A suspicion that I had lost my identity. Or let it be defined by other things, other people’s labels, expectations, assumptions.
I don’t think it happened all of the sudden. But I think there was a sudden culmination. Last week, I turned 40. As cliche as it is, if I live to be 80, then I suppose this could be my midlife crisis.
Or, maybe, that is just another label.
All I know is there was an anger inside me. I hope a righteous anger, but I don’t know..
I just know that last night I was consumed by a need to THROW OFF EVERYTHING THAT HINDERS AND RUN MY RACE. Hebrews 12:1
I had been pushing aside, and away, angry thoughts for days.
A blog post, beautifully written by my friend April Poynter, freed something in me.
And cemented the idea that I had lost my identity.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped longing to be myself, the “me” God created. And when I did, I think I struggled to somehow create an identity.
The problem with setting our own identity is that if we miss the mark, get the instructions wrong, miss a step — we fall short and land hard.
I think I pulled free of my anchor, free of my moorings, I was a ship tossed by every wave and wind.
In recent months, the anger within our country added to the storm inside me. Every day felt like a battle to stay afloat, to define who I was, within the angry seas.
Not because you asked, specifically, or because you care, really, but because I need to express it..
Here are some things that actually do define me:
I am not Anti-Woman
Yes, I am fairly conservative.
No, I do not hate women.
Yes, I am against things which I believe prey upon the poorest, youngest, most fragile, and fearful women in our nation. In this, I am angrily PRO-WOMAN. Even if it seems different from your ideas of that.
I am not against refugees.
You can read my heart on that right here and this isn’t sudden folks.
I havent talked about it recently like you all, perhaps, but I did before. And publicly. That was written about 15 months ago.
Not a racist, not refugee-hater.
I am ..
Faith, Love, Jesus = the anchor of my identity.
If you think those things equate to hate, you don’t know any true Jesus followers and you don’t know what Jesus stood for and, for that, I have the most regret
I want to secure myself in truth again. Anchor deep. Take a moment to grow strong in the storms, stronger than the storms, as I remember that no label defines me, no opposing view, no screams of hate and no false assumption.
I will love anyone God brings into my life to love: every color, every tongue, every creed, every tribe, every nation.
The biggest thing I want to remember that I am not?
I am not wrong because I have faith.
I am a Jesus-girl, from way back.
When did I begin to hide that away?
Maybe when I realized how much people resented “Christians” who are not anything like Jesus. Who cry “hate” in the name of religion.
I’m with you on that.
But I never was that, so why would I own that?
In addition to remembering who I am, I want to define who I want to be remembered as — how I long to be remembered, long after I draw my last breath? It matters to me and sets before me a specific trajectory.
Certainly, I hope no one looks back on my life and says “she sure was a religious conservative!”
What an ugly legacy.
I hope I am remembered as a woman; wise with years, loving, gentle, funny.
Not quick to assume people wouldn’t like me (something I often do now) but believing, instead, that I had something lovely and worthy to offer the beautiful souls I encountered in the every day.
I hope I am remembered as a gal who loved to walk barefoot in the springtime– jeans rolled up, strolling through an open and grassy space — just being myself. A gal with freedom, wisdom, faith and joy.
I also pray that I am known to be ready and present wherever the need is. With sleeves rolled up, boots on, ready to help those around me.
Known for being a peacemaker, and unafraid to speak up. Not speaking when it seemed everyone else was, but when it seemed no one else was.
And in the end..
I am not sure this is a blog post.
Maybe it is a mission statement.
Or a vision statement.
A midlife crisis statement or a manifesto.
Maybe this, like me, doesn’t need a label of any kind.
Anchoring deeply again, into my real identify.
Defined only by Him.
This Jesus girl is back in the race and feeling more unhindered every minute.