Tuesday, January 21, 2020

finding my identity in Christ

A few weeks ago an acquaintance asked me who I wanted to be in a year. I couldn't answer. I don't know. It's not that I'm incapable of setting goals or that I don't want to set them. I thought about it for just a moment and the realization struck me like a sucker punch to the gut. I don't know who I want to be in a year precisely because I don't know who I am now.

Ok. There are things I know about myself. I do know who I am in some sense, but I've also lost myself. For a very long time I have found my identity in being a wife, mother, and homeschooler. The last 6 months I have found those things are changing in ways that I cannot control and have no idea how they will turn out. I am no longer homeschooling my kids after 18 years. It wasn't my choice, it was something my kids asked for and my husband chose to act on, and I found myself having to adapt. I wasn't ready for it. I'm still a mom, but 3 of my kids are grown and my youngest two are growing more independent by the day. My role as mother changes all the time, it always has, but it has been a big part of who I am and at the core of every decision I've made for over 23 years. My biggest identity has always been that of wife. From the very beginning of my marriage there have been things I have sacrificed of myself because my husband didn't approve or see value in it. In the last years our marriage has really struggled, to put it vaguely and lightly. We spent nearly two and a half years in counseling, and when our counselor felt we had gone as far as he could take us, he sent us out on our own to use the tools he spent so long teaching us. As part of that process of allowing my husband to learn to use his tools, I had to step back and allow him the space to do so. Since that time, without me constantly telling him how to be in a relationship with me, he has chosen over and over to not pursue a relationship with me.

I find myself on very uneven, uncharted, unsteady waters. Nothing of what has been constant in the last 28 years of our marriage has remained. I've been waiting all these months for him to define us, to define or find me in us. Lovable. Lovely. Loving. Comforting. Needed. Desirable. Fun. Funny. Engaging. Conversational. Friendly. Quirky. Talented. Smart. A wonderful mother. Understanding. Worthy. Valuable.

In that moment in the conversation I was having with my acquaintance, I realized I have been waiting to be whatever he wanted me to be so much that in his inaction of building a new relationship with me, I was unable to see who I might be in the future because I could not control the outcome of how he would define me. I will tell you, it is a really dangerous thing to allow someone else to define you. This power that I have given up put me into a depression like I have never experienced before. That realization has been simmering in me these last weeks. It's a lot to process. I'm coming into it, slowly.

In all likelihood, though I am not certain that Father doesn't have a miracle in His almighty pocket, my marriage will end in the coming months. And I will no longer be able to define myself in the context of being a wife. Tonight, I find myself very much at peace. The moment of realizing the truth of what is happening, put me in a place in which my knee-jerk response is to run to and rest in Christ's love. A place where I could have been all along, but wasn't. I find myself this evening wanting to seek Christ more, wanting to be more in him, wanting to find my identity in him.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In Which I Commence a New Era of This Blog.

Many things have happened in my life since I last blogged. Many things have been redefined in my heart, mind and life. Many things God is still redefining. Many things have come into my life and many things have gone out of my life. Recently I find myself wishing that I could share the things in my heart that God is revealing to me.

 In the past I had several blogs that I read faithfully and in many ways I tried to imitate other blogs or define myself and my blog by what I thought would attract others. I spent way too much time trying to define my life by how it would look on a blog. It was very unhealthy for me as a wife, mother and woman. My husband, family and my spirit suffered greatly from my addiction to the internet, specifically blogs and Facebook. About two and a half years ago my counselor asked me to go internet-free for one month or more. It was like giving up drugs for me. I discovered just how much I relied on my internet places and people to fill the voids of what was lacking in my heart. I still struggle to balance my time on the internet and to keep it from interfering with the real life that is happening in my home on a daily basis. Maybe I will always struggle. Maybe I will overcome it. It's better, much better, than it was, but could be better still. One thing is for sure, I don't want to get things backwards again. I don't want my life defined by what I read or want to put on my blog. Rather, I want my blog to be defined by who I am and what the Lord has placed on my heart to share.

