I’m a do-er. A Martha. A go-to girl. If no one is going to step up and take charge, I will. If getting it done means staying up until all hours of the night, I’m your girl. In fact, I can multi-task in my sleep.
All of that is well and good, except I let it become my identity. In fact, I wore it around my neck like a superhero’s cape.
And then during a prayer time, God asked me – “What if I took it all away? All the activities, all the programs, the businesses, the tasks. What if I took them all away? Who would be left?”
I didn’t know the answer. I felt as though I were nothing without what I do. My friends admired me (and in my mind, liked me) because I get so much done. People count on me to do things for them. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would look like if my abilities, my energy, my drive were gone.
And so began a journey to find a new identity. One that is grounded in who Jesus is because I am his creation and his daughter. One where he is central and sufficient. One that recognizes his reputation is the only one that matters.
And amazingly, one that allows me to pursue those passions he’s placed inside of me, rather than just doing stuff to do it or because I could. Which means over the course of the last couple years, I’ve been refocusing my activities:
- I volunteer in one main area at church – our women’s ministry. As a member of a small church, I still pitch in where it’s needed, but I am more intentional about what I choose to do.
- I’ve shut down a couple businesses, most recently including my blog tour coordination business. I realized that the activity is mainly administrative, and after a while that crushes my spirit. I have administrative skills, but I thrive in the creative.
- To that end, I’ve focused in two areas: photography and writing. I officially opened Fall Meadow Photography and Design. I’m pursuing what has been a hobby to me, and I love the balance between creative, strategy, and administration.
- I’ve also rededicated myself to blogging and writing. I recently accepted the position of Content Editor for Laity Lodge Family Camp. I am super excited to combine my passion for writing with my heart for the family unit. Plus, my family loves Laity Lodge – it has become a special family tradition to visit there each year – so this is a really great fit.
- I’m guarding our family schedule more carefully, and I am trying to be diligent about holding a couple nights a week without activities. Before, if the time was open, it was fair game. Now we are being more intentional.
- I want my family to be a priority, and yet before my calendar would’ve said otherwise. So we’ve scheduled date nights each week. One week is with my husband and I, one with my eldest daughter, one with my youngest daughter, and one family night. The months that have five weeks, we will find a place to serve as a family. So far, it’s been a delight to spend the time together.
This pursuit of a new identity is certainly that: a pursuit. But the journey is showing me that I can be free to be who God has created me to be. I’m putting off the old self and taking on the new self.
And it’s good to be me.