I have been thinking of a statement I made in yesterday’s post Update 09.23.16. I wrote, “…my new life, my still undefined new identity.” I keep asking myself, “Are you really undefined?” And I answered with “NO! I’m not undefined.”
I have written about who I thought I am (Can A Man Know Himself?) and I think that was fairly accurate, but since Terrie died, the phrase “new identity” has been used in several discussions of grief recovery. Many identified me in association with Terrie. WE were identified as”Steve and Terrie” or “Terrie and Steve”.
With half of that equation removed, the remainder of the equation is (this is higher math, I understand your fears!) Steve. You see, I have been confused with the word “new”. I was thinking I had to become someone else and I have been mentally trying to figure that out and I always returned with the same answer – I’m still Steve.
If anything, I would say that I am a modified, maybe even “improved” Steve. As I have been created by God and as I have been refined by God working in my life to make me more like Jesus, I’m still the same. My foundation footprint has not been altered.
Since Terrie’s death, I have grown closer to the Lord and have a greater understanding of walking with Him on a personal level. I have come to recognize Him as the friend and companion that I was looking for. I have a greater capacity of understanding those who are hurting . I have a love for people and a desire to help them live a happier life.
Terrie and I used to have a frequent exchange. It went like this. I would lay my head on her shoulder or pull her head to my chest and hold her for a little while. She would say,”You are a sweet boy. Aren’t you?” To which, I would reply,”Mean Boy! Not sweet!” and she would say,”No, you are sweet, not mean.” From that, she invented yet another nickname for me. “Bad Boy Weeds” or “BBW”.
Regardless of how I wanted to portray myself, God created me to be a gentle/sweet, caring man, who is sensitive to the needs of others and a desire to fulfill those needs. It is comical to me that God created my forehead and eyebrows to look like I’m mean and sober. I’ve been told that I scare some people with my look, but my heart is so very different. I don’t want anyone to suffer, to be left out, to be without.
So, while I don’t think that I have “arrived”, I sense that I have reached a point of growth on some door jamb height marking, that says I’m ready for the next level. I’m not saying my grief is over, but I’m ready for the next step in my refinement.
May I walk in confidence knowing the Lord changed my life to make me useful to Him, in whatever minor role that may be.
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10 ESV
Only to be used in someway….