Faith · Life Lessons

When You’re Not Who You Thought You Were


I slowly sipped the steaming coffee, letting it soothe me with it’s warmth.

As I cupped the mug in my hands, my eyes lingered on the faded Scottish flag painted upon it. We had bought it while in Scotland on a work trip back years ago. Back then there was no mistaking the stark white X slicing through the vibrant blue background. Today? You have to know what it used to be to recognize it.

I feel like that mug.

I’m not sure if it was a thought or a prayer, but I couldn’t let it go.

Some days, the reality of our 10 years of expat life is vivid and strong, shaping and informing the way we see everyday life.

Other times, like today, it seems faded and dull. So much of that lifestyle made up who I was and I couldn’t escape the thought:

I’m not who I thought I was.

When You're Not Who You Thought You Were

You know, I was the American girl living in Ireland, then Vienna, sharing inspiration about marriage, motherhood and faith. I was the one who would post surreal photos of a Viennese cafe or rolling moss-covered hills and declare the goodness of God that could be found there.

This place has sat quiet because I don’t know what to offer you anymore.

It’s a strange thing reconciling this faith journey and where life has taken us.

Can you relate? Have you ever woken up one day and realized you aren’t who you thought you were?

Needless to say, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to know who you are.

Identity.

And what it means when you just. don’t. know.

I started thinking about the woman at the well. You know, the lady who offered to give Jesus a drink of water and He ended up calling her out on her promiscuous lifestyle in the the way that only Jesus can. The way that convicts and cuts you to the spiritual quick, but endears you to Him in the most magnetic of ways. And she ran to her village — the village the had shunned her; treated her like such an outcast that she had to run her errands at the worst possible, most illogical time of day just to avoid running into them — and declared, “Come and see the man who told me everything I’ve ever done!”

Her life changed that day.

Her identity changed.

The more I look at Jesus, the more I see that time after time, when someone encountered Him, they woke up realizing they’re no longer who they thought they were.

Fishermen no longer fished — instead they told other men about the best story ever.

The shamed prostitute no longer damaged and soiled — instead, she was the one given the honor of preparing her Lord for burial with the most fragrant of offerings.

Friends, I still don’t know. I don’t know exactly who I am in this new phase of our lives. I do know as a follower of Christ my purpose never changes, but the manner in which that purpose is carried out sometimes does.

So, I think, dear ones…I think I will look to Jesus. I will seek Him. I will let Him call me out on where I’ve been unfaithful, let His words cut tdeep so that I can adore Him all the more.

And all those years spent overseas in that other life that seems like an eternity ago and only yesterday at the same time? I will choose to believe they weren’t wasted. Because I can still see their imprint on my soul. I may have to squint in just the right light; and who I was then may not be exactly who I am now, but I can’t be who I am now without having been who I was then.

Do you need to join me today? Do you need to run — or crawl, or hobble, or collapse — into the waiting arms of Jesus to let Him speak over you your true Identity? Then do it.

Don’t worry about words or fancy prayers. Let’s just open our hearts, open His Word, open our ears and let Him change us in the miraculous way that only He can.

Shall we?

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