I’ve typed and erased and typed and erased this paragraph several times. I don’t really know where to start. If you know me, you know that Ray passed away almost a month ago. I was holding the baby, his sister was holding his hand, and it was very peaceful. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m sure at some point I will, but I’ll save it for another time. It’s taken me a while to figure out what I wanted to say, because I had so many thoughts going through my mind that I couldn’t get them straight. Identity has been front and center lately, though, so I’m just going to go with it.
I’ve had several people tell me that they don’t know how I can even get out of bed. It took a while to figure it out myself, but I think I finally have. There was actually a time that I couldn’t make myself get out of bed. A little over ten years ago, I was going through a divorce. For four months, I stayed in bed eating M&Ms. I had no desire to do anything at all. None. I had no idea how to be me. I felt like I didn’t have an identity at all. Now, I grew up going to church. I got “saved” when I was in middle school and baptized in high school. I knew who God was. Or at least I thought I did. Turns out, I didn’t know Him at all. Since I didn’t know Him, I didn’t know me. That’s the difference.
In the last few months, I’ve spent hours reading devotionals and scripture and praying. I’ve done so much praying, it’s become second nature. “Pray without ceasing” finally makes sense to me. And because I’ve started praying about everything, my path has become clearer. I now know that my identity doesn’t depend on anyone else. It doesn’t matter what others think of me. My identity is found in Him. If I’m seeking Him in all I do, then I’m becoming the person that He created me to be. THAT is how I get out of bed every morning – granted, it’s usually late morning, because I like to sleep, but I digress. I can get up and live my life, because I know that God is in control and is going to lead me in the right direction.
So, as I sit here in my Chip ‘n’ Dale pajama pants while switching between my incredibly slow laptop, my phone, and my coloring book while a Hallmark Christmas movie plays in the background, I know that I am free from needing anyone’s approval.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” -Psalm 139:14 ESV
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5 ESV