I am a victim of identity theft.

Perhaps you’ll say, “Close your account. Call the credit card company. Change your password.” I wish I could. I really wish my identity theft was an internet crime.

Here’s the deal. When Brent died, he took a whole bunch of me with him. 

He didn’t mean to, dear man. He worked so hard to leave me in a good place if he should not get to live more years with me. And he would always say, “You’re going to be fine, Ally. If anything happens to me, you will be fine.”

But he did leave me without myself, nevertheless. 

A while back Emily asked why I didn’t do something—I don’t remember what it was—and I responded, “I was too scared.” 

She turned to look at me. “You? You’re fearless!”

Oh no, I’m not. 

Was I ever? I remember when I married Brent that I all of a sudden felt braver in life. And I haven’t thought about that feeling in all these years, until I didn’t have him, and I remembered. Without him maybe I am not brave.

Another thing, or maybe the same thing: During my 32 years with him we always joked about how amazing I was at sleeping. It usually took me less than a minute to fall asleep each night from the moment I decided I wanted to sleep. If it took me five minutes I felt like I’d suffered from insomnia. Sometimes I’d fall asleep mid-conversation with Brent, even when I was the one talking! 

Strangely, since he died I don’t sleep soundly. I fall asleep restlessly, I wake up at odd times. I sometimes can’t fall back to sleep. 

Who knew that my ability to sleep was never an innate part of me, but a side effect of living with a strong and secure person? (I’d so love to tell Brent this. He would not believe it.)

And I am no longer a wife. Today the guy from the phone/internet company saw something in the attic and told me to ask my husband about it. I didn’t tell him I didn’t have one. How do I explain something I don’t understand? I had a husband. He would have cared a lot about what was happening in the attic. I don’t know about the attic and I don’t want the responsibility of figuring the attic out. I am not married anymore and I don’t have a husband, but I am not ok with taking on this persona of attic responsibility. I don’t want to be her. I just told the phone repairman, “Ok, I’ll tell him.”

This new person who I am is strange. I don’t recognize me. I’m not brave, I can’t sleep and I don’t know how to sit down to the table to eat anymore. Most meals are eaten on the run, or in front of Netflix. The table is too big and empty. 

 The thing is, I’m not sad, really. Most days are good. But who am I?  I’m just lost.

And my vocation? My lovely and precious calling to missions and ministry in Mexico? That much is still fervent, still part of my soul and who I am. But I cannot find my bearing. I feel the same as ever—capable, young enough to have energy, old enough to be free to pick up and go. I want to do the same things we’ve been doing. I want to keep going and still feel needed and like I’m a blessing to this country that Brent and I have so so loved together. 

Sometimes I go and serve, and sometimes it goes really really well. I have a place. It’s new and different, but it’s still good.

But other times it doesn’t go well at all. I take a look at myself from the outside and I realize that I am 56, foreign, female, single. I have never ever been that before. People don’t know what to do with me, what to expect of me, what to ask of me. I see them struggle and I have to admit, I don’t know what to do with me either. Because, again, this is not me.

I beg God to tell me what to do. The clock is ticking. I’m never going to be this young again. And more than that, could He please see in through to my heart and see how much I want to be about His business? How much I want to be useful? How tired I am of sitting and waiting? How terrifying it is to feel like I’m wasting time? Please.

This is a moment of truth for me. Do I trust God with this transition? Do I trust Him to provide my new identity? Do I trust His silence? Do I trust His deep, deep love for me even when I don’t feel sure or brave or worthy enough? I do not, really. 

So I bow my person before Him, I bow this confused, transitional human before Him and I tell Him so.

Lord, You see me. You see into me and you see through me. You are not, nor have You ever been confused about who I am. Even when I was convinced that I knew who I was, You knew better than I. I am scared about what I don’t know right now, but I give my fear and my inability to trust to You. Help my unbelief. I don’t know me, but I know You. You are everything I need, even while I wait. It’s enough.

Categorías: Allyson Searway