I’ve always felt a pretty strong sense of identity and confidence in that identity.  I remember looking in the mirror in the early spring of 2014 and not recognizing the person looking back.  I remember being so scared by that.  Terrified, really.  A part of me was gone with the loss of our first baby in miscarriage.  There was so much other tough stuff going on and I remember staring into my eyes in the mirror and seriously doubting I could ever be myself again.  Doubting I’d ever see joy again.

I did find joy again, of course, but I’m not sure that I ever went back to the ‘old me.’  But I think that’s okay.

I’m still becoming, still growing, still changing.  And I always will be until the day I die.

In the weeks that followed losing Clive, I felt very lost. I often still do. He’d been in me for 7 1/2 months and then I’d been by his side for 39 days. Without him, I didn’t know really who I was anymore. All that energy had been poured into him for weeks and months, and then he was gone.  

I’ve thought a lot about my identity. It’s so hard when it is shaken from loss. Although I am a mother, I am not an active mother to a living child. A lot of my grief feels like a form of mothering. Mothering a child that I didn’t get to mother long enough.  I know I am a wife, and friend, and daughter, and sister, but all these identities feel like they could be taken. I’d still be a wife if Sam died, but not an ‘active’ wife. I’ll always be a daughter, but that will look so different after losing my parents. It’s true that those are parts of my identity, but they are based on other people. Who am I? 

Shortly after Clive’s passing, I read this verse and it helps me so much: “Fear not, I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1. 

Just knowing I am called by name and that I am His is so comforting.  I’ve been repeating that phrase “I have called you by name, you are mine” for months now.  In all those confusing, despairing, lost moments, I am His.  

One thought on “identity

  1. Brent R Jones says:

    Great post. Wonderful verse. Over the years, we become new people. Like adding layers. We become old fat onions. But it is the pain mixed with joy that does the most layering. I know now that family is a high value and I am learning that helping others allows me to stop being self-centered. But I have a very long way to go in character development. And less time every passing day. But remember even the largest tree, a huge redwood, had a growing green zone, with lots of dead wood inside that show rings of prosperity or adversity. I wish I could be an ent and talk to trees.


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