Monday, November 5, 2012

remind me who i am...

Tomorrow Darcy, Brayden and I leave to see a CVS specialist in Wisconsin.  We are hoping to gain some answers, wisdom, and insight into managing Brayden's illness.  I'm hopeful that the appointment will be worthwhile.  It's taken over 6 months to get in to see this specialist, and let me tell you, this has not been an easy 6 plus months.  Sure, it has been marked with many wonderful moments, and I wouldn't trade any of them back if I could...but overall, I would say that this has been the most difficult season of my life.  A season that is best described as utterly overwhelming on every level.  Stretched thin.  After we left the "crisis mode" of several hospitalizations, the following months were nothing short of hard and lonely.  It's possible to never have a quiet moment to oneself, to not even be able to use the bathroom without one of three kids at one's heels, to never be alone...yet feel totally alone.  That you're walking this strange and new road alone.  A wise friend once told me it takes months for kids to decompress after being in public school...this is true.  Add a chronic illness on top of that and it is a recipe for life change that literally blows your socks off and sets you in a whirlwind of exhaustion.  For quite some time, I felt like all of my needs and desires were placed on the backburner, and my life became a pouring out in which the bulk of my efforts, time, and energy never left the four walls we reside in.  It's a cloudy and lonely place to be, even when it's done out of love for the ones you love.  A place that can distort perspective and cause one to feel insecure and lost.  I often felt guilty for having to say "no," for having to miss out on opportunities and time and things that matter to me and make my heart full.  Time where I would have wanted to be doing anything else, anywhere else.  Not every day was like this...but these feelings resurfaced and recycled often.  I trust that there was and is purpose in it all.  I see much of this purpose now, the innerweaving of Romans 8:28 into the fabric of our family. God was at work...sustaining...breathing life, intention, priority, peace and joy into my weary heart.  I've shared bits and pieces of this journey with you in the past...but there's clarity in looking back.  We've moved beyond the whirlwind and have finally found ground to settle.  Balance.  Life doesn't feel like an overwhelming blur any longer.  For months prior, I was living in a constant state of survival (or so it seemed to me), each day barely keeping my head above water.  The homeschooling, the managing of Brayden's health, the laundry, and 9 plates of food a day for hungry, growing kids, the bills, the housework, the grocery shopping and errand running, with three kids in tow.  Adding anything extra to my plate, even a simple playdate, and I felt buried.  It was a season in which I kept putting one foot in front of the other, but then wondered how I was going to go another step further the following day.  But I did.  And His mercies certainly are new every morning.  And it's possible to live through a season like this and still feel joy and to be blanketed in peace.  (A crazy peace that is...where life around you seems chaotic, yet you know you are where you need to be and you are covered in peace by simply being in His will.) He does give strength and rest to the weary.  And He does carry when one's legs and strength and faith are too tired to even crawl.

These past couple of weeks have been marked with reflection.  I feel we have approached a new season and I rejoice in it.  A season that doesn't seem so foreign, but has finally become our norm.  A norm that really isn't so different from anyone else's, but has just taken me quite some time to arrive here.  In these reflective moments, I have been able to look back and untangle a lot of what I had been experiencing. And with clarity, I exhale.

I write this post to encourage.  Anyone who has or is facing a major life transition, whether it be a new job, a loss of a loved one, a divorce, relational problems, an illness, or anything else that sends the world as you know it into a tailspin, please know that you are not alone.  I found that with such a major life transition, it's easy to lose sight of one's identity.  The lies of the enemy try to swoon in and convince, rob and steal.  When one has to abruptly adjust to a new way of life, to a lifestyle that perhaps one didn't choose or desire, there is a sense of loss and confusion.  You must try to find your way, and this takes time.  Old insecurities may rear their ugly head and try to consume and shake.  Some of these things plagued me for quite some time.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent a lot of time in prayer, sleeplessness, and journaling, in attempt to figure this all out.

Throughout this whole journey, I'd find myself falling into pits in which I felt forgotten, consumed, left, abandoned, rejected, unloved, and lacking.  Lacking in time, energy, ability, confidence, sleep, refreshment, creativity, discipline...That I wasn't measuring up.  That I was overlooked or unimportant.  That what I had to offer was not good enough in various areas of my life.  I know these things aren't true.  It angered me that these lies were causing my heart to feel bruised and heavy.  And it confused me as of why they were surfacing. I prayed over this and it became clear to me that with this major life transition, somewhere over the last 6 months I had lost a bit of my identity...of who I really am.  I am much more than a wife and a mother of three...although most days those roles are highlighted by my actions and responsibilities.  I have much to offer the world around me.  I may not always meet expectations, but with grace, and with God, I have purpose and will be used. God's Word says I am so much more than the lies that try to define.  He says you are so much more too.  Over the past couple of days, I began making this list in my prayer journal...asking God to remind me who I am...researching verses and promises that redefine my identity in Him.  Instantly, I felt encouraged, and strengthened, and confident and valued.  If you find yourself weary, fearful, or discouraged, take a peek and see who/what God says you are.  And let these truths penetrate your heart and breathe life into your spirit.

