Ever feel like you are a "Do It Yourself Project"? Friend Tracey Solomon helps us redefine ourselves as God's project, no matter what we're facing today.
A Repurposed Life
By Tracey Solomon
Wife, mother, leader, sister, daughter and friend. There are so many ways I identify myself. What happens if one of those changes? Who am I then?
Last May, my husband of almost 28 years died. My entire life and a large part of my identity changed in an instant. I went from wife, to widow. Married to single.
I'm not even sure how to introduce myself. I keep asking myself: Who am I now? What am I if I'm not a wife? Of course, I am still all the things I've always been that never change: Tracey. Daughter of God. Beloved. Worthy. Leader. But the truth is, what has changed has left me reeling. Off kilter. I feel like a wobbly, battered and worn table set to the curb on trash day. Useless. Even unwanted.
The thing is I still feel like a wife. I feel like a wife without a husband. I've literally outlived my purpose. While I know that God has a purpose for me that supersedes any purpose that can change, I still have to figure out how to deal with what has changed. As I ask "Now what?" I can almost hear the Jeopardy game show theme music. "Now what?" is the million dollar question, and I don't have an answer.
I do know this, that God has a heart for repurposing, reclaiming and redeeming. The best part? I'm not a DIY project. I'm his. I may feel ready for the curb, but God's inviting me to his workshop. I don't know what I'll become. (Do any of us, really?) I know I am becoming. I didn't outlive my purpose, I fulfilled one, of many.
How 'bout you? Feeling weathered? Battered by circumstances? Facing changes that challenge your perspective of who you are? Questioning your purpose? Are you adjusting to an empty nest? Facing a career change? Moving? Changing churches? Coping with a life-altering loss? You're not ready for the curb. No one aspect of our purpose is our entire purpose. Maybe you too, are standing on the sawdust-covered floor of the Master's workshop, about to experience the miracle of a repurposed life.
It may be painful. I've watched enough of those DIY shows to know that much. There could be power tools and paint fumes and much sanding and hammering. (Please Lord, just no shiplap. Just. No.) It may be messy - change always is. It may get darker before the sun rises. It will be worth it.
While I'm in this messy place, there are a few verses that give me hope - maybe they will shine some light for you, too:
"He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light." (Job 33:28)
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
Tracey lives in Michigan, with her 3 incredible sons and four dogs. (No, she doesn't run a rescue, she's just a sucker.) When she's not caring for that crazy bunch, she's trying to figure out life in the widowhood, a place she never wanted to inhabit. Tracey misses her high school sweetheart and husband, Kyle, every day. Tracey is a speaker and writer. You can find her home on the web at www.traceysolomon.com. Tracey is currently trying to avoid carbs, while obsessing over pasta and cupcakes. So that's going well.