when it all gets stripped away…

Have you ever done the icebreaker activity where you tell someone a quirky fact about yourself?  Hi, my name is Marissa, and I can touch my nose with my tongue…  I have.  Hundreds of times.  It turns out, when you are in ministry, icebreaker activities kind of become a way of life.  I always viewed these as throwaway activities, ways to make others connect a name with a face, but not much more.  I never really noticed the power such statements have to create your identity.  Hi, my name is Marissa and…
… I read 100 books a year…
… I read the Bible cover to cover every year…
…I like to cook…
…I run a 1/2 marathon every year…
…I’m a volunteer at the library…
…I am the friend who shows up…
…I’m good at my job…
…I get things done…
…I’ve got it all together…

All of these statements were things that defined me.  I may not have said them all at a group icebreaker activity, but they were the things in my head that I thought of as ‘me.’ This was who I was.  And I had no idea how much I let these statements begin to define me until they began to be stripped away.  This stripping away process began (and pretty much was completed) the day my son was born.  A little blonde boy, with wide, innocent blue eyes.  Hungry for milk, and hungry for my time and attention.  And all of a sudden, I didn’t read 100 books anymore.  My rock solid quiet time routine flew out the window.  Cooking got a lot harder with a little one in my arms.  A 5K all of a sudden became a miraculous feat- a half marathon seemed like an impossibility.  I cut back my hours with the library, I could only be there for my friends at night and at naptime, I started feeling helplessly behind at work.  None of it seemed like a big deal at the time, but then, slowly, I began to run out of easy answers for my introduction games.

Hi, my name is Marissa and…
I am a mom of two.
My shoulder always smells like milk.
I actually can’t remember the last time I blow dried my hair.
I borrow books from the library, and then return them, overdue and unread.
I ran a mile the other day and I am pretty darn proud of that. 

In terms of the wow factor, underwhelming.

And yet, this forms another identity.  One that I am terrified of losing.  One that I know is inherently temporary.  In just a handful of years, I will no longer be a mother of toddlers.  I will no longer have such demands on my time.  Will I feel lost again?

Here is my TRUE identity, and one I would be wise to invest myself in…

Hi, my name is Marissa and I am…
a child of the most high God.
redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Impossibly thankful for this sweet time in life.
Gifted and equipped to serve God’s kingdom, in whatever way He calls me.
Blessed beyond measure.
Set in my life for such a time as this.
Still able to touch my nose with my tongue…

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2 thoughts on “when it all gets stripped away…

  1. Lovely post! Just a great reminder that we are a work in progress and when you feel like you’ve got it all together God will gently and sometimes not so gently remind you that He is in the drivers seat.

    Like

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