Friday, May 12, 2017

Who I am~

The last few days
I feel as though I have been riding through life
on a fast moving train
heading back in time,
instead of forward.

Trying to talk myself into
at least talking with myself about
what to do with some of my husband's belongings
led me to the closet in our spare bedroom.

The closet where
when my husband and I said "I do"
all the memorabilia of his past
and all the mementos of mine
became wed together right along with the two of us.

As I pulled out boxes
that hadn't seen the light of day
in almost 20 years,
each one was like a surprise waiting to happen.

His boxes held
photos of his journey through school,
family gatherings,
and those who had come before -

sports clippings and programs
from homerun hits, baskets dunked, and games won -

tiny cowboy boots, complete with little spurs,
and a baby memory book highlighting firsts -
and letters from girls in his past.

My boxes held
photos of my journey through school as a teacher,
best friends, and celebrations with family -

teacher devotionals, teacher gifts,
and so precious - teacher cards made with love and little hands -

my favorite childhood books, some favorite craft projects, college id cards -
and letters from boys in my past.

Admittedly,
the belongings in his boxes and mine,
evoked feelings from every single point
on the emotional wheelchart.

And I realized
like maybe never before
the immeasurable amount of life
that is tucked into a life.

Honestly.
It's incredible when you truly stop
and retrace all the living you have done.

And, I realized this:
I have gone through the entire span of my life,
(at least in relationships I've had so far)
answering to names that are not my given name at all.

My dad always referred to me as "Daddy's darlin".
My best male friend all the time growing up
and until he passed away at the young age of 33,
always called me "Lady Alike".
My college romance all through college knew me as "Precious".

And my handsome honey - to him, always, always, always - I was "Beautiful".

Darlin, Lady Alike, Precious, Beautiful.

And you know what?
When I was with my dad, I felt like his darlin'.
When I was with my best friend, I felt very lady alike.
When I was with my college romance, I felt precious.

And, when I was with my handsome honey, I felt beautiful.

In their eyes.  

They spoke it into me and over me and out through me.

The power of a name.

But, we all know,
the world isn't made up of only
fathers and mothers, best friends, college romances, and husbands and wives.

And, we all know,
sometimes,
as heartbreakingly true as it is,
it is our own parent or family member or supposed friend or lover who
instead of names of affirmation and truth
speak names of degradation, humiliation and lies over our life.

If we aren't careful,
it is easy to let the names placed on us by others
(good or bad)
become who we think we are.

It's why it is so important
you and I don't look for our identity
in a box of old love letters,
or old newspaper clippings,
or photo albums.

It's why it is so important
you and I don't look for our identity in
a promotion at work,
a gold medal,
a title behind our name.

It's also why it is so important
you and I don't look for our identity
in put-downs and insults,
in a rejection letter,
in a termination notice,
or divorce papers.

The items in these long hidden away boxes
reminded me of
where I had been,
what I had done,
who I had known.

But, they were not representations of who I am.

Because even I know
I am not always
the world's best teacher,
darlin',
lady alike,
precious,
or beautiful.

I am a wretched sinner
who (THANKFULLY)
has been saved by grace.

I am a daughter
of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I am the apple of His eye.
I am His beloved.
I am His sheep.
I am His branch.
I am His heir.
I am His child.

My identity is not hidden in a box in my closet.

My identity is not what everyone around me sees.

My identity is not
my work performance,
my marital status,
my degree,
or even my height and my weight.

My identity is who I am in and through Christ.

My identity is who I am
in and through
the Great I Am.

Forgiven. Redeemed. Loved. Accepted. Complete.

And you know what?

When I keep my eyes on my Jesus,
when I walk in communion with Him,
when I allow Him to be my all and everything,
when I am in relationship with my God,
I feel forgiven.
I feel redeemed.
I feel loved.
I feel accepted.
I feel complete.

In HIS eyes.

If I listen,
He is forever speaking it
into me and over me and out through me.

Sometimes,
it takes a ride through the past
to remind us
(good or bad)
our past is not who we are.

Who we are
is who He is in us.

The rest -
the memorabilia and the mementos -
these are just icing on the cake of life.








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