Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

August 16, 2013 No Comments »
Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

From Joan:

I ended the previous post by describing, from my perspective, the terrible accident that almost cost Rebecca her career in dance. Rebecca has already shared with us in her recent series, her deep feelings regarding this time in her life.  It may surprise you to know that this accident also profoundly affected me, both emotionally and spiritually.  This was a somewhat complex time for us, but I’ll try to succinctly explain it to you.

You may recall from Rebecca’s series, that, after the accident, we went through many months of intensive treatments while hoping for Rebecca to recover.  The eventual outcome was a miraculous healing by God, who accomplished what the doctors could not. I don’t intend to recount here what Rebecca described quite well in her series on the subject. (If you haven’t read the series yet, it’s quite worth the time to check it out!) What I hope to talk about in this post, is my personal journey throughout the ordeal. IMG_0357 copy

I have to begin by mentioning that Rebecca is my only child.  This was not my first choice, but, for medical reasons, it’s the way it came out for me in life. From early on in my marriage, my greatest heart’s desire was to have a child. It took fifteen years of doctoring (and anguish) for me to finally have a baby. (I talked about the miracle of my pregnancy in my post, “This Is the Conclusion of Something Good.”)

I also knew that due to the medical reasons, I would not be able to have any more children. So, for my husband and me, Rebecca was very precious to us. Rebecca’s birth was the fruit of many years of extreme determination to overcome my infertility. It made it even sweeter to find out that Rebecca was also talented. Doting on Rebecca became our favorite past time.

But here is the danger in that misplaced fondness.  It bordered on idolization.  Rebecca has already discussed the spiritual peril of idolatry in her post, “The Saga: Idol Infiltration.  It was not constructive for me to fixate on Rebecca, particularly on Rebecca as “the dancer, singer, and performer.” This led to overly high expectations of Rebecca, which, in turn, influenced Rebecca to think of her identity as a dancer (ever changing), rather than as a child of God (unchanging). I, too, began to find self worth, vicariously, through Rebecca’s talent. This was not good for either one of us because it based “who we were” on something quite unstable.

So, you see, the fmistaken identity cartoonractures in Rebecca’s spine were indicative of the fractures in our beings when Rebecca was not able to dance during those seven months.  “Who we both were,” was mistakenly tied into Rebecca as “the performer.” The cracks in our identities became more apparent as the months of negative reports from the doctor regarding Rebecca’s healing dragged on. God saw all this, and wanted to help us. Fortunately, when we were at our lowest point, God was at His best.

The first thing God went about repairing was our identities in Him.  It became so apparent after the accident that we had our focus in the wrong place.  Our priorities needed to be rearranged to take our attention from dance and back onto God, which then helped us to secure our identities as His children. But after years of erroneous thinking, it took honesty to face our dilemma, along with a great deal of effort to make the adjustment.

In addition, I also came to understand that I needed to stop revering Rebecca, which was negatively feeding my lack of self esteem. Loving my daughter unconditionally was a good thing.  Adoring her was not. Changing this attitude released Rebecca and me to be able to become the people God meant us to be. God lovingly helped us to accomplish all of this (and even more).

It has been taking some time to walk this out, but in doing so, it is having a significantly positive impact on our lives.  By removing these obstacles to our spiritual growth, we are building good character, and are truly becoming the people God intended us to be. I do not pretend that this kind of change is easy, but it is definitely worth it.  I know that I want to be all that God wants me to be. So does Rebecca. How ‘bout you?

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