“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I was recently challenged with the question “Who Am I?” Now, when I say challenged, I mean it! In more than one way!
I started out with the standard answer: “I am a wife, a mother…” only to be quickly rebuttal with the statement that “…those are roles you fill, not who you are. If you lost all that tomorrow, who are you?” So there’s challenge one. The control freak in me instantly panicked. I cannot imagine myself without those roles. I’ll deal with that in another therapy session though…
Now, here’s challenge number two…I didn’t have an answer. I truly didn’t know. Most people who know me know that this is not a typical issue I struggle with. I always have an answer, response or witty comeback! However, when this simple, yet difficult question was posed, I had nothing. In that moment, fear REALLY set in…if I don’t know who I am, then how do I know that I am not making a mistake with the life that God has given me?
I guess that is where faith must step in. I have seen God work beautifully in previous instances in my life. Whether that be to bless me with absolutely amazing family and friends, or showing me the little signs that I asked for, like a butterfly, to reassure me everything would be okay.
So I decided to take some time to really dig deep and explore the question of who am I, and here is a little bit of what I discovered:
Who I am is a complete oxymoron! On the outside, I am a grown 34 year old woman, with an amazing husband and two beautiful and healthy children, a nice home, and a fulfilling job (although stressful at times!). On the inside, I am confused and scared about my life and what lies ahead of me. I often struggle with irrational fear. For example, I fear the future for heaven’s sake! In the back of my mind, I know I have no control over the future, but that doesn’t stop me from trying! (Is there AA for Control Freaks???)
Some days I feel strong and competent and some days my thoughts/fears get the better of me. Right now I feel like I live life on an emotional roller coaster, and I have trouble accepting that. I have trouble accepting that I cannot be strong all the time, and that everyday isn’t going to be a good day. Yes, I am weak, and I do feel broken.
I am also strong. I am a great mother, and my children adore and love me. And I adore and love them. My husband accepts, supports and loves me just as I am. My boss says I do an amazing job. I am a loving, caring friend who has been blessed to have so many amazing caring people placed in my life. Some of them know my struggles (and now you do to…hahaha!) and guess what, they love me anyways! They don’t judge me, and they haven’t turned their backs on me.
Sure, there is a chance that on any given day something could go wrong, and I could go “crazy,” but probably not. And even if my worst case scenario happens, the people who love me will still love me. And the people who choose to leave me as a friend probably didn’t really know and love me to begin with.
I believe I am a child of God and my sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, but I am very hard on myself. I don’t ask for help and I expect that I should be perfect and that I shouldn’t be emotional or have bad days. I struggle with those things and probably will for a long time because I am also very stubborn, and I think I have to be strong all the time. Here’s the reality: I am not. I’m not always strong. News flash, self…no one is, and I’m working to accept that.
I do think there is strength in weakness though. By letting other people know my struggles, I open myself up to be relatable. I let down my guard and the pressure to always be perfect. I am presented with an opportunity to help others. Perhaps that is my purpose… to be courageous enough to be real and to be broken so that I can help others. BUT, when I am weak, I have to ask for their help and let them have the opportunity to live out God’s purpose for them, which may be to help me. There is strength in weakness, and yes I have thoughts that make me feel weak, but I am also strong too!
So, to sum all that up…
I am a child of God
I am a daughter
I am a loving mom and a wife
I am beautifully broken (just how God wants me to be)
I am a student, still learning about life
I am a gardener (there’s an identified God given talent!)
I am a giver
I am a friend
I am a hiker and tree lover
I am a chocoholic! (Don’t tell my dentist)
I am funny (sometimes)
I am strong, capable and competent (some days)
I am weak, afraid and emotional (some days)
I am not perfect in the eyes of the world or even in my own eyes, but I am perfect in the eyes of God
I am a beach lover
I am a movie trivia buff
I am a child of the 80’s (best music ever!)
I am loved
I am too hard on myself
I am still a work in progress
I am thrifty and resourceful
I am a hot mess
I’m feisty (according to my husband)
I am hopeful
I am forgiven and saved through Christ Jesus!
I am working to accept that figuring out who I am is going to be a lifelong process because I’m never going to be done growing or changing. But, the beauty is that I am never alone, and that is God’s promise to me. No matter the trials, or life changes that come my way, I will never be alone, and I may not always be able to define who I am…but He knows!
I call to mind something Lysa TerKeurst said, and I’m paraphrasing here…Putting our weaknesses out there for all to see, on a stage or platform, doesn’t make them any easier…it just gets them out there. I’m still working through this crazy thing called life, and some days are still a struggle for me, but I try to hold onto certain truths, like…
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
(James 1:2-4 MSG).
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.