The same identity continued and freshman year I remember a kid in my Christian school saying, "Nobody cares you lived in Singapore". Junior year we moved back to Singapore and for the first time in my life I went to a non-christian school. My identity then was not so much the outsider as it was the good Christian girl. My senior year I had a girl spreading rumors about me and talking about how happy I was always. Psalm 3 was my saving grace that year. I remember praying constantly with tears in my eyes and holding still to that God was in control and that [he] "was a shield around me, my glory, the One who lift[ed] my head high.I call[ed]out to the Lord, and he answer[ed] me from his holy mountain." vs 3-4.
College was better but I still had my struggles as a lot of the kids came from the same areas and I just didn't know where to fit in. My parents also still lived overseas and so I was on my own for the first time. I'll admit it now but I allowed society to start to filter my thoughts. I have had dry and plentiful periods in my faith since high school on but as I grew into adult hood I started to allow other peoples opinions to have a marking place on my personal growth chart.
My life has changed again and again since 2008. I started dating my husband, married him, moved to Virginia, supported him during the navy and several career options, moved to Texas, had a little girl, bought a house, supported my husband with different schedules in work and adding school to his schedule, and I've tried to find my place in our new town. The move to Texas has been my hardest one yet (I've moved 10 times across state and the world) as I didn't immediately start work or school. Finding friends has been limited and difficult. It's either through church, Joe's work or through people I already know. Although I am Sara, I am now Sophia's mom and Joe's wife and my main work is the latter two.
In 2008 and 2009 I sought council about how to handle the beginning of the "claims" of my identity by others. It wasn't bad advice as I was advised to love as Jesus loved and to stand strong to who I am. The difference though is in how I interpreted the advice. Instead of pouring into myself and making sure I don't deduce who I am in Christ, I started to try to make these people like me. It was several different groups of people over the past 5 years.
Recent events have really caused me to second think my decisions and beliefs then and now. In my Mops group we were challenged to keep our identity in line. The phrase that sticks with me is that our "identity should never be primarily mother instead the daughter of the King." Several verses have really struck a cord since then, "1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." and Galatians 4:6-7 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
The last several years have been the hardest. I have been personally attacked and made to feel like I'm less of a person. I've felt unloved, unwanted and undesired. I've been made to feel like a bad christian, a bad wife and a bad mother. My life has been under a proverbial microscope and every little part has been analyzed.
What it comes down to is this, I blame nobody but myself for allowing me to feel like less. Although others are guilty for what they've said and done, I am guilty for what I've allowed that to make me feel like. Eleanor Roosevelt said (or at least pinterest claims she said), "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." I have made my mistakes and apologized for them. I am not perfect nor will I ever pretend to be perfect. I am a sinner but at the end of the day I'm an heir to the kingdom of God and as a result, in Christ I am important, loved, needed, and enough. I'm a good mother, a good wife, a good friend and a good daughter. I will make mistakes but I will do my best, with God's help, to always own up to them and allow them to better myself. I'm done allowing others to dictate how I should be or feel. Isaiah 46:4 says, I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. My first and foremost identity is God's daughter. My second is being Joe's wife. My third is being Sophia's mother. That's the way it should be and aligned that way I will always be able to remember that in Him I am enough. He calls me HIS! How amazing is that?
God has truly blessed me. I have amazing parents, siblings, an amazing and supportive husband, a beautiful child, and great people in my life. The last several months God has placed some godly people in our lives that support us, love us and encourage us. He knew we needed this and has begun to heal my heart.
I challenge anyone that reads this to always remember their identity. Never think that you're without your failings but stand strong to who you are in Christ. Allow Him and Him alone to dictate your worth. In Him, you are worthy, holy and called.