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Funny how so many of us are here right now.  Not funny, really, but odd.  Sad, strange, uncertain, scary and lonely.  And then there is another side of it.  Hopeful, expectant, exciting, challenging…the words we think of whenever we approach a new adventure.  Which is what this is.  It’s a place we haven’t been before, but whatever the reason, we’re here now.

Part of that is finding out who we are.  I talked at length with a dear friend who recently marked her first year post divorce.  “I’m not that woman I was a year ago,” she told me, “but I know and enjoy the woman I am now.”  As we talked about the heartaches, her move to a city she had never even visited, the things she had brought forward (not much), and the things she had now acquired (quite a bit), we cried at how life hadn’t gone as planned and laughed at the discoveries she would never have made if it had.

Like she would not have known she loved the East coast.  She had never lived anywhere except the desert, but a book she’d read made her long to see Chesapeake Bay and she went, in her car, thousands of miles, crying, yelling, hurting…but she went. And she loves her new hometown while still getting used to the bugs and critters and tourist trade that it revolves around.  “I was born and raised and lived in Arizona over fifty years.  Who knew I was really meant to be here?”

Another surprise was being hired as a secretary at the church she visited and had decided to join.  “That I could switch from banking to being a church secretary and truly love every day of my job was a huge eye opener.  I’d worked in banking since I was 19 and thought I would die in banking.  The pressure was immense, but when you have a house, cars, kids and then kids with cars, and all the trimmings, you do it.”  

Her most shocking discovery, however, was who she was.  “I was a wife, mother, banker, sister, daughter, cousin, friend, and neighbor, but I wasn’t sure who I was alone.”  She said she took pictures of herself in the mirror and studied them to help her find out.  “I had to adjust to the wrinkles and spots and rolls that happened when I wasn’t looking.  When you are so busy with life, you don’t really see yourself.  I wanted to know not only who I was inside, but who I was in 3D.  I wanted to see what others see.”  

And what is that?  “A happy woman who loves the Lord and smiles a lot.  And I’m rather pretty. Yes, I can say that.  I have streaks of gray, wrinkles on my face and neck, I have spots, my nose is crooked, my bottom is bigger than my top, all of me has extra flab, I have a roll in the middle, and some really mean varicose veins, but overall I like what I see and feel.  I know who I am for me.  I’m really thankful for that.”

Part of the journey for those of us who are on it is to do just that.  Know who we are, who God has created us to be. 

It’s not the first picture on my journey, but it’s where I am now.  Who is that?  I’m still finding out. 

 

 

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