Dropping an eclectic armful of suitcases on the brown patterned linoleum in the kitchen of our first home, I hooked the front door behind me with the edge of my shoe the best I could to close it.
My heart was full. I had just married my best friend seven days before and now ended a honeymoon at a cozy cabin in our favorite family spot of many years, Clearlake.
The next chapter of the married life was all ahead of me… and I was excited.
I was ready to set up house and live out my dreams that I’d had so many many times over the years since I had been a little girl. From the colors of paint…the pale yellows and greens to robin egg blue… to the black and white checkered floors or perhaps neatly pattern linoleum as was popular, I’d always loved from the 50s decor.
The curtains throughout the house were to give a light airy feeling with white sheers to let in all the possible light, really defeating the purpose but sending a message of Welcome.
The sofas where to be large and soft, covered in warm colors, the kind in which I could get lost in when I sank my whole self into it, and of course be positioned to be inviting to anyone and everyone who might stop in or be invited. It made my relational heart so happy just envisioning it.. I wanted my home to speak welcome.
The kitchen would have a large wooden farmhouse table with scratch marks already in it as if it had lived a hundred years already, to start a tradition of when the kids would add their initials and everyday life. It would have more than enough chairs to accommodate much family and friends. A basket of fruit and muffins would always sit in the welcoming center of the table along with ready floral tea cups or coffee cups, waiting to be filled at a given moment.
Hot meals waiting at the end of every day cooked with much delight found in the many Company’s Coming recipe books I loved, was my heart.
The bathroom would have warm vanilla candles like the many many magazine pages I owned along with so many books in my bookshelves, to set the mood for relaxing in the nightly soaks in the tub.
And once the babies would start coming, the nursery would be filled with many many wonderful children’s books from Dr. Seuss to children’s Bible stories with brightly colored pages and words depicting warm family stories and faraway places to get lost in.
The stacks of cozy handmade baby blankets from my mom and grandma would have they’re home strategically placed through the room and in the crib. The vintage dressers would be a home for many beautiful sleepers, dresses, tiny socks and so much more along with all the baby necessities tucked neatly in a basket on the floor.
The light airy curtains would let in just enough light to paint the room with the soft air of home for a baby, and soft rug warmed any little bare toes. And of course the timeless rocker to rock away the time with my little ones that I could never get back.
The laundry room would have a shiny new white washer and dryer set with shelves neatly built above to house all that was needed along with three… only three bins… neatly placed in a row with only a few pieces of laundry in it…just like the magazines depicted.
The floors would be black and white checkered as my kitchen might be as I’d seen in one of my many Woman’s World magazines, my favorite. A large Hand stenciled laundry sign would hang above all this like a banner simply saying LAUNDRY in big letters.
My bedroom would have a large bed sitting in the middle of the room covered in billowing White blankets with what would seem like a million pillows topping the blankets, all neatly made and straightened daily.
It would be perfect… or would it?
My dreams were as tall as they were wide.
What was to be an exciting dream of family, friends, children and marriage became something I wanted to wake up from most days.
I really loved being a wife and mom and a friend and family lover, but the pieces just didn’t seem to fit all together far too irregularly… the price seemed too high some days, maybe even most days.
The curtains, the couches, the bed, the books, the paint, the candles… the baby blankets, all existed and we’re all part of the original dream, but the ever present feeling of never getting it all right weighed heavier than I could take most days.
I wore a smile often, though my heart was often heavy. My walk with my God was the only thing that kept me going most days.
The daily laundry piled up, the dishes in the sink piled up, the perfectly made bed I envisioned was seldom made, the daily hot meals that were part of the original dream we’re not measured by the same ruler. The baby room, although filled with lovely books and beautiful blankets and curtains, were filled with things that didn’t belong. My home became a place of uncertainty in all my efforts to measure up. My identity was tainted as the dust not detectable if not moved, surrounded the oh so many knick knacks that the 80s were made of, but once moved gave way to my ever waning skills.
