August 17, 2022
I’m not becoming a new me - I’m finally letting the me I have always been show up. I have matured and grown through things, but I am and always have been ME.
Scripture to contemplate: 2 peter 1
People see me now, two years after the final “nail in the coffin” arrest of my then husband, 6 months after the finalization of our divorce, and think “this is a whole new Janice.” I would bet though, if I were to talk to people who knew me before everything that happened in the past 20+ years, they would say I am the same as when they knew me, but just matured in some important areas.
You see, I am not becoming a new me. I am merely allowing the real me that I always was to reappear. Healing has allowed me to stop suppressing my personality, my desires and passions. For so long I became more and more of a people pleaser in my attempt to survive in some form of peace.
I am an introvert, but love people. I have the gift of mercy and the gift of teaching, so I like to talk, I like to help, and yet I suppressed this for so long because I was either being told I talk too much or that I needed to mind my own business. Naturally, I gravitated more to my introvert side then, that was the quiet, “in my own lane” place to be, right? This became “you’re just a hermit anyway, so why should I involve you in time with our friends.” I got so tired of trying to explain that I love going to things, I love spending time with people, I just need it to either be not a huge crowd or need a way to decompress for a bit without others thinking I didn’t like them or something, so I just accepted that identity.
I love to crochet, it soothes me. It gives my hands and mind something to do while I relax - my ADHD brain needs that. I slowly stopped doing it because I was told that I should be constantly working on something productive for the family. I have the hardest time just relaxing anymore. If I am out of my bedroom, I feel I must be cleaning or somehow helping the other members of the family with their things. I grew up hearing “there’s never nothing to do” and “always be on the lookout for how you can help - I shouldn’t have to ask”. While those may sound like great ways to be, the living out of it was that relaxing was not ok.
Rest was only allowed on Sunday, (and crocheting wasn’t rest,) rest was (apparently) getting up early, getting dressed for church, driving 30+ min to get there, pay close attention, take notes, talk to your friends if Dad is talking to his, but watch carefully, ready to go at a moment's notice. Home, mom and kids make and serve big dinner, take a quick nap, and back to church for evening service. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being in church. I loved the big family meals. It wasn’t until I was an adult and now a mom myself that I realized none of us were ever really resting. It was all so legalized and scheduled. There was little to no room for individual expression of what rest was for us, or what being a helpful, productive person was.
In my marriage, I was the one that planned all the parties, made sure it all came together and we celebrated everyone. That meant that no-one thought to plan a celebration for me. That was my job, and since I didn’t plan parties for myself, I must not like parties. My ex-husband was good for most of our marriage for taking me out and celebrating with just me and him. I loved those celebrations, and the time I got to spend with him, but I really wanted someone to make a fuss over me and involve my friends at least a few times. I wanted to know that I was appreciated. I never felt like I could ask for it though. Some of that is my own fault for listening to that inner critic that said I wasn’t really worth it or that it was pointless if I had to ask for it.
Now, I am letting myself go back to doing the things I love. I am being purposeful about spending time with God in meaningful ways, having fun with friends, crocheting for fun not just attempted profit, and speaking up in careful, loving ways when I feel the prompting to help. I'm writing again, both for pleasure and for ministry. My healing from the pain and pressure I endured has become the target of my ministry. Without that, my calling was unfocused, there, but not clear. I am becoming me - again. I am becoming more me than ever before.
All of those things that I love were written into my DNA from my mother’s womb. God put all of that in me, and it all has a purpose. The pressure of trauma, believing lies and just the hard things life brings to everyone was simply there to reveal the diamond that the coal was intended to become in the first place. Everything to make a diamond was there - the pressure simply brought it out.
So, don’t worry, my friend, if you feel lost and without an identity right now. Know that your Identity is still intact and waiting to shine! God made you exactly who he wanted you to be. Sin, both yours and others, has marred it and made it look like cheap coal surrounded by useless rock.
You, however, have come through the dark, hard-pressed spaces and it is now time to let the diamond be mined, cut and polished. Chip away all that you thought you had to put on to be “enough”. Let the real you that has always been there SHINE BRIGHT
If you want godly women walking along side you as you learn your Identity in Christ, check out the "Tapestry" mentoring groups available! You may feel like a more individualized approach is what would be helpful, for you there are a couple options. One session at a time, scheduled as needed, or Individual mentoring package (Single Stitches) that covers you for your choice of a month at a time or a whole year. I would love to be a part of God's work in polishing your crown! Got questions? Contact me and I will be happy to help.