Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am.

When I was 7 years old, wayyyyy back in 1990 (ha!), I gave my life to Jesus.

Shane and I were married on July 31, 2004 (or July 6, 2004- for that story read here.) I became a wife.

On February 5, 2006 I gave birth to a sweet fiery redheaded little boy, Caleb. I became a mom.

In May 2007, I graduated from Huntington University. I became a teacher.

On May 13, 2008 I gave birth to the sweetest baby girl, Hannah. I became a mother of 2.

On April 20, 2010 we found out about Joshua's heart diagnosis at 24 weeks. I wrote this post. I became a "heart mom."

Joshua was born on August 16, 2010. I became a mother of 3.

On October 6, 2010, Joshua took his last breath. I became an "infant loss survivor."

November 1, 2010 marks my newest identity of being a stay at home mom for the first time in my life.

So who am I? What defines me? These are some of the biggest moments of my life, but for every big moment in my life, there are 100 small moments that also define me: blogger, ministry worker, friend, daughter, sister, housekeeper, redhead.

I've struggled with the process of finding my identity over the past year. What am I going to allow to define me? What is important enough to shape who I am?

Who am I?

My role as a mother is one of the most important roles in my life. But is that who I am? Is that my only identity? What about my role as a wife? Is my life solely about my husband? Most recently, I was given the title of "Heart Mom" and now "Infant Loss Survivor." But is that who I truly am?

No.

I am all those things. But not a single one of them is going to define who I am. I am still Jill.

I think it is healthy to allow our life's experiences to shape and form who we are. Let's face it, I would not be who I am today if it weren't for each and every one of those experiences molding and shaping me. My faith would not be as strong today if it weren't for the struggles that I have gone through over the years. But what am I going to allow my identity to be?

Yes, I am a heart mom. Yes, I am an infant loss survivor. Yes, I am a mother and a wife. But those things are not at the forefront of WHO I am. If I'm not careful, those things could easily start to define me. Those things could easily become my life's passions and all that I think about. The loss of Joshua could easily cause me to stop living- feelings of guilt and depression taking over who I am.

But I refuse to let those things define me. I am still Jill.

However, there is one identity that WILL be allowed to define me. One identity that is more important than any other. I am a Daughter of Christ. Everything I say and do revolves around my relationship with God as well as my desire for others to know Him (or at least I try very hard...sometimes I fail miserably). My identity in Him allows me to take everything that has been thrown my way, and mold me into who He wants me to be- a loving mother, wife, and friend, an infant loss survivor, a blogger, a teacher, a ministry worker. He wants me to be someone who is compassionate, passionate, and excited about life. He wants me to be who He created me to be, a fierce and feisty redheaded mama, wife, and friend who sometimes says and laughs at horribly inappropriate things, tries her hardest to please God, and loves deeply.

My passions have shifted over the years. I have taken on new roles, and I'm sure new roles will be coming to me in the future. I am constantly changing, adapting, and moving ahead. Life is always going to throw curve balls at me, and I will always have to think about who I am.

But, through all of that, one thing remains constant. My identity in Christ. THAT is who I am.


13 comments:

Nell said...

While I am not a big believer in god, I admire your faith very much. Your faith jumps off the page and it's amazing.
I have a daughter a month younger than yours, and you and I are only a few months apart in age. Every time I read one of your posts, I feel like I know you, and I love that. I think that's what the internet was built for; making connections with people.
I wish you all the best in the world.
(I planned on making this a longer comment but my daughter is freaking out because she can't get her sock off. Kids are silly.)

Little Miss Emmy Lou said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post, Jill. One thing struck me as I went back and read your post about Joshua being diagnosed with HLHS...

"Pray that his life- no matter how long or short, be for the glory of God who has created him perfectly no matter what."

That has, without a doubt, been a beautiful answered prayer! No one can doubt, after reading how Joshua's life has affected those who knew/knew of him, that every moment of Joshua's life was for the glory of God who created him! Even in the midst of the storm that you had just entered, you recognized that prayer for Joshua. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Michele

Molly Alisa Photography said...

Amen!

And... just had to add... I love that you laugh at inappropriate things. :oD

Peach said...

Woot Momma! Amen!

Still praying,
Peach and Drummer

Lisa said...

You sound like you wear a lot "hats"! I like to think of all the "hats" I wear as compliments to what makes Me, Me! I, too, laugh inappropriate things, glad I'm not alone! Peace to you and yours in Christ. Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

You are inspiring in all that you do.


Douglas' Mom

nabrissa said...

i love the new pic of caleb, and way way way more than that i LOVE you, you in all your capacities, but mostly you as my ubber strong, mostly -if not only- by HIS grace, sister in Christ... and i love that you are ready to fight letting anyone of those things define you above the you that is His... (not sure if that came across the way i meant it, but you can probably figure it out...it's not my fault, part of who I am is that i am a foreigner, and i'm married to a "Korean" so i'm bound to be confused about my point across, clearly, in your language...hehehe)

Anonymous said...

As a mother and wife who has been struggling with balancing those two roles, I really needed to read this tonight. Thanks. :)

nabrissa said...

crap...i meant "confused about GETTING my point across...." argh...

HennHouse said...

Daughter of the King...

I think that makes you a princess.

steve, bess & dizzy said...

God can do such amazing things! I don't understand His ways either, but i never cease to be amazed. Thank you for sharing the work He's doing in your life. You are definitely His girl : )

Carolina Carters said...

That was a great post! A nice reminder that I needed too.

I too, often laugh at inappropriate things, which makes me laugh right now! I didn't know you are a teacher. What did you teach?

Always praying for you Jill!

 
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