I have seen God return to me a transformed independence that was stripped from me. Independence was something that I heavily regarded as a large part of my identity. My independence was lost upon having a child as a single mother having just graduated college. Having my son meant doing whatever it took to ensure a happy, healthy, stable child. I did this. It meant tremendous sacrifice and humbling myself to the point of accepting help.
It has been a blessing, but it has not been without struggle for me. I have always prided myself in my own independence and strength. I owned that name like it was apart of me, because it was. I prided myself in doing life myself and standing on my own. Then came my son and in a way like never before, I had to lean on others. It was tremendously hard. I was stripped of this part of my identity that I held so dear.
But what I am seeing now, is this is how God works. He has shown me that I do not stand on my own, I stand with him and because of him. I recognized that during my early years, growing up in the home I did, moving out early when I did, his hand was in it all. But I still clung to my personal sense of independence and this mentality of, "If I don't do it, who will?"
It is only now, that I am turning around to see that my posture of life has changed. It's not a question of how I will fend for myself, but how God will provide. With God, I stand. On my own, I am limited and prone to the normal range of human insecurities. With God, I have eternal hope. And my dependence, is on him, not on my own strength. I am learning and seeing this now, after living in his provision, blessing, and challenges that have brought us to this point. I am living this life of recognition that the posture of my life must be a reflection of what God wants. Even if it doesn't match my desires. Even if it means I have to have pain in growth and wait. Even if it means a less desirable option to my current, limited, human understanding. I am learning that the key to this life is not my independence that I had once counted so apart of who I was, but on the dependence of the one who is called creator. The one who knows how to rearrange people in the way he has rearranged me. Stripped. Molded. Called. This is who I am. And I thank God for that. I thank God for my dependence on him.
I desire to live a more independent lifestyle again, not needing the help we have so generously and kindly received, but in dependence and continual relationship with my God. Therein lies the difference. Therein lies the freedom. Wrapped in his embrace, dependent on the God who saves, we are free.
Stripped of what we once thought was important and renamed for what really is. And I have been renamed. Beloved, loved with an everlasting love. The meaning of my middle name. No longer do I have to be hard, fight for myself, independent, strong and fierce for my own survival. I am to be trusting in reliance on my God. I am still some of these things, yes, because they are certainly not bad. But the difference is the strength is centered in Christ, not my own strength that I so highly valued for so long.
Even now, I remind myself, do not be afraid. Because in him, we live and move and have our being.