I took a mini-journey back through my blog today. And I began to pray about the direction the Lord would have me take this blog in the future. It may or may not have cute pictures and stories of my kids. It may or may not include my love of photography, music, art or kake decorating. It will most certainly contain my thoughts and my relationship with the Creator and his son, Jesus. It will most likely be an outlet for me to teach others how to love and follow Jesus. It may or may not be offensive to some and encouraging to others. It will most definitely be a work in progress, constantly changing and maturing as I am. I hope that it will at times be funny. I hope that it will at times be gut-wrenching and raw. I hope that it always is pleasing to the Lord. I hope that if anyone reads it, it will draw you and point you to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I hope that if you read my blog in the future that you will be patient and kind with me as I grow, admonish me gently if I become arrogant or proud, encourage me if I become discouraged, and grow with me as I begin a new era of blogging. 

One last thing, if you want to see the cutest thing ever, visit the post I made on January 15, 2010.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Extreme Home Make-over Karina Edition - The Reveal!

I thought we were done tearing down all the walls. I was grossly, vastly, immensely, and hugely mistaken! Almost exactly 2 years ago, I made my last post on this blog before taking a hiatus. When I left, we were facing some really difficult family situations and my Bulldozer saw in me an addiction to the internet in general that was keeping me from being present with my kids and husband. As the Lord would have it, it was in putting away my computer that was the catalyst for figuring out one of the deepest roots (deeper still than the one previously discovered) of some of my behaviors that were destroying my family! This time, it really was the final bull-dozing that leveled me completely. And then began the reconstruction! OH! What amazing things God has done in me in the last 2 years! Complete healing in many respects, and continued healing in many others. He has taught me how to stand through persecution with strength and trust. He has taught me the meaning of forgiveness and helped me come to true forgiveness of one to whom it makes no earthly sense to forgive. He has given me deeply spiritual friendships that I have longed for for years, friends with whom I can be real and discuss my deepest spiritual thoughts without feeling weird. He has brought me out of a vast desert and into an abundant oasis of spiritual growth and maturity. He has deepened my understanding of and love for Him to depths I could never have imagined possible! And so many other countless, fathomless, indescribable things!! And NOW, I am on my way to getting a seminary education!! I have no idea where God will take me on this journey, but I trust Him completely to make it more than worth everything I put into it! Photobucket

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Extreme Home Makeover - Karina Edition

Part 2- Tearing Down the Walls.

I've shared before (this post) that I'm a perfectionist. In addition to that I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I have a drive to do things perfectly, and yet I know that I can never live up to my own standard of perfection, much less anyone else's. It's part of the dichotomy of me that makes me ineffective. There is also a sense in which this need to control and make things perfect has contributed to the situation that I now find myself in. In essence, I created the circumstance which allowed the actions and choices of others to become that destructive F5 that has spun my life out of my control.

But why?

That's exactly what my Bulldozer(aka:counselor) and I have been discovering. We've been taking things apart, looking at my behaviors, taking stock of my life, tearing down the walls in chunks. Then a few weeks ago it happened. We hit the main support of my crooked house and it all came tumbling down. Neither the house, nor the bulldozer expected this, but I'm sure that the project Foreman knew it all along.


So deep. So raw. I couldn't even speak the words to my bulldozer and it took me a full 10 minutes of sobbing to be able to tell my dearest husband what God revealed to me, what was happening inside me. I'm not sure I can even share it here, but I want to, maybe another day.

And now... it's time to start rebuilding!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Extreme Home Make-over, Karina Edition.

For many years I have known that there are things in my life that aren't right. Things that are hard to show other people. Things that I try to hide, brush aside, and pretend don't exist, because, well, they're just not quite right. Like the walls of a house that are so rotten they're about to fall down, but instead of fixing what's wrong, I just slap a fresh coat of paint on it, hang a pretty picture and call it good.

For the last two years it's been really bad, it's caused some very deep depression. My dear husband has tried to get me to go to counseling, and I have adamantly refused. We can handle this. We're committed. We love God. We'll get through this. Wax the floors. Throw down a rug. Add a lamp in the corner. Better.

