Hard to Identify
As we stood at the tow lot staring at the rows of crunched cars, it was hard to identify which one had been ours. We approached a mangled silver car, and our jaws dropped. This metallic pancake had been the casing from which my two daughters and their two friends had miraculously crawled from after a rollover collision.
People continue to ask how we're doing. The girls are mostly healed. Stitches have come out, and there is almost no visual evidence of the accident, aside from some scars. Their bodies still ache, and some of the invisible injuries will need more time.
For me, my heart does summersaults every time one of my girls calls me. It's nearly impossible for me to sleep if they aren't at home. The worry of another accident hasn't yet left the forefront of my mind.
The bigger issue that this accident triggered is a pretty radical revelation that my identity is not as secure as I'd like it to be. I'm not talking IDs and social security numbers, but rather, who I am as a person, and what I believe(d) defines who I am.
This accident could have easily taken the lives of my two children. Seeing pictures of the car, it's clear that they were divinely protected. But what if the call that night hadn't come from my daughter, and instead, two deputies had come to my door, bearing the news that upends your world? Would I cease to be a mom?
So much of my identity is wrapped in professional accomplishments, relationships or even location. I was a radio host for 12 years. I am the director of a non-profit. I am a wife and mother. I am a life long Albuquerque resident. The problem with basing my identity in any of these categories is, that one accident, job change, or move, can redefine who I am.
I had a major struggle when I left radio. I felt (and still do to some degree) that part of me had been amputated. The security I felt, in a field I knew well, was stripped away. My talents and gifting, that I believed God had placed in me, were no longer very useful in my new job. Who was I professionally outside of the radio studio? Certainly not the comfortable, confident personality that I once was.
A major career shift and traumatic car accident have caused me to critically examine my way of thinking. I am again at the place of having to evaluate just who I am. It's a beautiful gift to be a wife and mother. It's a humbling responsibility to be the director of a non-profit. It's merely geography that's made me an Albuquerquean. When all is stripped away, who am I?
The answer is so simple and so startling that it seems foolish: I am His. I am a child of God. I am the daughter of the King. If this identity isn't enough, I will never be satisfied or anchored. It's a radical departure from the thinking of the world. At this time in history where status, occupation and relationships are redefining groups of people, to pull back to the most basic identifier is hard to do.
So, I ask you a question to ponder in the stillness of your own heart: "Who are you?" If you provide a laundry list of identifiers that could be changed by things outside (or inside) your control, is that really the answer? Are you so deeply planted in the security of who you are, that no hurricane of life can uproot you?
Could three simple words transform how you think about yourself and the way you view life and the challenges you face? Consider if this is the answer you can confidently give at the next party when someone asks you about yourself. "I am His."