Thursday, September 12, 2019

I Am

We enjoyed a wonderful summer of good health, good times, and good memories. While I miss my work family and the joy and worth I received from my job, it has been a wonderful blessing to be a stay at home wife and mother. I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and I am so grateful for this time with Todd and the boys while my cancer remains in remission. Being home has also allowed me to take better care of myself, which has been helpful for all four of us. We recently found out that I am approved for both long-term disability and Social Security disability. The provisions from those programs will certainly help keep us afloat financially as we walk through this cancer journey, and we are relieved to know I can continue to stay home and focus my attention on my health and my family.

The boys started back to school a few weeks ago. Joseph is an 8th grader and Jack is a junior. I miss their presence and activity in our home during the school day. I am a little lonely without them, yet I am still not up to much socialization with others. So, most days I stay home and fill my time with reading, Bible study, cooking, playing the piano, and catching up on movies and such. I’ve been trying to establish a routine that keeps my mind and body busy. Having too much down time is not always a good thing. Lately, I have been wrestling with depression, anxiety, and my identity. The person staring back in the mirror looks like a stranger, and sometimes thinks and acts like one too. Her hair is shorter. Her body is heavier. Her ears no longer hear well, and her mind is not as sharp as it once was. She used to be confident, employed and active. Now, she is insecure, sleeps a lot more and stays home. I don’t know this person, and quite honestly, most days I don’t even like her all that much. Bring back the ol’ girl that used to live in this house, I say! She had a purpose…and identity. But, this new girl…sigh.

A sweet friend of mine reminded me that each of us is constantly evolving. Her words comforted my weary heart and mind. I am not alone. Change is an inevitable part of everyone’s life, and so we all, at times find ourselves learning to adapt to new roles, new…identities. And, I think we can all agree that sometimes change is hard.

It doesn’t necessarily take a cancer diagnosis to make one struggle with their identity. Perhaps you are struggling to find yourself as the result of moving to a new town, starting a new school or job, divorce, losing a parent, child, partner, or job, etc. We all have a longing to be known and to be accepted. Yet, when we are struggling to know our own selves, how on earth can we to expect others to know us too?

Whatever circumstances you are facing in your life right now, if you find yourself struggling, like me, to figure out your identity and to love yourself for who you are – I am praying for you. I am praying for us. Life is hard.

This morning, I read and was encouraged by the following:

“But, our burdens can make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people.”

As I’m learning to adapt and accept my new self, I am thankful for a God who never changes, and who loves me unconditionally. Furthermore, He defines me. I can know who I am because I know who He is. You can know who you are in Him too.

Every time I share with you here, I do so in hopes of sharing my faith with you. In all I say and do I want to point the way to Christ. My life is certainly not perfect, but I pray my words are encouraging. Please keep lifting up me and my sweet family. We walk by faith along this slickery road of life. While I’m walking, I am going to keep reminding myself of who I am and will ALWAYS BE.

I am a child of God. I am chosen. I am loved. I am forgiven.
I am God’s workmanship and created in His image.
I am wonderfully made.

PS). I am putting together a playlist of songs to encourage myself and remind me who I am. I’d love your input on what songs encourage you and/or you feel I should include. They can be songs of any genre. My go to songs right now are: “Who You Say I am” by Hillsong Worship, “You Say” by Lauren Daigle and “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

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