originally posted December 10,2012
One of the things I hate most about this new life is that I feel like I've lost my identity.
It's like, my whole life, I have been in training to be a wife and a mother- and not just a wife and mother- but a good one. The Proverbs 31 woman. It's been a long hard journey. There were days that I didn't feel like doing chores,like most teenagers, and learning new "womanly" skills sometimes seemed so demeaning. had dreams of being a journalist, traveling the world in pursuit of uncovering truth, or a teacher, molding the minds of future generations. Why on earth would I care how to properly fold a fitted sheet or make a succulent roast chicken?But then as time went on, what started out as a degrading bothersome chore, quickly changed into a ministry. I didn't just want to learn how to do these things, but I wanted to be the best at them. I wanted to marry a wonderful man one day and have him be the envy of all his friends and coworkers. Where other men were lamenting their wives' entitled ways of thinking when it came to frivolous spending, mine would be able to not just leave me a debit card and checkbook, but trust me enough to put me charge of the finances and bill paying. When he would come home and tell these heart breaking tales of run around wives who slept with more men in town then the number of hours their husbands worked, mine always knew exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was keeping home, teaching and rearing children and making sure to have a hot home cooked meal prepared and waiting for him,still hot but not burned, for whenever he returned for dinner. There would never be anything he would want for. I would put aside my exhaustion to fulfill his intimate needs, serve him and his offspring their meal portions first and make sure theirs were the largest before my own. Clothes were dutifully washed in a homemade soap, kitchen sparkling( not always, but I tried) and that was who I was.
I was Donna Reed.
Now I feel like a nobody. Yes, I still get up and carry on. The house will always need to be kept clean and as much in order as a house can be with 4 children and 3 dogs. Meals are still hot and home cooked and clothes still washed in that homemade laundry soap. But there is a void.
There is a void in me.
Who am I?
Am I strong for not putting up with less than I deserved?Am I setting a good example for my daughters, to never feel like you must change who you are and what you believe in for acceptance and love? Have I been reduced to being what people have whispered and accused me of being because they think they know everything about me, but really have no idea???
I know who my mother always taught me to be. I am a King's daughter- so that makes me royalty. I am, she would always say, the head and not the tail. I am the Christian foundation for my children and the voice for them when no one seems to want to listen to their little cries of concern.But there are so many days when it just doesn't even seem fair or real or possible. I don't feel beautiful and strong or royal or the head. I feel lost and scared and defeated and like I've let everyone around me down somehow. I feel like a failure.
It's all I can do to barely remember the verses I grew up on. They seem so far away and faded now. I can remember bits and pieces, but references escape me. I try to hold onto what I know to be true, even when it feels like it doesn't apply to me anymore. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. That I am in the palm of His hand, and no one can snatch me out of it. I looked my name up years ago and it means bitter sorrow. LOVELY. I feel as though I've been set up to fulfill that name's meaning, whether I want to or not. I read a few months ago Ruth 1:20, where after being widowed and left childless, Naomi went back to the land of her people with her daughter-in-law Ruth and the people asked if this was really Naomi. I can only guess what the grief of her circumstances and years from home had done to her facially.
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
Mara is a form of the name Maria. Naomi's grief and environment had worn who she had been away. Look it up: her name means "Beautiful, pleasant, delightful". Life had turned her from beautiful to bitter.
This is what I'm trying to avoid but it is so hard. Beauty just seems so far away. The Light of the Truth of who I am and was meant to be seems so faded. It feels like I'm wandering around alone in the dark chasing this light, and I just can never get close enough to it. So until I can believe I am somebody, let alone somebody that will find happiness again, I choose to hold blindly to the knowledge that I am God's Child, still.