Nothing like a vague opening title, right?
I woke up this morning with this blog on my mind. I have been reading other blogs lately which I find completely fascinating. In fact, I heard a guy last night who, when asked if he had a job, said, “I blog.” Ha! That cracked me up. As if writing about thoughts and opinions qualifies as a career choice.
And yet the irony is that I, too, feel compelled to write. The words burn inside me and have to get out. I always thought I would write someday. Perhaps that novel is still in there somewhere, but for now, this is it.
Writing is a part of who I am.
And who am I exactly? I used to be known as Ralph and Linda’s daughter until I became that smart little girl with glasses which led me to whatever I was in high school (please do not fill in the blank) and then Christian’s wife, three kids’ momma, a piano teacher, homeschool mom…
The list could go on and on.
But who am I deep, deep inside?
It’s unfortunate to me that we are so labeled. As children, our parents dubbed us with labels according to characteristics they saw demonstrated. I was called a worry-wart, told I was just like my mom, and that I would never be a good kisser (don’t worry, Amy, I forgave you a long time ago :o)
All these things it took me years to change my mind about. I can confidently say now that I haven’t been a worry-wart for a very long time, I am nothing like my mother, and obviously Christian liked something about that kiss. But, I had to consciously choose to throw off those labels and determine who I wanted to be!
So these are some of the things I am and some of the things I am not.
Society tells us some of who we are. Our childhood tells us some of who we are. Our accomplishments tell us something about who we are. But underneath all of that who is in there?
One time a friend of mine and I were talking on the phone and she asked how I was. I answered with a litany of words telling all about what the kids were up to and how busy we were. She waited and then said, “I asked how you are!” I didn’t even know how to answer that. I was so wrapped up in the identity I had created as a mom that I didn’t even take time to think about Alison.
We are so talented at that. It is so much easier to lose ourselves inside busy-ness so that we don’t even have to think about the big stuff. If I would have answered her honestly, my answer may have been much different. Can you imagine if I would have said, “Well, I got a horrible night’s sleep because my dad drank too much yesterday and embarrassed me in public again and in my frustration I kicked the cat way too hard and then yelled at my family and cried myself to sleep.”? That may have been what the true Alison felt on that day, but she was buried under a label and didn’t feel safe coming out.
I tell my kids that they are not the sum of their mistakes. It’s another lesson I learned the hard way. I may have been a pregnant teen at one point, but that does not define who I am. I am a young mother who allowed the power of God to change the course of my life and empower me to pour all I had into three precious people. There’s that “perspective” again.
So how does one figure it out? Who am I? Introspection is a scary, scary thing. If I look too hard, I WILL see things that will require work. I firmly believe that God gives us opportunities to look. The tricky part is that those opportunities usually come through some type of pain or time of pressing.
The process of great pain has the potential to yield a precious harvest.
Ask the grape and the olive how they felt when pressed.
There is an upcoming blog post being birthed in me that will challenge me. I’ve known it’s coming since I started writing. Perhaps that was why I have resisted writing. It will come on the 3rd anniversary of my dad’s death in a few weeks. It is a story of my pressing.
In answer to my own question I refer to Scripture and Jesus’ words. He asked a troubled disciple one question, “But who do you say that I am?”
I am just a disciple. I ask Him, “But who do You say that I am?” His is the voice I’ve learned to trust, cling to, and listen to above all the other clamor. His voice tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He tells me that I am cherished and beautiful and loved. He tells me that I am worth His pain and that I am full of purpose.
And so very much more.
These are the lyrics to a song I learned once upon a time in Sunday School. It is who we are.
I’m a promise, I’m a possibility, I’m a promise with a capital “P”
I’m a promise to be, anything God wants me to be
And I am learning to hear God’s voice, and I am trying to make the right choices
I’m a promise to be, anything God wants me to be
I can go anywhere that He wants me to go, I can be anything that He wants me to be
I can climb the high mountain, I can cross the wide sea, I’m a great big promise, you see.