The Question

Who am I?

Life is unexpected. You just can’t plan it, which is often a good thing, but sometimes the unexpected throws you into crisis. Even the good ‘unexpected’ parts. They require a new self-definition. Take my ordinary life.

This was my plan as I entered college:

Graduate with honors at the top of my class. Step into a successful teaching career, complimented by a coaching position in which I would mold championship-caliber teams, resulting in several state titles. (Seriously. They make you write this stuff down as you begin your college journey. Gotta have goals, you know).

Let’s take note of what was not on that plan. Anything missing, gals? I’ll give you a minute. I’ll bet you’ve noticed a few items missing, so let’s move into the rest of the story as it stands years later.

I did graduate, with nerd-ropes, but not at the tippy-top of my class. The real quirk, though? By the time I graduated at the tender age of 22, I was already a married woman. God loves irony (you did notice that wasn’t in the plan, right?).

I did teach, for just a little while, and I loved it. I even dabbled with the coaching thing, but by the time I got around to that, we had our first baby. Paradise shifted, and I became a stay-at-home mom. Can we say identity-crisis? I’d gone from a career-centered mindset to mommy–which was lovely and I don’t for one minute regret it. I found myself busy with changing diapers and scrubbing toilets and eternally trying to contain the ever-erupting laundry room. So not in the life-plan. Many, many days I went to bed wondering ‘who am I?’

Twelve years later, and I’m at another crisis. My daughter entered Junior High, and my baby, the fourth of our wonderful children, started kindergarten. They still need me, but it’s not the same. Sheesh, I’d just settled into the role I’d been given. Now I’m at that juncture again, with the question flashing at the intersection: ‘who am I?’

See, this is what happens when I define me by the things around me; by the roles that I play and the things that I do. It’s time, I think, to take a new approach.

So, Jesus, who am I?

Certainly He must have a lot to say about that.

2 Responses to The Question

  1. Debbie M. says:

    Life is an adventure of trust with God. He already knows the outcome, but we have the fun in discovering the blessings that God has for our lives. Motherhood is a wonderful blessing. My kids are grown now and I have asked the same question, “So, Jesus, who am I?” Some people would say that grandmothering is the next great thing, but I believe that God has even more in store for me (us.)

    Like

    • Jen says:

      So very true, Debbie. Thank you! You know, it’s so funny how when we think in terms of our lives, there is a certain point where we kind-of write “the end.” At least, for me. I remember when my husband and I were done having kids, it was bitter-sweet for me. He was puzzled by this little grief I had and asked if I really want more. No, I believed, too, that our family was complete, but it was the idea of not being a mother to a baby that had thrown me. I told him that as little girls, we play wedding, and then mommy, but our babies are always babies in those little-girl games. The dreams, the plans we made as small girls kind of halt right there. How wonderful it has been to discover that God’s plans don’t! Truly, the adventure has only just begun!

      Like

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