Monday, May 19, 2008

Identity Crisis

Last night Paul and I were watching tv at the hospital. A commercial came on for a medication - "Depression can turn you into someone you don't recognize anymore." - the announcer went on.

Paul stared hard at the tv screen, "Honey help! I don't recognize that person - or that person - or him either!" - We had to laugh.

That wasn't where they were going with that - but it did give us a chuckle.

Paul's surgery has brought with it some major changes - things he's pointing out to us as he's feeling more and more alert. It could definately challenge a person's identity. His jaw looks different, his face and tongue is mostly paralyzed on the right side, his right eye struggles to close and open in tandem with the left, and his speech is greatly affected -

What's so amazing is that his sense of humor is still intact and his determination and will to live is at an all time high. Even with so many things changing, I still recognize him.

Each one of us has God given qualities that make us who we are. Stripped of cosmetic, material, or physical traits, those nebulous qualities seem to stand out even more distinctly.

I've seen that time and time again as I've worked with individuals whose lives have been altered by accidents or illnesses - these people rise up and tapped into qualities that were there all along. It always makes me take a harder look at who I am.

If nothing else, what I am seeing is what we think we know, what we think we have, what we think we are, can be stripped away to reveal what God saw all along. And maybe that's why He gives us hard times - so we can clearly see who He made us to be. And so we'll reach deeper and grow those qualities and traits - the seeds of which He Himself planted long ago.

Perhaps we each need an identity crisis to see what really matters?