Monday, September 28, 2009

The Identity Crisis Continues

We had an excellent sermon this weekend on transformation. One of the things that struck me was, "The enemy of transformation is self-centeredness."

I have been in such a state of self-protection. That could also be described as self absorption or self preservation or, I hate to admit, self-centeredness. I realize that has been an issue of mine all my life, but even more so now. In five years, I've gone from being a working mom, to being a displaced stay at home mom of a teenager, to a 43-year-old emptynester, and now to a 48-year-old mommy of a toddler. Like many of you, life just keeps changing and taking unexpected turns. And with that many massive changes in such a short time, I've gone from wearing my heart on my sleeve to a self-constructed prison of isolation and back again.

In the past month I've gone from complete independence to having to be home for potty training, nap times and for our 8:00 p.m. bedtime routine every night. My morning devotional time is not the same because of the beautiful, blurry-eyed face that appears in my room, usually just as I'm getting started. Every time my laptop, my Bible or my dog is on my lap, my toddler wants to be be there too. Just since I started typing this blog, I've had to get up to refill her cereal bowl twice--once because she ate it all, and once because she spilled it all. We've been out in the garage playing and in the house playing. I can hardly finish a complete thought without interruption. As many of you know, that's the way it is when you are in charge of a toddler.

So, as the middle aged mom of a toddler, who am I and where do I fit?! I don't fit with the other young mommies at church. The women my age have grown children or older teens. My job has changed because I can't do it all with a toddler in tow. I work for my church and for a while, poured my heart and soul into my job because it was all I had. Now I want to pour my heart and soul into my little girl. Since I'm scaling back my job, my "church identity" is ambiguous. I don't know where I fit in my job and I don't know where I fit in my church. Even my position in women's ministry is a blur because my mind is a blur.

As I sat by my friend in church this weekend, listening to this sermon about transformation and self-centeredness, I felt like a glass dome had been lowered down over me that I just couldn't break out of it. It's hard to be real with people when can't be real with myself because I don't know who I am or where I fit. So I asked God, "How do I get out of this glass dome? I'm tired of walking around with my guts hanging out all the time, but I can't stay in isolation either! How do I find the happy medium?!" And I heard him say, "Tuck your guts back in and reach out to someone else!" Wow, what an epiphany. I enjoyed reaching out and talking to people I don't talk to very often after service--not my usual set of friends, but a few people on the fringe. Maybe God's on to something here. I think I'll try that more often!

The transition/identity crisis/transformation continues...

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!