Why was my dream of my childhood days not coming to pass?
My need for family, fellowship and just being loved for who I was, not how I performed in all these areas of my life was an overbearing monster at times leaving me immobilized physically and mentally for days on end adding to the physical and mental chaos of my life.
Life was dark some days but I needed to perform. I did because it seemed the key to being loved, and loved I wanted to be.
It was a vicious circle for many years with no end in sight it seemed.
My heart was always full of love, much love, but the never ending saga of just missing the numbers on the measuring stick weighed hopelessly on my heart.
I believe so many lies during those years and they changed the course of my childhood dreams. “Frozen” some days, sinking with quicksand lead in my feet.
Then 10 years ago my heart said “no more”.
My life still “frozen” but wanting desperately to warm the frozen edges of my life, and my own ways of just moving the lies I was living in, around in my heart was needing to come to an end.
My God had way more for me than I was experiencing and my heart was beginning to open to walking a new path realizing the old one was so worn from the regular figure eight… getting me nowhere…finding no real answers. This was it.
I didn’t want to do this anymore.
The lies started to become more clear and Truth started replacing them slowly one by one. The more they started being replaced, the more my frozen identity started to thaw.
I was loved yes, but learning to know now I was never meant to earn it, moved me onto a different path on my journey. Finding the Truth in the Word about what my God really thought about me was the ultimate beginning.
His Word said I did not have to perform and get it all right to have Him love me. Every verse I hungrily absorbed over the next few years I read through this filter. Earthly relationships were not so easy and clear, still needing to earn love somewhat, still painted my heart with strokes of Grey, threatening to block out the sunshine my God had placed there.
Still frozen at times to do nothing, I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling and not finding the love I just wanted. I wanted to be loved just for me… just like we all do.
The more I absorbed the Truth of His love and knowing I didn’t need to earn it, the more it warmed my heart, my identity, and I could breathe. And the more free I got to start living life, becoming more and more mobilized just to do everyday simple tasks that needed to be done for me, for my marriage, my children, and it spilled into my friends and my family.
The picture that had been painted in my heart so many years ago started to take shape, but the perfect picture has never been attained to this day, and I don’t want it to be now.
The original picture had a price tag that would come at a cost I wasn’t willing to pay. The original picture unbeknownst to me then, left no room whatsoever for my relational personality, the personality that was fueled by people and relationships. The coffee’s… the deep experiences that made up the person I was created for and needed to be for the purpose that was placed in my life to complete.
Fast forward many years later, baby stage is long gone, empty nest for a number of years now. My home now has an addition to accommodate my seventeen members and counting. My laundry piles are a fraction of the size and the baby rooms have been converted for the grandkids sleepovers.
The kitchen sink still has some dishes living in them daily but the hot meals are now more frequent and the homemade buns and large pots of soups and muffins and cookies are all made with a heart fueled by relationships first, but most of all knowing I’m loved whether I get it all done or not. It’s a freedom of the heart knowing I’m loved “just because” by the One who is the ultimate creator of my identity.
My Frozen identity created by the imposter.
Raising my girls over the years I know I did through my frozen identity. I definitely didn’t do it all right but by the Grace of God, they are not only my daughters but my friends now too. What a gift He gave me despite my “frozen” years.
It has been a walk that has taken many different paths that brought me to today in finding the Truth…
The freedom to move about in my personality has been a journey of walking away from the lies of unworthiness and performance among many other things.
Life now on the other side of those many years has taught me to learn to dance a dance in love in a quest of leaving my “frozen” identity behind.
We all have believed lies in our journeys… not one is excused. It may have looked different for each person… childhood dreams that have never looked the way they were dreamed originally.
Today look to the One who is the author of the Truth who will replace the lies that have kept you hostage and living in a frozen identity all these years, and start breathing as I did, and continue to on this life journey…
and start truly living…and walk free…
from your frozen identity.