Then a few months ago the storm hit. Not just a little thunderstorm, we're talking an F-5 tornado. I'm in counseling. For this I need counseling. No. Doubt. About. It. When I started counseling, I thought we were going to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Patch up some holes. Fix the roof. Good to go.

Not so much.

My counselor is going deep. She's like the bulldozer that God is driving to tear it all down. All the rot. All the decayed. All the crooked. All the bent. It's all coming down. What does that mean? Pain. We are taking a painful look at who I am and why I am the way that I am. It's tough. It's more than uncomfortable. It's all my bad habits. All the ways in which I seek to be filled outside of God. It's my relationships. It's my parenting. It's even my housework. We're not just patching up this mess, we're tearing it down to rebuild it.

But. There's a plan. There's a builder. This old bent house was falling apart, and the inhabitants need it fixed to better suit their needs. Think about it....

God and I live here, inside me.

God is using this storm to tear down the walls, to rebuild a home that will better suit His purpose, for both him and me! The foundation is still established in His Truth, faith in Jesus Christ, love for God and others. But the old habits, thought processes, relationship patterns, parenting, conflict resolution, speech patterns, it's all going. I am being made new in a whole new way. It's painful in ways I never imagined. But I'm so SO looking forward to what God will build in it's place. The new me will be better suited to God's purpose, stronger, able withstand storms better, more pleasant to inhabit, more beautiful.

It's not going to happen in a week. But one day God is going to turn me around and say, "Move the bus!" And when that bus rolls out of the way, I'm going to rejoice in every detail of what He has done from the inside out.


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Sometimes there are no words. Ok, well that that doesn't happen often. But sometimes though one wants to speak it's best to keep silent.

I don't really like that concept. It isn't really in my nature to not talk about anything and everything I want to talk about. So this season of my life has been an exercise in self-discipline, in more ways than one.

But I am learning. I am stretching. I am growing.

It's difficult. It's uncomfortable. It's even painful.

But if this is what it takes to bring healing, if this is what it takes to please my Jesus, if this is what it takes to obey my heavenly Father, then this is what I will do.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rebel Thoughts.

Last week was rotten. I had sick babies all week and after a good breakthrough in counseling, I got knocked down with an abscessed tooth/root canal/PAIN! So I didn't get to do much of the "work" I needed to do. I lost about 36 hours to the pain of my tooth ache, but it felt like I lost the whole week.

This week I was very self-absorbed in my own feelings and thoughts. Can you say E-MO-TION-AL? Man, I was a basket case. My counselor told me to put down my Bible for a month. What?! Yeah, put down your Bible and experience the presence of God. Ok. Now, I struggle with guilt in this one area; reading my Bible daily is difficult. Yes, I do my Bible study. Yes, I know the Bible reasonably well. And yes, I see my counselor's point. So, I put my Bible away.

Now, last week, I spent time praying that I would die rather than spend anymore days in pain, or be cured of said toothache. Not real spiritual, but real honest! This week I had more time to spend flat on my face. And I gotta tell ya, I longed more than ever to reach for my Bible and find words of comfort. Seriously aching.

Instead, after pouring my heart out to God, and frankly not hearing any answers, I just sat in silence and waited. After a long time of silence I began a time of confession. Sin I had kept in my thoughts, but not uttered. God really wanted that part of my heart. I seem to be confessing a lot lately. And you know what happened? Nothing. Just quiet peacefulness.

Later that day came the test. Sad to say, I think I failed miserably. How easily my thoughts betrayed me, jumping right back to the point where I told God earlier in the day that I didn't want to be anymore.

Jesus be near, I need more of you.

The last of my thoughts are this: six years ago my son was born. A little more than a year before his birth an anonymous couple gave us 5 embryos. Strangers gave us 5 of their potential children. And one of those precious embryos became our Kevin. The absolutely most precious gift we have ever received from human hands (also God's hand, who is the giver of life), the gift of our son. Unfathomable. Someone who knew only that we professed to be Christians gave us our son. I am forever grateful to that couple who gave so willingly. God is good.