Guest Post by Tracy Godlonton
I grew up very close to the Lord and was very secure in who I was in Him. I can honestly say (in humility) that I was so comfortable in who I was that I didn’t worry at all about what people thought of me.
But there have been 2 distinct moments that shook my identity.
I have to back track a bit though before getting to that moment. Once, a friend of mine commented that there was something different about my brother and I, a confidence and assurance about us that he attributed to the fact that my parents were still married and both active in our lives. I suddenly became so grateful for that fact. The first moment came only a couple of years later while I was away from home at university (age 21) I received a phone call that crumbled the security on which I found myself standing – my parents were getting divorced. Though I didn’t blame God, I distanced myself. In a thought I said to Him, “I’m not angry with You, but I feel too empty and I just can’t speak to You.” I remained in that state for a year. I didn’t rebel or change my ways… only I didn’t talk to Jesus.
The second time, was 9 years later and life was overwhelming. I didn’t see it coming. I looked in the mirror one morning and wondered, “who is this?” with tears pouring down my face- in fact chunking. I felt like I was only the “roles” I played. I don’t mean that I was being fake by playing roles, only I couldn’t find breathing room between all of the commitments. The roles of being a wife (to an amazing husband), mom (to 2 treasured little boys), science teacher (to stunning high schoolers) and ministry commitments with my husband (that I’m privileged to be called to). “Where am I in this person?” I wondered. I felt so far from The Father. I was just a manager of all the roles I was (grateful) to play but I lost me.
Looking back I am amazed to see the way Jesus so graciously loved me back to Him in both seasons.
When I was 21. I felt like He held me in a bubble. I floated through that year with madness going on around me (it was the most intensive academic year coupled with emotional brokenness) and I felt His comfort all the way through even though I kept so quiet. I arrived at the end of the year having done really well academically and one day it was like I turned to the side (because I knew He was there the whole year) and I climbed on His lap and felt so welcomed and so loved. Here He showed me His grace and faithfulness even when I had none.
In the second instance, I felt like I was in a pit for about 3 months. I knew drawing closer to The Lord was the answer but it felt like nothing was working. Then I contracted swine flu. I had some uncommon reaction that included unbearable nausea. After being in hospital for a few days, I was then stuck at home alone for a couple of weeks. I felt so isolated. Everyone else was running after my children. My husband was managing everything from household to kids and his own job. I don’t know how to explain it clearly but it was like each day these words were spoken louder and louder in my heart, “even if you perform none of those roles, and if nobody sees you, I am enough for you and I love you the same.”
As those words became clearer each day, so did my joy. I then saw a glimpse of myself in His arms and with flooding joy I said, “There I am!” Here He showed me where my worth came from.
It is in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He chose to create us and breathe His breath of life into us. So our true identity is in Him for He knows us intricately and loves us. When I put myself in His arms (which are always open), I find my desires, my dreams, my hopes, myself- just come alive. The joy, peace and passion I find in that place can then overflow into all the roles I so dearly love.
Security and assurance is in Christ alone as He is steadfast and never changing. The world can’t offer certainty but Jesus does in a relationship with Him – and that is where our identity can be secure.