My sister and I were just talking this week about this realization that somehow when we got married and then gave birth to our kids, we gave up our identities. It wasn’t something that we planned on doing. In fact, we didn’t even know it was gone for years. It was a slow fade. I had slowly become something to everyone but me. I stopped doing the things that I loved and began doing the things that needed to get done to keep everyone else okay. Which works out fine if your life never has crisis. Anyone here never experience crisis?? Crisis and identity go hand in hand for me. I learned that crisis and has a funny way of spotlighting you. Like this big bright light shining down on you when you are feeling weak and vulnerable and afraid. Like how white pants show every dimple and ripple. Am I right? So, when crisis came for me, I had forgot about the Lisa who was strong and brave and who was passionate about music and justice, and helping other people, and who Jesus LOVED and who loved Jesus. What I remembered in that spotlight was the Lisa who had hurt other people, who made some bad choices and deserved to be punished, the Lisa who didn’t feel like she was good enough for anyone to fall in love with her. These were the loudest voices. When my marriage was in crisis and the pain of a potential divorce and raising a child by myself was my reality. I was standing there in tight white pants. And that spotlight is harsh.
The reason I’m telling you this is because I wanted to be able to tell you what someone once told me (while I was weeping and snotting, and breaking down and standing in that spotlight) – was that Jesus desperately loved me. He is mad about me. She reminded me that the harsh voice I was hearing was wrong…and not anything that God would say. He had forgiven me. He finds me beautiful. He thinks I’m smart and funny. He knows the kindness I have shown others. And he chose me. His light is a soft candlelight, with beautiful black pants.
And to make sure that I continue to hear that voice (instead of that spotlight) and be more “LISA”I started to do a few things:
- I cant even begin to tell you how important this was for me. I’m a therapy pusher!
- My table. I invited a few cherished dear friends into my inner circle and I’m completely transparent with them. And they with me. They remind me when I need to turn down the spotlight and light candles instead.
- I started to go to concerts again. In my pre-husband and sons days, I went to multiple concerts and musicals each month. Music is my love language for sure. So, I’ve started to make room in our budget and calendar to do just do concerts. I just figured out my summer schedule and I am SO excited. It makes me giddy and feel like me.
So for some of you, this will be an affirmation. For others, you may not have heard these words in a long time. But I wanted you to know that God loves you. His is mad about you. He calls you His. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are kind.
Now, it might sound like my life is just full of crisis. It’s really not, but those moments have truly allowed me to grow in my faith and in who I want to be so I tend to tell those stories.