In 2008 I recovered from a near-divorce by breaking my foot and spending a year in physical therapy and surgical recovery. The past six years have been a time of transition and healing. They’ve been quiet and peaceful. Every year has been better than the year before.
It’s hard to walk away from the moment of cusp, the moment of breaking. Not because I’m enamored of that old self, but because that transition was such a defining moment in my life.
But I am not that woman. I haven’t *been* that woman for a very long time. I walked away from who I was, enthusiastically embracing whatever changes my Lord chose to make.
I read devotionals and work through them, and they challenge me to … step over a wall that I climbed years ago. And I start thinking of myself as the woman I was a decade ago. I remember the pain, the choices, the despair. None of it is current. It’s as useful as remembering coloring with crayons when you’re trying to learn to use oil on canvas.
When I graduated from college, I stopped being a schoolgirl. When I married, I stopped being single. When I had my first child, I became a mother. I can remember being a single schoolgirl without children… but I am not that person any longer. That reality is no longer truth.
But there aren’t really any names for the stages you go through after you marry and have children, until maybe you retire. If you work, you get promotions. If you stay home… I guess I could identify myself by the ages of my children? That’s relevant – because I’m not the mom-of-a-toddler or mom-of-an-infant. But other than the acronym SAHM, I’ve never been all that enamored of identifying my life stage by my kids. (Call me crazy).
Not having a label for myself is a hindrance. The closest I can get is Proverbs 31 minus 10 years. I’m not there, but that’s where I’m headed. And I need to embrace that. Embrace the fact that yes, I’m a mature Christian (and try not to blush about it). Embrace my craft (I’ll be writing a parallel post over at TBL about that transition). Stop trying to find fifteen new plates to spin and just get better at what I do, pick a direction to excel in and go deep.
It’s embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable.
I feel boastful, saying “I’m a mature Christian”. :p And “I’m a mature woman” sounds like I’m 55, not 41. “I’m an excellent wife” sounds like a brag. It ALL sounds like I think I’m done growing, which isn’t true. “Arrived”? Please. I’ll have arrived after I’m dead and the good Lord puts me in a sinless body.
But I’m tired of doing lessons in crayon. I don’t want to answer the same questions over and over, searching for a spot (you can always find one, if you look). I want to move on.
And I’m going to. As of now.
It’s time to be who I am, whatever that is. No more false humility – I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for real humility instead! No more fear. If this is where I am – and it seems that it is – I’m going to stop staring off the edge of the plateau and shivering over dangers long past.
The other side of the coin: http://hearth-tobelovely.blogspot.com/2014/06/hobby-vs-craft.html