January 14, 2023 - Identity Crisis

Where is my identity? I was challenged recently by my counselor to identify all the losses that went along with Shari’s death.

Today, I realized a really BIG loss: my identity. Often, I feel that a part of me died that day. I know I am fully alive, but part of my identity was lost the day she left this world. We were known as Bob & Shari for forty years, two-thirds of our lives. If it wasn’t Bob & Shari, it was Mom & Dad or Mamaw & Papa. Who am I without Shari?

That one hit me pretty hard this morning when a couple of songs from my playlist randomly played back-to-back. The songs:

“Who I Am” by Ben Fuller

I stand in front of the mirror, But I don't like who's lookin' back at me, Wish I could see things clearer, oh
Like who I'm supposed to be, In every trial, lift me higher, Through the fire, hold me tighter, Remind me again that I was made for more, Who I am in the eyes of the Father, Who I am His love set free, Who I was I left at the altar, I am Yours Lord, I believe, It's who I am (I'm a child of the most-high God and the most-high God's for me), It's who I am (I'm a child of the most-high God and the most-high God's for me), Everythin' has been, changin' (changin', changin'), You haven't left a stone unturned, Anythin' I've been facin', oh (facin', facin', facin'), I'll keep standin' on Your word, In the water, take me under, Fill my lungs to, to speak Your wonder
You brought me of the darkness, I was made for more (for more, for more, for more), Who I am in the eyes of the Father, Who I am His love set free, Who I was I left at the altar, I am Yours Lord, I believe, It's who I am (I'm a child of the most-high God and the most-high God's for me), It's who I am (I'm a child of the most-high God and the most-high God's for me), You gave up everythin', For me to have everythin', For all of eternity
A song in my lungs to sing, You gave up everythin', For me to have everythin', For all of eternity, A song in my lungs to sing. (listen on YouTube)

Followed by “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough, Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up, Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low, Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know, Ooh-oh, You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing, You say I am strong when I think I am weak, And you say I am held when I am falling short, And when I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours, And I believe (I), Oh, I believe (I), What You say of me (I), I believe
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me, In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, Ooh-oh, You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing, You say I am strong when I think I am weak, And you say I am held when I am falling short, When I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours, And I believe (I), Oh, I believe (I), What You say of me (I), Oh, I believe, Taking all I have, and now I'm laying it at Your feet, You have every failure, God, You have every victory, Ooh-oh. (listen on YouTube)

God is not finished with you quote.

I know the theology and embrace that my identity is in Jesus and in all He says about me. But here in this earthly realm, we are human and live in this world, even though we are not of this world; the reality is that we endure the hurt, storms, and challenges of life with the confidence that Jesus overcame it all so that we, too can overcome. That does not eliminate the pain we experience;

it provides hope, an eternal hope, as we grieve and hurt.

For my many friends who have lost your spouse or a close loved one, you get it, but know this: God is not finished with you or me. He is still working out His purposes in you and through you. You are who He says you are!

Shari and I prayed often, asking God to use us in any way He wanted to make a difference in our world; God is still answering those prayers we prayed for forty years, just not as I had planned.

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