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Little g gods and My Identity in Christ

This post is going to be a lot like prom dress shopping. . . I'm in the process of learning and growing and really studying and thinking through this topic of gods and identity and I'm not ready to pick "the dress" yet, but writing helps me think and helps me make sense of the chaos in my mind.  So welcome to my emotional dressing room. . . .

I've been wrestling with identity lately--I feel like this new chapter in my life has demanded that I do.  And the other night I was at a parents social for all of the 9th grade parents at Dax's new school and I left (early) really wondering about my identity.  I even had to call my brother, Brady (the pastor), to help me wrestle through it.

I know that my identity is supposed to be in Christ.  That isn't my question at all.  I am made in His image and I am the daughter of the King.  Those are facts I don't dispute.  (Do I have self image issues?  Yes!  Do I question my own self-worth?  Sometimes.  Those also are not the topics I'm wrestling with here.)  But who am I in a social setting when I am new and standing alone or new and introducing myself to people?  I'm not comfortable in these settings on the best of days and the awkwardness (if only internal) is only compounded in this chapter.

I've always been somebody in relation to somebody else and that has been a huge security blanket for me.  (Dax used to carry around his "MeMo," this blue silkie blanket and I feel like my identity in relation to other people has been my MeMo.). I grew up as Joe White's daughter and that is who I was and it made it easier because I could hide behind that.  Then I was Andy Braner's wife and that is who I was and that was easy because I loved just standing by Andy as he charmed a room.  Sometimes I am Hays's mom and I stand to the side watching him with pride.  Or I'm Maggie's mom and I have her by my side.  I'm Dax's mom or Tiki's mom and often, lately, I'm Gabby's mom and the adoption story is my MeMo. . . . . . 

I'm hopping off of the identity track for a second because I realize that I have made all of these people and connections my gods sometimes.  That is a hard one to type out.  I actually called Andy a few months ago to apologize to him for making the kids (starting with Hays 21 years ago) my gods and finding my identity and security and fulfillment in them throughout our marriage.  I love being a mom and I can see how my kids became my idols because they were (and often times still are) the most important things in my life.  Finding my identity in being a mom instead of being an heir to the King definitely kept me out of balance.

So, I asked Brady through tears, "what does it mean to find my identity in Christ in a social situation?"  In a situation, like at the party the other night, how do I cling to my identity in Christ when I am feeling so alone and unknown in a room?  How can I cling to that when I am feeling like a unicorn because I am divorced (a unicorn with chicken pox)?  How can I cling to that when I don't have anyone charismatic to stand next to?  How can I cling to that when I don't have my kids to divert my energies to?  

I felt so alone and so exposed at that social.  I'm sure this also speaks into my self-image issues (which I mentioned were a different topic for a different day), but now that I think about it, that is just as important to the identity question because I must believe that I am made in the image of God and if I believe that, then I need to stand with that confidence.  I don't know (you can see now why I'm still in the "shopping phase". . . I have not landed on "the dress"--I have not landed on any real answers that are tangible for me), but at least I know that I don't know and I am digging.

I think it is so hard to know the truth and know the information and then to apply it to a situation where I am so uncomfortable.  I think I need to find my identity in Christ hour by hour day by day--almost like training for a marathon--so that in those awkward situations I will be ready to stand alone at a party where I'm feeling exposed and like a unicorn (with chicken pox).  I'm going to keep mulling this topic around in my head.  For an Enneagram 2, it is so complex and it touches on all of my weaknesses and insecurities.  For this new chapter of being so embarrassed because I am divorced, it is so complex and it touches on all of my weaknesses and insecurities.  Who am I as a daughter of the King, made in His image and what does that mean in the still of the night and what does that mean in a social setting where I am alone forced out of my comfort zone meeting new people?  

I do I find my identity in Christ in an applicable way?  It is a fun topic to fall asleep wrestling with.


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