found in these roles, they are not permanent. So, when we take-away all the fluff, what are we left with?
Well, I was made in the image of God, therefore I am a human being. I am a thinking, feeling, physical person. I come with emotions and intellect.
I am a woman (yesss honey… I said it like that too and with a smile on my face). I know my worth as a woman because again, I was created in the image of God.
But the crème’ de la crème’ is this: I am a Christian. Now this is my identity because it defines me. This title gives my life meaning and it frees me to enjoy this life, I’ve been given. As a Christian, I’ve been handed the tools to be better at my roles. I am capable of more than just average, because as a Christian, I serve the immutable, invincible God of the Universe. I am a better wife, a better mom, a better teacher, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister because I am a Christian. As a Christian, I can become more, I am not stagnant. I am constantly changing and growing and adapting because my faith and hope is in the Lord. He is in the process of changing me, as I put on love, patience, forgiveness, gentleness and kindness and compassion, so that I am ‘becoming’.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter, what roles I’ve been called to fulfill, if I am known by my true identity. To everyone, in spite of who they are, I will be one thing: they will all say: she was a Christian.