I am known by many different roles that I play in life. If I walk into the paint store I am Jim Holmes' wife. At the High School I am my children's mother. There are many doctor's offices in which I am known as Moise's mother. Many older people in my community, because they cannot tell my sisters and I apart, know me simply as "one of the Glueck girls," or perhaps "the youngest Glueck girl." At track meets people will ask "are you Jamee's (or Jade's) mother? Often in the past two years I have overheard small children refer to me as "Java Junction Lady." Not long ago I was in the medical office where I was formerly employed when a newer employee said "so you are the Karol that everyone wants to have draw their blood." My identity has been formed by the things that I have done.
It feels as though the events of last summer have dramatically changed my identity. Though I will always and forever be Laynee's mommy, it seems as though my identity or title as such, no longer exists. While I am aware that this perception may simply be my own heightened sensitivity, it feels very much as though my identity as Laynee's mommy has changed to "the woman whose baby drowned." It is an identity that I do not wear proudly, an identity that feels heavy and sad, an identity that I fear will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am afraid that the glaring, ugly reality of tragic death somehow negates all the other identities that I have formed through my lifetime.
There are times when I can feel it. In the store or in a restaurant and especially around young people who have not quite mastered the art of tactfulness, I sense it. Sometimes I see sympathetic looks. Other times I can see eyes upon me while people whisper. I know that I am being identified as "the woman whose baby drowned." Sometimes when I introduce myself I can almost see the wheels turning in the mind of the other person. I can see as it registers in their mind and they struggle to piece together facts. Sometimes they stumble around the dreaded question..........."are you"............"did you"........ "was it your? I long to spare them the misery of asking and just say "yes, it was my daughter that drowned."
Though at times this new badge of identity threatens to discourage me and drag me down, I am able to remember who I am first and foremost. I am a child of The Most High God. I am forgiven and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I am created in His image and adopted into His family. I am His servant. I am chosen and dearly loved by the creator of the universe. All other identities by which I am known are trumped by this one truth. I AM HIS.
For as many as are led by the spirit of God,
they are the sons of God