FREEEEDOM! Imagine the Bravehart theme music and the blue paint and everything. Yelling at the top of the lungs while running along the dirt, that was me. Only I was not running into battle with an ax, it was across the manicured lawn of my college campus. I was FREE!
It was great and awesome and fun, but let me tell you something I HAD NO CLUE WHO I WAS! Some people find themselves so much earlier in life…great. Honestly, I truly believe my eight year old daughter knows herself better than 18 year old Caroline did. I was searching and living and loving…but it was all for ME!
And then something happened. I fell in love. I loved him. I really did. How could I not? He was so freakin handsome and he wanted me. Ok, reinstate the Bravehart theme song and yelling: HE WANTED ME! But let’s face it, when he got down on one knee and took my hand, neither of us had any clue what in the hell we were getting ourselves into! And let me be honest, sometimes it was just that: hell. Not just for me, for him also! Maybe more for him. It was not the perfect life we had envisioned when he was getting his dress pants sandy while holding up a diamond in the kneeling position on the beach. Living for someone else? I had never done that before. But then, neither had he. And I saw James coming home to me every night. I saw him still wanting me when I had been a real bitch. I saw him forgive me. I saw the most real love I had ever seen in my life. And I lost myself. I gave it to him. And the most amazing thing happened, I found myself. Who am I? I am James’s.
We started to get it all figured out. We were an old married couple of five years and we thought we had it all under control. We were happy, thriving DINKS. Double Income No Kids. We did what we wanted, when we wanted. I think we saw every movie realeased that we had any desire to see and tried out every restaurant in town. In my mid twenties, I had life figured out and I knew who I was. Well, I knew who I was more than I had. But now, I giggle to think of how…well, let’s just say it…how stupid I was.
I had wanted a baby since I was a baby myself. Her little body growing in mine was a dream come true. Except for the whole morning sickness thing, which didn’t just last for the morning, that was kinda getting in the way of my perfection. I lost twenty pounds in my first trimester. And nine months is a really long time for an impatient person to wait. And then she finally (FINALLY!) was born and she was in my arms and she was everything! Immediately, my life changed FOREVER! There was nothing I wouldn’t do for that Little Miss! And suddenly, I said something that I have heard echoed from parent after parent, “It is not about ME anymore!” I lost myself. I found myself. Who am I? I am Madison’s mom.
Being married and being a mother has stripped me of myself and replaced me with who I was born to be. When it wasn’t about me anymore, I was more alive than ever. And it has made me realize just a tiny glimpse of how much my Heavenly Father and my bridegroom really loves me! HE LOVES ME! He Bravehart loves me! He did go into battle! He felt the crushing intense pain of humanity and a torturing death. He was separated from God that he had been with for eternity past. He stood before Satan himself and claimed, “This one is mine!”
I find my life when I lose it! I am crucified with Christ and I live more than I have ever lived! My life is not my own! I have freedom in Christ! When I give my life, I find it. I was lost but now I am found, I was blind but now I see…I am just beginning to get it! And I am just beginning to see who this person is, this person that is ME.