It’s Valentine’s Day and I am a little surprised how close to the surface the tears have been today. I was not expecting to be particularly sad today but somehow this day and maybe this week have been harder than normal. I watched a short video on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/45947083) featuring Skip Ryan and his wife a couple of days ago and could so identify with many of the things that they voiced about our identity in Christ.
I had been thinking about some of these ideas already and where I am in my life at this point. It seems as if there has been a good amount of loss- loss of Mark, of course, but also, loss of big pieces of my identity- Young life leader, Vail employee, etc. I am not a quitter and all of these things have been a part of my life for quite some time – marriage, 36 years; Young Life, 40+ years; Vail, 12 of the 14 years that I have lived in Colorado.
I have been thinking about how much of my identity has been wrapped up in each of these parts of my life, how much effort into making myself into a certain person that others will admire. Who am I really when all of this is gone? When I am no longer the cool leader who hangs out with high school kids, or works for Vail and snowboards? And who am I really apart from Mark? Skip Ryan’s video hit close to home because I believe that God has removed Young Life and my Vail job from me, those things that aren't bad in and of themselves, but maybe have kept me from finding my identity in Him alone. Because when it is all said and done, now and when I stand before my Father in Heaven, it is my identity in Christ that will make the difference and not what others think of me. Who I am in Him – beloved adopted child of God, heir with Christ, follower, friend – will be the deciding factor of how I live for Him here and where I spend eternity. I know I belong to Him and will spend eternity with Him. But in the end it is just me and God, that’s it, just me and God. How He knows me is vastly more important than how I have seen my self in the eyes of everyone else.
My desire is to truly know Him and be found in Him and to find my identity in Him and in nothing or no one else - to truly understand how very much He loves me and wants the best for me and will let nothing get in the way of His glory and my good, even when it may not look that good to me…
So, here I stand, without a husband, ministry, job, looking for what God is going to show me about who I am in Him. It is not without a little fear that I ask Him to make me like Him and direct my steps in what He has for me next. I may not know where He will lead but I am thankful that I do know Him- faithful, loving, just, merciful, long-suffering, powerful, and gracious Father.
Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed , for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?