22 November 2007

a lost and found identity

i have been wanting to write for a long time...
so much to say- but so unsure how to say it.
have had some pretty awesome things happen...
then i felt like the bottom of my world fell out-
ever been there?
... it was the craziest experience. usually i see it coming- but this time- WOW blind sided is such an understatement.
here i was- life was going along well, i felt like i was in a good place, i made some really big choices for myself--- they were a challenge but good challenge... and i felt good about it. i had finally found an apartment to move into and i was feeling okay about it... and that is when it happened.
i was in my apartment and i was starting to unpack- and i was looking at all these memories- 15 years of youth ministry looking back at me. years of amazing transformation in the lives of students- and even me. there were some pretty tough years too. churches with pastors that didn't (don't) believe in the very Word of God- don't believe that Jesus is the Only way-- who fought me about my beliefs even though they knew when they hired me who they were getting. so i found myself surrounded by photos, and keepsakes of years and years of ministry- lives changed and a life challenged and now? GONE... and what was left??? NOTHING... it was crazy.. but all of a sudden i felt like a shell of who i was.
see i always joked about how you could never separate me from my ministry and my ministry from me. i lived very transparently- what you saw was what you got (still is) but every thing about who i was was my ministry and everything about my ministry was who i was. there was no separation- i didn't ever want someone to say-- oh that is the lizzy that is at church with students... and this is the lizzy with us... so i looked at this stuff and wondered who i was without it. who could i be and what use was i? ... so stinking crazy! i kept telling myself so-- but suddenly i was frozen. i didn't unpack anymore. i didn't talk to anyone who i didn't have to. i wasn't sleeping, i was more than burning my candle at both ends. ---and the craziest part--- i didn't really 100% see it. i just knew i couldn't handle people- so i stopped being around them if i didn't have to be... to the extreme i even avoided church for a few weeks.
finally a friend of mine realized something was off and cornered me on the phone one night. not sure she was 100% ready for the flood that came drowning out the other end... i didn't even realize everything i was feeling until i started talking about it... but it felt good to talk about it.
i still find myself struggling some with it all. my apartment is still not all the way unpacked-- but it is more because of time then because of being 'frozen'---
it is crazy the way things come at us at times. when we least expect it-- WHAM! but there it is. we also, i believe, don't realize how things really are going to effect us.
for me it is just one more turn on this dizzy road called life... and that is okay. He is EVER faithful and is seeing me through this too.

be blessed and bless.. and be ever mindful of those around you! i am ever thankful for a dear friend, rachel, for taking the time to stop and talk to me...

enjoy each step in the road.. the high steps... the low steps.. and even the ones that make you dizzy!


1 comment:

Heidi Renee said...

Thanks for sharing so transparently Lizzie - I know how hard it's been for Keith to leave ministry these past couple of years. Not being at Convention this season really made it real.

I'll be praying.