Have you ever walked in front of the mirror and caught a glimpse of yourself, and asked, “Who am I?” It happens to me many times, but last night, I heard, “You know the answer.” Sometimes, I am not so sure of that voice inside the mirror.
When my husband passed away last year, two months before his 50th birthday, I promised him and myself that I would not go back to a life of craziness. But, here I am sitting right in the middle of it–3 kids, one dog, sporting events, band practice, church meetings, school meetings, work, volunteering , taking classes and maybe dinner and some sleep. Two days ago, I celebrated my 49th birthday (the age of my husband at his death), but it really was not a BIRTH day. There was no new life in me. My home is in chaos as I watch my son eat french fries and cereal for dinner because I am writing a paper. I crawl into bed, finally, with laundry and books sharing the other half of my bed.
I wake up in the middle of the night to write this blog because my head is spinning, and I am pleading with God to make it stop. I thought I knew who I was. I was the daughter of the King, the wife, the mother, supported by the hands of God even in the midst of my struggles. And, now, I fight this new part of my identity, this widowhood that plagues me like a disease. There is a new branch in my tree of life that is trying to grow, but my broken branch of no longer being a wife is weighing me down. When my husband was still here and we went through hard times, I often wondered if marriage was my true vocation or had I possibly missed a call from God to religious life? God has shown me, over and over again, that marriage was my vocation and right now, this new emptiness can only be filled by His Son. I think they call this an identity crisis. I will struggle in Jesus’s name, until I find my place again as a child of God, as the daughter of the King. No man, no degree, no house, no job, can fill this void. When you get right down to it, I have 3 things that I call my “Jesus Struggles,” with “struggles” being a noun, not a verb. How do I continue to seek God in my new state of life? Who am I to God (and who is He to me)? And, What does God wants me to do now? These are my struggles as a widow, but they could be anyone’s struggles. Let’s pray for each other as we let God redefine our lives to be the person He called us to be.
“When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”-Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta