Owning My Identity

When I sat down to write this article after weeks of thinking and making notes to myself I couldn’t compress my ideas into one article. I wrote one draft explaining the sort of identity crisis I have experienced in the last few months and resulting conflict and existential questions I have about where I fit into the world. Then I wrote another draft from a more doctrinal, intellectual perspective using teachings from the Writings about the intentional infinite variety that the Lord created resulting in the unending distinction of individual identities. I wrote another about the contentment and security in my own identity that has grown and developed in my years of being a stay-at-home mom and the peace that has come in that process.

Each draft held significant portions of my thoughts, each shared some of the profound realizations I have had in the weeks of thinking about this article. But I couldn’t get any one version to hold them all.

In talking through my article yesterday with some friends something was pointed out to me – part of my dissatisfaction was that all of these versions of reflections on identity are true and existing inside of me, even as they are in conflict and harmony with each other. Each version of my article felt true on its own, but still somehow lacked the punch I wanted. I think that was because, on their own, each one was too simple to hold the complete complexity of my reflections. Here’s my attempt to bring together those three drafts.

Over the last few months I have run into a boundary of what is required of my children (and therefore our whole family) by the school that they go to. I didn’t anticipate it, and it has thrown my sense of self into a spiral. It has brought on what I’ve decided to hold as something of an identity crisis for myself and my family. Questions about my goals in parenting and decisions for my children have all come crashing in on me. In particular, the purpose of education and extra activities both for my children and even myself, and how those things are developing and changing as my older children grow out of the small children phase.  My brain exploded. Now it feels like a flood of new and tense conversations need to happen between my husband and I. I need to seek out perspective from other people whose choices in these areas I respect. Now. Because the reality of my brain and anxiety means that I’m aware of these questions and that they will affect every. single. daily. decision.
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Loss From the “Inside” – A Personal Experience About Miscarriage

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9

For a woman in her child bearing years, miscarriage is a topic she will never want to think about, let alone discuss. Sadly, it’s very common. According to the American College of Obstetricians and my Gynecologist, 1 in every 4 women has a miscarriage during their child bearing years. I was able to become pregnant very easily and had quick child births with my first two sons, so I had no idea that a miscarriage would ever happen to me till we started trying for our third.

My third pregnancy started just like my first two, but when I went to the doctor after the seventh week of my pregnancy she said that there was no heart beat and the amniotic sac didn’t look normal. She said I should come back in a week and she would be able to tell for sure if it was a miscarriage or not because then she could compare the measurements she was taking. That word broke my and my husband’s hearts. We were shaken to the core of our beings. We kept asking if we had done something wrong; I kept asking if I didn’t eat the right foods or I was too stressed. The doctor assured us that it’s nothing we did wrong but things like this just happen.
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Blessing in Disguise?

Editors’ note: The congregation in Diepkloof, South Africa has been through a very difficult past few years. A significant amount of conflict with, unexpected decisions and strange behaviour by the former pastor lead to a lot of hurt. But as the article describes, the congregation has recently come back home to their church in many ways.

When tragedy strikes, such as life usually designs, one often wonders about the ‘blessing in disguise’ of it all. We know that God is with us every step of the way, and often cry out loud to His intervention – His Divine Intervention. Meanwhile, we hold on tightly to our faith and pray that our good works will see us through.

My congregation has survived a storm that was never anticipated in the history of the General Church. Our pastor took all of us to the darkest corners of our spirits to show us his truth; that he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the ultimate god for our church. Such darkness could never be seen in the light, nor by the naked eyes, for years we have been nurtured and schooled about the New Church doctrines by a man who never truly ‘got it.’

This revelation shook the General Church to its core when even the bishop was tested as he attempted to end the lunacy that had become cancerous; we were all tested! The church in South Africa and the world over became hostage and was held to ransom by God’s own chosen shepherd. Moving through that situation was like dragging a very heavy metal object through clay soil with the fear that at any moment we will run out of strength and get stuck.

It is now the year of our Lord 2018, five years later, and we have finally broken free of ‘our false god.’ We have survived the humiliation witnessed by the community we were sent to minister the New Church doctrines to. We have survived being erased and evicted from the only church and ministry that gave life to us in many more ways than one. And we’ve repeatedly won every legal court case that our former beloved minister took us through as he tried us through the High court of the land.

This article is actually about the question: so, what was that for?
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For Us All

The Lord, however, in all His conflicts brought about by temptations, never fought out of self-love, that is, for Himself, but for all throughout the universe. He did not fight therefore to become the greatest in heaven, for that is contrary to Divine love. He scarcely did so to become the least. He fought solely so that all others might become something and be saved, as He Himself also declares in Mark,

‘The two sons of Zebedee said, Grant us to sit in Your glory, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left. Jesus said, Whoever would be great among you must be your minister, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be ministered to but to minister, and to give His life as the price of redemption for many.’ Mark 10:37, 43-45.

Wishing you a Blessed Easter, from all of us at New Christian Woman.