Over the last several months, much of my identity has been slowly ripped away from me. First, I left my job at Belhaven College in May. I had been there for nine years. As with most men, my job was the first thing I mentioned in response to "who are you." In June, I stepped down as the webmaster for my church. Although a small thing, it was a hobby, of sorts, that I enjoyed and I took pride in it. (Nevermind that I don't know html, and that there were definite shortcomings to the site as a result! Justin Brock -- you're doing a great job with the new site!) Now I am about to move out of my apartment -- my home. I think I have decided to not move to a temporary apartment, but to focus on traveling, live out of my car, and to set up my home base with my parents in Iowa. While I am feeling peace about this potential decision (having a hard time committing to it, though, as you can tell), that means I won't have my own home at all! Makes me think . . . .
Makes me think that my identity has been too tied to this world: job, hobbies, and home. My identity as a Christian should be in Jesus Christ. My home is not of this world, but in heaven! We are only here for a short while, serving in the various ways in which God calls. Missionaries have told me that this time of raising support is very difficult, but that God uses it to sharpen the individual. I've been wondering what God might have in mind to teach me. One thing He is teaching me, and will continue to teach me, is to identify with Him and not on temporal things of this world.
Life is rarely what we expect. God has far better plans for us than we could ever imagine ourselves. Trusting Him is difficult for me as I want to know the plan myself. He has always proven faithful, yet I struggle to trust Him with the future. Anyone else ever feel like those foolish Old Testament Israelites who just couldn't learn from their mistakes?!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."