Thursday, October 16, 2014

...wondering just who I am?

It's happened to me again.
I was thinking I had a unique idea to explore on this blog and another blog I'm following covers that very topic the day I plan to write my post.

So here I am. Wondering again what I was thinking when I started this blog.

I have nothing new to contribute, no unique insights to share.
Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun.

So. Who am I and why am I here?

It's an age-old question.

And it's been squirming, shoving, poking...making its way, unwanted, to the forefront of my mind.
We all grapple with the intricacies of this ponderous question as teens, seeking to "find ourselves" and locate the appropriate niche into which we fit.

Then there is the legendary "mid-life" crisis - when new risks are taken, new hobbies are acquired, new cars are purchased, and new careers explored.

But I believe my reasons for skirting the edges of this issue fall a bit more along these lines...

I am no longer the same person.

For 20 years, my entire being-my existence-revolved around the man I adored and wanted to please.

Now, he is experiencing his well-deserved reward, bestowed him by his beloved Jesus.

He is no longer in a position to express approval or disapproval of any action I take.
I no longer need to make my decisions based on his schedule or preferences.

In one sense, it's freeing.

In another, it's terrifying.

It's freeing because I'm learning more about my own personal preferences as they are no longer colored by his. I no longer shy away from something because he might think it immature or unnecessary. I no longer force myself to eat certain things he liked but were only tolerable to me. I am finding it's okay to now do some things he didn't find as enjoyable as I always have. I have found myself more capable than I previously thought because I have to deal with all those responsibilities he had always fulfilled. In short, for half of my life, I have run everything through the filter of pleasing Michael J. Wright...which is as it should be for a marriage to succeed.

But this is all deeply terrifying because he is no longer here to share responsibility for the outcome of decisions made. He is no longer here to offer input and wisdom and perspective to help in the making of those decisions. He is no longer here to pray with me and for me. He is no longer here to comfort me when life hits us hard. He no longer serves as the family's rudder, keeping our focus toward heaven.

And he is no longer here to speak truth to me.

He was always the one that kept me balanced. He helped me say "no" when I really needed to do so, and he helped encourage me when I thought I just couldn't get that project or task completed. He remained objective in the face of my female emotionalism...he inspired me, he challenged me...

...he pulled me with him to higher heights and believed in me.

He played a vital role in me 

So...who am I now?

Wife? No, that job was removed from my life plan on January 16, 2014.

Musician? No, I'm just your average church pianist with a voice better for blending than solos.
Artist? No, my art is truly amateurish and just dabblings from my "art therapy" sessions.
Friend? My closest friend is gone; sadly, the remaining close friends haven't gotten fair treatment.
Hostess? No, the finer points of that role escape me! Michael was always the one to suggest the parties, invite people, and carry the conversation. Plus, inviting has become challenging now that there is no "man of the house" with whom Mr. So-and-So can interact.
Chef? No, I cook for survival only - the same six & seven over and over, nothing imaginative.
Scrapbooker? (Is that a word???) No, time is now at a premium; creativity often plays "hard to get."
Children's worker? No, that role has had to be temporarily set aside for the past several years so I could focus on the needs of my family.

Mother? Yes, of four...but I'm light years away from a perfect one.  These kids know it well!

They are resilient and patient souls, though, and I love them oodles and bunches. 
Teacher? Yes, I do try. We get the core work covered, but these days extras come in rare spurts.
Writer? Yes, somewhat, but mostly for purposes of therapy. I'm definitely no Ann Voskamp!!
(Plus, many wonderful blogs are being written and thousands upon thousands of books published that far exceed anything I might concoct.)

Laundress, chauffeur, grocery shopper, manager of wardrobes and cluttered bedrooms, chauffeur, lawn maintenance crew, overseer of vehicle maintenance, chauffeur, family accountant, maid, driver's ed instructor...chauffeur, and entertainment supervisor??  Yep!!  THAT'S me.....

But is that all?

Do I do anything else of importance to the Kingdom?
Am I changing anything in this world for good?
What is my value to society?
Why am I here when my husband is in Heaven? He was making a difference work, through his email updates, at church...he touched lives everywhere he went...even the library!
What is MY purpose? Am I fulfilling it or missing it completely?

Somehow I feel there is a calling for me here...within these four my children. I seem to know that from the core of my being. It is a knowledge that has developed over time...a slow, percolating realization of the importance of the role of mother in my children's lives; and the vital way my attitude, advice, and ambition plays into the development of theirs. So, I take this job very seriously. And on some days, it demands all I have to give.

But is that enough?

Is this to be my only identity? Do I have any value, mission, or calling beyond motherhood?
Maybe not now...but maybe in the future God will lead me to some new adventure.

Maybe for now, this IS enough.

Beyond the reaches of this discussion, I possess a soul-deep assurance that

I am a Child of the King...a recipient of His amazing and unending grace!

And because of that assurance, I can trust Him.

Because of His love for me, I can trust His guidance.
Because of His love for my children, I can trust His timing.
Because of His promises, I can trust His provision.

So whether God chooses to use me today, tomorrow, or far in the future,

I must choose to rest in the knowledge that His plan is best.

Oh, the thought that Jesus loves me,
Oh that I can understand
Fills my heart with calm assurance;
I am safe inside His plan.

So I will let it change and heal me,
Let it ease my troubled mind;
Oh, the thought that Jesus loves me,
That He loves me for all time.

Oh, the thought that Jesus loves me,
And He loves what I will be
Some sweet day when He has finished
His creative work in me.

~ Wayne Haun, Lyn Rowell

Praying that God makes His will crystal clear,