“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” —Proverbs 31:25
Marriage is the last place I thought I would experience an identity crisis of sorts. For years I prayed to be married. I even wrote two books on dating and relationships (Not Another Dating Book and Loves Me Not).
When God brought my husband into my life I literally had to change my single mindset. My mentality for over 12 years was a bit jaded. I had become so independent that I wasn’t sure there was such a thing as a happy ending.
Like me, have you ever believed one thing for so long that you started to live it? That’s how I felt when I got married. I was so used to being by myself that it took the first two years of my marriage to get comfortable with my new identity. Married.
I’m going to let you in on a not-so-little secret. Adjusting to a new normal is never easy. You see—I fully expected my identity crisis in my early twenties. It was super hard to adjust to going back to college while working full time. My life felt like one big speed bump. I wasn’t prepared how much I would have to s-l-o-w myself down. Pause. Reorganize. It was like that too when I got married. Everything was brand new. Different.
My mentor, Pam Farrel, writes in her book Women of Influence, “Being a woman of influence is a matter of finding the right hat, then walking like it’s supposed to be there!” If God has promised good works for us that He created in advance for us then it’s okay to learn a new identity (Ephesians 2:10).
Today’s passage from Proverbs rocks. It reminds me, whenever I get too serious about who I am and where I’m going with my life—I need to laugh. It takes more muscles to frown than laugh, yet I could make a living out of worrying. Another passage that has been kicking my butt is Matthew 6:25-34. It says don’t worry about everyday life. If I’m honest, I need to ask God to forgive me for being such a control freak. When I don’t trust Him with the outcome.
It’s kind of weird not to constantly be freaking out about my relationship status—like I did when I was single. I used to worry when I would meet my future husband. Now that I’m married and God has done such a fantastic job of answering that prayer in Marc—I am freaking out about that. I must be a woman, right? Crazy! Even saying it out loud makes me feel guilty. Like I need something new to worry—I mean pray about.
I have to wonder—what is it like for you? Do you struggle with finding your identity in people, places, or things? We all do. It can be even easier when you’ve lived in that identity for many years.
“Many of us sink into our ruts and cover our heads, waiting for the heavenly trumpet to sound. Most women don’t see themselves as women of influence because they think they have to do some grand thing to be influential. In a relationship of influence, being is much more important than doing.”
When I was single I was busy doing much for God’s kingdom. Serving at this event. Speaking at this event. Writing for this and that. When I got married, I took the first year off of my marriage to adjust. It’s biblical. Deuteronomy 24:5 says, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”
In a fast-moving microwave kind of culture, it can be difficult to slow down. To adjust. Learn new hats. Think of it this way: if you easily give grace to others when they get a new job or become a new parent—why not ask God for the same grace. You’ve earned it!
Dear Dream Giver Jesus, Why am I feeling so guilty when You have blessed me with so much? Thanks for allowing me to be honest. It’s hard to rest. It’s easy to feel guilty when there’s so much I could be doing. Help me instead to learn how to be. Thanks for my new identity in Christ. Amen.
Have you ever felt guilty about enjoying a new identity? Why or why not?