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  • Elizabeth Marie

Identity Issues

Although I had always thought I would have children, I was completely naïve about them as I’d had little contact with them. So after a weekend visit in my mid-twenties, just newly married with some family and their new baby, I wondered if perhaps I didn't want children after all. Although the baby was delightful, she was very busy between times in a baby walker, feeding, crying, and nappy changes, and I could see the amount of work involved on top of a lack of sleep.

One day that weekend, while I was walking alongside the rugged surf of the West Coast, I prayed: “God, if you want me to have children, you are going to have to change my heart.” He did, though not in a way that I would have expected. A few months later, I may have had a miscarriage. I will never know whether I was actually pregnant, but I grieved the idea that I may have lost a child. After that experience, the yearning for a child was intense.

I remember at 26, a year after I was married, telling a friend that I had lived the life I wanted and that I had done all the things that I had wanted to do. I laugh at this thirty years later when there is still so much in this life that I want to learn and experience!

Having my first baby was a challenging experience, between breastfeeding issues and colic, and later repeated ear infections, yet somehow I coped. I know that the intense love that came along with my beautiful daughter Rachel helped, as well as a warning from a friend. She said that babies were hard work. This advice helped me, although my friend, an ex-karitane nurse, advised me they weren’t supposed to be this hard. She spent hours with me, helping with the feeding and getting her into a routine. At the time, she would feed, then throw it all up then I would have to start again; my friend said she should be up and down within an hour. I spent ten days walking the floor to get her in more of a routine, and her digestion settled.

Before my children were born, I felt like I had been finding myself and who I was, but after having the children, my self-esteem took a battering. Obviously, more issues in my heart needed to come to light. One family member criticized me for having a third child, and another for still wanting to have a career. I felt as a Christian still young in the faith; I did not fit in anywhere with the Christian cultural norms of the day. I chose instead to read and listen to the teachings of Jesus. What did He say about women? I chose to be His disciple and follow Him, not what other people said.

Presently with yet another change in my life, I am looking at who I am. I have thought I had known some things, and maybe I know quite a lot about certain subjects, but I often find that the more I know, the more questions there are. This applies to science as well as faith. There is always more to learn as a deeper truth can overturn theories and experiences.

As a Christian now, for over thirty years, I have learned some wisdom, but it seems as though the more that is revealed, the more I feel like I am like a toddler in the faith, stumbling along as my Father holds my hand. I am at the place where I am asking my Father God to show me. There is so much in the Word of God that I do not understand.

The Bible says that I am a new creation, seated in heavenly places. Yet I ask, what does that even mean as I struggle with day-to-day life in the earthen vessel of my body?

I see that there are so many facets of ourselves that we don’t know, although by now I know myself quite well, yet there is so much of God that I do not know. Perhaps I know about Him more than I know Him personally. As I yearn to know Him more, I see it is so easy to be distracted by this world. At this moment, a time in my life when I have more discretionary time, my life is still busy, and all the good, fun things in this world can distract me. But I want to know Him more. And I wonder what will change as I operate out of my true identity, my identity in Him.

Now I am in a new place of discovery, of being, as I take off the old costumes that brought me comfort and security and a sense of purpose and belonging to find a new me. And on this roller coaster journey of life, I am finding peace and contentment. Will you journey with me and my characters in my stories in the questions of who we are becoming? To be a human being rather than a human doing? Instead to be complete in Him and realize that I am a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body. And who I am is just fine.

Colossians 2:9-10 In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him who is head of all principalities and powers.

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Dec 04, 2022

That was beautiful! I prayed and asked God for a husband too and he revealed to me the one he chose but is making me wait.Before my mother went to heaven she confirmed it and told me about a son I would have with my husband.

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