I AM:

  • accepted (Ephesians 1:5-7)
  • chosen (Ephesians 1:4) (John 15:15)
  • loved (John 3:16)
  • known (Psalm 139)
  • heard (Psalm 28:6) (Jeremiah 29:12) (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • seen and noticed (2 Chronicles 16:9)
  • not alone or forgotten (Hebrews 13:5)
  • created in His image (Genesis 1:27)
  • fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139)
  • redeemed (Ephesians 1:7-8)
  • His (Psalm 100:3) (Psalm 103:2-4) (Colossians 3:12)
  • holy and dearly loved (Ephesians 1:4)
  • belonging (1 Peter 2:9) (1 Corinthians 6:20)
  • under His care (Psalm 95:6-7)
  • included (in Christ...Ephesians 1:13)
  • marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
  • a child of God (John 1:12-13) (1 John 3:1)
  • led by His spirit (Galatians 5:18)
  • heir to the throne (Romans 8:17)
  • lavished with love (1 John 3:1)
  • Christlike (Ephesians 4:24)
  • worth dying for (John 3:16)
  • forgiven (Ephesians 1:7-8) (Colossians 1:14)
  • drawn to Him (Hosea 11:4) (John 6:44)
  • loved with an unfailing/unshakable love (Isaiah 54:10)
  • someone He has compassion on (Isaiah 54:10)
  • chased with goodness and mercy (Psalm 23:6)
  • alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
  • saved (Titus 3:5)
  • given boundless grace (Ephesians 1:5,8) (Ephesians 2:7) (2 Corinth. 12:9)
  • justified (Romans 5:1)
  • Christ's friend (John 15:15)
  • new (Ephesians 4:24) (Ezekiel 36:26)
  • cared for (Matthew 6:30-32)
  • healed (Psalm 103:2-4) (Ezekiel 34:16) (Jeremiah 30:17)
  • assured that all things work together for my good (Romans 8:28)
  • confident He will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
  • blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
  • blameless (Ephesians 1:4) (1 Corinthians  10:8)
  • filled with purpose (Ephesians 1:9, 2:10, 3:11)
  • hope-filled (Ephesians 1:12)
  • near to Him (Ephesians 2:13)
  • peace-filled (Ephesians 2:14) (Philippians 4:7)
  • called (Ephesians 4:1) (2 Timothy 1:9)
  • certain of His truths (Ephesians 4:17)
  • strong (Ephesians 6:10)
  • growing (Colossians 2:7)
  • prayed for by Jesus (John 17:20-23)
  • not in want (Philippians 4:19)
  • victorious (1 John 5:4) (1 Corinthians 15:57) (Proverbs 2:7-8)
  • promised eternal life (John 6:47)
  • promised a full life (John 10:10)
  • protected (Philippians 4:7) (John 10:28) (Psalm 37:28) (Psalm 91:14-15) (Proverbs 2:7-8)
  • set free (Romans 8:2) (John 8:32)
  • light in the world (Matthew 5:14)
  • more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
  • overcoming (1 John 4:4)
  • persevering (Philippians 3:14) (James 1)
  • delivered (Colossians 1:13) (Psalm 91:14-15) (Psalm 107:6) (Psalm 116:8) (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  • strengthened (2 Thessalonians 3:3) (Isaiah 58:11) (Ezekiel 34:16)
  • satisfied (Isaiah 58:11) (Jeremiah 31:25)
  • rescued (Colossians 1:13-14)
  • pursued (Ezekiel 34:16) (Psalm 23:6)
  • set apart (Jeremiah 1:5)
And the list goes on and on...there are many more treasures and truths spilling from the pages of His holy inspired Word.  This list just ignited the spark in me that I feared had dimmed. Although it's fall and the weather outside whispers winter, there is spring in my heart.  I'm ready to embrace this new season with the full confidence of who I am in Christ.  To let that light shine and live this wild life treasured.  He wants this for you too!  You're worth it!

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