Hi there folks, I’ve got another great post from our guest writer, “Jane”. Enjoy!
Remember how I said God started to break my self-identity? Well, He started the process with my coffee mugs. One year, over a few months’ time, every mug I identified with broke.
My very favorite mug was one that said, “Wench, proudly serving since the 11th century.” I loved that it was sassy and black. I liked how a corset bound up the “W” and I completely identified with the statement written on it.
See, I felt like a wench in my own home. I don’t mean wench in the sexual connotation of the word. If that were the case it might have made the use of my “services” easier to bear. Rather, I felt unappreciated for cooking, cleaning and organizing the social calendar for my family. I planned and created memory-making events for my family, alone. I smiled at church, took the family pictures and everything else that I felt was the right thing to do. Yet I was incredibly lonely in my house and I went to bed (and woke up) alone almost every night for years. It felt as if I was only required for providing the image of the “perfect life” for the outside world, regardless of the reality.
The more bitter I got about my situation, the more the “Wench” mug came out. It got to the point that I drank out of it almost every day; I was trying to make a statement with it. The day the mug broke I felt like a small part of me broke with it. How was I going to keep making a joke about how I felt each day?
Next, my grenade-shaped mug with “Complaint Department” written on it broke. Really? I can’t joke about the fact that I get complained to and looked at expectantly as if I can fix everything for everyone?
Then it was my Valentine’s Day mug that I received from a student during a long-term substitute teaching position. Come on! That one made me feel important. I had made a mark on some kid’s life all those years ago. (What was her name again?)
After a while my best friend even noticed. She said, “Don’t go carrying such-and-such, it’s just going to break”. This led me to pray one of the weirdest things I’ve ever prayed: “Lord, what is up with all of my favorite coffee mugs breaking lately?”
The answer: I was idolizing my coffee mugs, not the Lord. I was identifying with the wrong things. I’m not a wench; it’s not fair to serve unappreciated, but it is (and should be) my desire to serve. I’m not a complaint department, but I should be quick to listen and slow to anger. And while maybe I did make a mark on a student’s life, I’m to store my treasures up in Heaven not on here on Earth.
Where in your life are you holding on to a false identity? What in your life does God need to break?