At various points in my life I thought I knew what my purpose was. I was a daughter, a student, a wife, and for most of my life, a mother. Upon reflection, I viewed these roles as life experiences I was having rather than something or someone I was being. I was a puppet in the life of Layna.
I started to wonder who Layna actually was. I have been a mommy for over half of my life. I most strongly identified with myself in the role of ‘mother’. The closer Austin approached to adulthood, the more I started to wonder what life would be like when my babies didn’t need me in the day to day living. Alexa and Nixon are still little, but it seems I blinked and Austin was driving, and now I am days away from cerebrating his 18th birthday. I know all to well how quickly those years slip away.
At a time in my life where I had so many internal questions, I was given a book that would start to unearth the process for know who I truly was. ‘Can You Hear Me’ by Brad Jersak was a game changer. In it the author discusses the number of ways in which God is communicating with us, and challenges you to find out for yourself if it is true. You do this by posing a question to God in your mind and simply journalling whatever comes to your mind first. It was through this process that I started to see the life I lead, which by all accounts looked pretty perfect, was actually pretty empty. And that the God I felt was too big and too far away; was actually bigger than I thought and closer than I dared imagine.
Sharing entries from my journal is not something I usually do, but I am committed to living an honest and authentic life, and I also promised myself that my blog would reflect that even if it was at times daunting, scary and even humbling.
Here is an entry, unedited, from my first journaling session as I sat on a plane, with my Brad Jersak book in one hand,my pen in the other, and my head full of doubts and misgivings.
“Question: What do you like about me?
Answer: This questions makes me so squiggy. I don’t even like asking it. I feel like anything you say I’m going to think I made up. I think there is something deep and dark lurking here in me. Maybe you can help me overcome and see exactly what’s there.
In my mind the word joy came. I don’t see myself as particularly joyful. Immediately after I got a vision of a huge beautiful smile. It was mine I’m sure. It was just my mouth. Even writing the word beautiful in regards to me, is awkward. It is very uncomfortable. I’m sure that it is not humility – as I’m not humble, so what is it?”
And then the most uncomfortable thing happened. My body betrayed me. The first long tear seeped out the corner of my eye and slowly ran down my cheek. The ones that followed came faster and told me everything I didn’t want to think was true about myself – I didn’t really like me at all.
To Be Continued…