Rainy Monday mornings are good for pondering your identity with a hot cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate pound cake. I slept terribly last night, I have for several nights, and woke up this morning with a screw diabetes attitude and cut a thick slice of cake. This is how a food addict falls of the wagon. So with tears and crumbs I will now attempt to work it out through words.
Have you heard this song? It’s old so you probably have. Unless you aren’t a fan of Christian music or the band Mercy Me. In that case you should listen. It’s good stuff. Anyway, I heard it on the way home this morning. I’d dropped the kids at school and was in the middle of a fairly intense beat up session on myself. Floundering somewhere between shame and self-loathing, asking myself who the hell I think I am, and then this song came on. I’m beautiful? That’s how God sees me? Hmmph. Probably not. I should go inside and eat cake.
I’ve been having a crisis of identity lately so maybe this is the head. Maybe this explosion of feelings and tears and cake this morning will be the end and I can move on. I wish I could pinpoint how or when or why it started. All the self doubt. I could say that it came on hot and heavy a couple months ago, when I signed up for an online blogging course. It was so full of information and encouragement and support that I really started to believe that I could do this. I could be a writer. That’s what great teachers do – they make you believe in yourself. And Micah is really good. But believing in myself is a new thing so for every good thought I had about myself I had a thousand bad ones. Ones that tore down my talent, gifts, and passions.
But really, if I’m going to be honest, this crisis of identity isn’t that new. It’s a whole lifetime of battles. It’s me, a daughter of The King, doubting that I could really be loved. It’s me, trying desperately to identify myself with something tangible, something the whole world could see. Yes, I know I’m God’s child but also I want everyone to see that…
I’m the perfect only child in a very churchy family – except my dad left and my mom killed herself. I’ve done the work and I work of forgiveness daily but truthfully, this one comes up daily.
I’m a great wife – except I let Chuck down almost daily. How could I not? I’m human. He is too. Although he’s a little more super-human. And hot. Have you seen his chin lately?
I’m a super mom – except for when I yell and forget daily devotions and forget to order Sharkfest t-shirts and use the wrong jelly on peanut butter sandwiches.
I’m so good at children’s ministry- except when I forget kids names and someone reminds me, yet again, that so-and-so did it better.
I’m a superb baker- except when a friend spit my cake out like it was poison.
Folks, I could go on and on. There are all sorts of things I want to master. There are areas of life I desire to be good and loved and worthy and celebrated. I think God sent that song, the Mercy Me one, for me to hear in that moment.
“Praying that you’d have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long -They are nothing in the shadow of the cross”
He doesn’t want me wallowing in what I’m not. He doesn’t want me worrying about what I am. The world wants me to find my identity in so many things; in so many places.
“Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die
In His eyes”
So I’m putting down the fork, getting up from the desk, and heading to work off this cake because diabetes. And also because…
“You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
One Reply to “A Monday Morning Crisis of Identity”
Tamara this is beautiful and well written. I agree with so much of what you’ve written. This blogging course has at times made me both have courage and feel fear and doubt. Keep writing friend. You have something to say!