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I have been thinking a lot lately about identity. I am sure this has much to do with all of the changes in my life, but the issue hit home several times during the last week when I was in new social situations. Of course one of the first questions people ask when they meet you is “So what do you do.” They want to know about you, and that is the easiest thing to ask. It was only when I encountered these situations that I began to realize how much of my identity was tied up in my job. For a while I resisted the idea that I was a minister, but over ten years I guess I got used to it. In fact, that identity was so strong that the first few times someone asked me what I do, I responded by telling them what I used to do.
Please don’t think for a moment that I don’t love my new identity. I would much rather identify myself as Jaycie and Hannah’s daddy than anything. I love my identity as the primary caregiver, the cook, the dishwasher, and even the laundry guy. I have enjoyed this new identity so much the last month or so, and all that comes with it. But for some reason it doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue quite as easily as I think it should. Maybe it is the newness of it all, maybe it is the anticipation of judgment from others, or maybe something deeper within myself that is yet to be discovered.
I know there are multiple scriptures about our identity being found in Jesus, and I know that ultimately that is the answer to everything, but that isn’t exactly what I am talking about – I don’t think. But then again, maybe it ought to be. I wonder if we have allowed ourselves to hide our identity as Christians behind the labels that others expect of us. Or maybe we have tried to tag it on at the end, like a postscript that further defines what kind of doctor/lawyer/astronaut we are. Has the name Christian become simply an adjective that describes who we are rather than a Proper Noun that names us and defines us.
There is more that this makes me think about, but I don’t have time to flush it out. For now, my challenge is to be a Christ-follower who is fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with his girls, take care of his wife, and blog pretty much when he wants.