Monday, April 28, 2014

Do you know who you are?

Recently I watched an episode of a medical drama titled, "Do you know who you are?"

The concept was based on 3 questions that are often asked to accident victims when they awaken:

1.) Do you know who you are?
2.) Do you understand what's happened to you?
3.) Do you want to live this way?

The character asking these questions of a patient is also narrating the episode and the questions become those she is asking herself to determine which path she plans to take next in her life.

As I think about those questions today, specifically the first one, I think about how often I have asked myself, "Who am I?" or "Leslie, do you know who you are?"

It's funny that just about the time I think I can adequately answer that question, God shows me I'm wrong. Sometimes He takes one of those things away from me.

Just about the time I start my list...
I sing in the choir
I help teach my Sunday School class
I am a Mom of two
I take my kids to church every Sunday morning and every Wednesday night unless someone is sick
I am a wife
I'm a fighter for justice
I am a cook
I am a chauffeur
I teach people how to make quick healthy meals
I am a student of food prep and food health
I am a daughter
I am a friend
I am an artist

...I realize the truth is, these aren't entirely WHO I am.  They are mostly WHAT I do.

We've become a society who associates WHAT we do, with WHO we are.

If we spend our day catering to our kids and their activities, and going-going-going, no matter how tired we are at the end of the day, no matter how irritable we are to those same kids, we say, "I'm a good Mother."

Even if we aren't emotionally available for our families because of all the GOING, we say we are good Moms {or Dads or Grandparents} because we're doing all this stuff.

And we DO and we DO and we DO and we wonder why we don't feel happy? Complete?
How could we possibly fit in anything else to all this DOING?

And then I read this.  And these words jump out at me...
"What about my life and my rights and my time and my space and my yard and my house and kids and my food and my being good at other stuff?"
They catch my attention because I know how many times I've said...

What about me?
What about my feelings?
What about my gifts? And when do I get a chance to use them?
Don't they care?
Why doesn't he/she care about my feelings?
Don't they see how hard I'm working?
Doesn't He see me struggling?
Why can't God just GIVE me this one thing??!!


And we tell ourselves that He doesn't.  That God doesn't, or can't, concern Himself with the minutiae of our day to day.

And that's not true.

Just as a parent I hurt when my baby girl cries, even over something the world deems trivial, God hurts for us when we struggle.

So who tells us that He doesn't care? Why do we let ourselves believe it?

It is the same society that tells us we have to keep up with all the DOING in order to be the BEST Mom / Dad/ {fill in the blank}?


Have you ever thought about it? How you got here? How you started feeling this way? How you lost touch with who you are?

Do you understand what has happened to you?


I know these are hard questions.
They are hard to think about in reference to myself and they are hard to think about in reference to other people, knowing that almost everyone would have trouble answering one or all of them.

I certainly don't have all the answers.

But as I continue to read Lori's post another set of words is important to me:
"I spend a lot of time hustling for my time and my wants and my gifts and my family and my quiet and Jesus is asking me to hand over all of my my’s.
Because if I have truly been crucified with Christ then it is not I who live, but Him.
And in Him there is no space for anything that is mine.
And I have too many things I call mine."

And I do.  Have too many things that I call "mine".  Too many things that I hold tight to.  Too many things that I think "surely, God wouldn't ask me to give up singing {or Pampered Chef, or fighting for public education}."

But you know what? He might.  It's those things we hold tight to, that interfere with our relationship with our Heavenly Father and interfere with us seeing His perfect will for us.

If there's one good thing that has come from my sickness over the last 5 weeks now, it's time away.
Time away from things that are important to me.

The first one being singing.

It has given me time to pause and examine my feelings, my motives, and prayerfully consider that MINE may be different than HIS.

And I don't feel like He has answered my prayer or my questions yet.
But then, I'm not well yet and I can't sing again yet, either.

It's during these times that I get such wonderful reminders like this one from Katie Davis {from Kisses from Katie } 
... I can easily forget why I do what I do. I used to repeat to myself, 'Do not forget in the darkness what you have been promised in the light.'

And this one from Jennifer Rothschild on facebook today:

"You aren't just another set of randomly assembled chromosomes roaming the planet. You are a child of God with a special story and a special calling and a special name."

So perhaps the question I should be asking - WE should be asking - is this:

WHOSE am I? Or WHO does HE say I am?

I AM {and YOU are}:

  • A child of God (John 1:12)
  • Christ's friend (John 15:15)
  • a temple (1 Cor 6:19)
  • a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
  • a saint (Eph 1:1)
  • Righteous and Holy (Eph 4:24)
  • CHOSEN of God (Col 3:12)

Those darn birds have now built a SECOND nest in the same dead wreathe on my front door! Will they ever leave??

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