Saturday, January 11, 2020

Identity and Dependency

Daughteryour faith has healed youGo in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34

         Today's blog is about true identity and dependency, from my perspective.  I want my life to touch God, like the woman literally did in Mark 5:34, and be rewarded in eternity with no suffering.

  Who am I?
 Thankfully over the past 48 years, my identity has changed but my true identity has never changed since I was saved and born again.  My true identity is founded on being a follower of Jesus Christ, a daughter of the King of kings, a redeemed and forgiven soul, a chosen elect of God's family and a witness for the Kingdom of heaven.  Praise the Lord!  My earthly, temporal identity has revolved around being my parent's only child and daughter, a student to many different schools and universities, a friend to many, a wife and ex to one man, a parent to many animals, a relative to quite a few, being a lab tech, and a few more things that were enjoyed in this life but will pass away too.

   How did I get to where I am?
I was raised with expectations and not given a disability excuse to be any less than I could be.  During my school years, I did well, even when other students thought less of me because of my limp walk and braces.  For example, when I had to transfer to a high school with no stairs, I felt the need to prove myself and establish my reputation as a smart kid.  In my world history class, we played Jeopardy the day before a test to prepare ourselves.  Obviously with no one knowing me, the first game I was picked last for a team.  From then on during the school year, I was picked in the first 3 rounds.  How typical is it for us to care how the world around us, thinks of us.  Moral lesson:  Be confident and proud of who you are, regardless of the judging of others that don't matter.

    Did my planned path change? 
Yes, it did.  Ever since 10th grade, I geared my classes and plans toward being a pharmacist.  I graduated 13th in my high school class and then went to UCA for 2 years.  Then I got hit with the curve ball that I prayed for, I got engaged about the same time I was accepted into pharmacy school [twice].  I had to choose because marriage involved moving to Dallas, where there was no pharmacy school, or choosing a career path alone.  I chose marriage because I was so in love and thought it would last forever.  With my knowledge of knowing my disease was progressive, I knew working wouldn't last forever and relationships are more important.  I switched gears, I got married, took a year off from school, then pursued a degree in Microbiology.  In August 1994, I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology from NIU.  After 2 years of sending out resumes and numerous interviews, I got my dream job with the State of Missouri, Dept. of Agriculture, Diagnostic Lab in Springfield, MO as a Lab Tech 2 with a focus on DNA testing.  This was a job that God knew I could do for just the right amount of time, 5yrs, before having to go on disability.  Moral lesson:  Follow your dreams but don't quit when the winds move you into a different direction.  Follow your heart over money or career, if needed.

    How do you go from an independent life to a totally dependent one?
First, none of us are totally independent.  As it says in John 15:5 "apart from me you can do nothing."  So as strong as you are today, you are disillusioned by your physical strength. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He supplies our very breath. He also meets our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). God gives and takes away, over time or in a flash, according to His will, not ours. 
  Secondly, I am a woman of action, not excuses.  My disease is one in which there is automatic qualification for disability.  I could have sought out a government paid-off life, but that is not who I am or what I am about.  God didn't give me the brain-power and drive to sit on the sidelines and waste  away.  Happiness comes from growth and purpose.  God has blessed me with true joy and happiness throughout my life.  Sometimes in life, you have to be your own encourager.  I've felt ugly and I've felt beautiful, I've felt dumb and I've felt smart, I've felt weak and I've felt strong.   Guilt and shame come from people, not God! 
  Thirdly, God isn't trying to break me by making me progressively weaker.  God is teaching me to rely on Him and his provisions.  God knows my heart and that if my will was done, I would strive to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.  That's not his will, for any of us. "He doesn’t want our suffering to debilitate us, but when it feels like too much to bear, the promise of eternity and Christ’s presence keeps us from despair "As human beings, we often have a difficult time perceiving what the Lord is doing in our life. We are limited by the passage of time, the confusion of present circumstances, and a lack of understanding regarding God’s goals and His means of accomplishing them."  " The Lord doesn’t want us to simply grit our teeth and bear hardship; He desires that we trust Him and bring glory to His name through our dependence." []
   Fourthly, I am writing these words in this blog mostly for myself.  I feel unhappy because I don't long for or have growth and purpose anymore.  I am gritting my teeth to try to get through each day but trying to stay strong in God's will for me.  It is so hard to be not only blessed by others but to have total dependence as well on them.   God  wants us to grow in Christlikeness, but He doesn’t want to break our spirit.  As this is my last blog, I ask that you pray I will finish strong this journey He has purposefully set for me.  May I live boldly, peacefully, and effectively for His glory.