“I can’t do it anymore.” My heart broke as I looked at my friend curled up in the chair, tears flooding her cheeks as her body quivered. My heart broke. I placed my hand on her knee quietly praying. She could barely open her eyes the pain so intense. I waited for her to share more. Slowly her tears slowed, and she opened her eyes, not looking at me but in the distance.

“I can’t be who everyone thinks I am or should be anymore. I’ve lived the life others think I should, for way too long. I don’t even know who I am anymore and that breaks my heart because I am supposed to be a woman of God.” I patiently waited for her to continue. The sobs had returned. The sadness engulfed her.

“The sad part is that these labels placed on me over the years. They have piled one by one covering who I was. I feel like my spirit is open to anyone to stamp my identity with whatever was their desire. Some of those brands I’ve earned. I haven’t always been a believer. I’ve made poor choices. And now I’m a believer, but I yell at my kids and cuss at my husband. People told I would be a horrible mother and now I am.” She yelled, “I don’t know who I am! But I know I’m not who I am supposed to be as a woman of God.”

Tears came to my eyes. My moment of confusion began when I found myself holdup in the only bathroom of our house. I was in the fetal position in the corner sobbing quietly. I felt so alone. I didn’t even find myself good company because I had lost sight of who I was. I stood, splashed water on my face, and looked in the mirror. I was shocked. I didn’t recognize the person I saw. It wasn’t the inflamed red eyes, the wrinkles at the corner of my eye, the red splotches on my face, or the eyelashes without mascara, which made me unrecognizable. It was the sadness of my eyes.

I was over 30, a mother of three young boys, the wife of my husband, the sister of my siblings, the daughter of my mother, the friend to others, the life of the party. Those labels I knew well, the ones placed on your spirit throughout the seasons of life. The labels that haunted me and made the sadness in my eyes were the words and experiences that had been placed in my spirit by others and myself.

Confusion was at the root of my spirit. The trouble began in my youth. The words that others spoke over me many times, not meaning to hurt, but ones that I clung to deep in my being. The uncertainty grew over the years. My true self was squashed under what I thought others believed of me, how I was expected to be, what opinions they had that formed me from the inside out. I knew there was more to who I was but the labels that had redefined who God had made me weighed my authentic Godly self down to a shell of a life.

I didn’t like the sadness in my soul. The emptiness in my spirit left me depleted and lonely even though the three little boys wrestled on the other side of the large wooden door. The door would groan against the hook that held it shut. The boys would groan louder. My soul was groaning in need of an answer.

I thank God that this was the beginning of seeking a relationship with Jesus. Did my believing solve all of my problems? No. But it did take me to the knowledge of who I am in Christ’s eyes. Belief gave me an identity that wasn’t based on other’s opinions and assumptions or the brands I let sear into my soul.

I am a child of God! Thank you, Jesus, for your saving grace.

Are you allowing labels to stop you from being the woman God created?

Do you ever feel confused and lonely?

Do you have a relationship with Jesus? If not, how can I help you begin that process?

Jesus loves you. You are His beloved. He wants to be your friend and your Father!