Uncomfortable Me

February 24, 2001

Today marks eleven years of me as a Mrs.

My first few weeks as Melissa Brotherton were confusing. Despite practice and planning, the name sat uncomfortable on my shoulders. The taste of it rolling off my tongue was strange.

Now I snuggle down into it like well-worn pajamas and slippers. I’ve embraced it as my identity.

Not once in my recent occasions to introduce myself have I said, “Hi, my name is Melissa Brotherton. It used to be Melissa Redmond, but now it’s different.”

Because that would be weird, right?

No one really cares what my name used to be, and there’s no point in them knowing. If I introduced myself that way people would walk away wondering what is wrong with me.

However…

I am kind of doing that.

Not with my name, but with other parts of me.

Because “me” is somewhat uncomfortable right now.

The Melissa I’ve always been is very different from the Melissa God has been shaping over the past year (or more). Last year I wrote about feeling pregnant with expectation, and the birthing process that would follow. I wrote about all those things and then forgot them as I labored.

Let me tell you, after four kids you’d think I’d understand the birth. This delivery was nothing like any of the others. It was painful; no one was there offering me an epidural or reminding me to breathe. It seemed never-ending; each stage had me worrying that I wouldn’t live through it.

And now that I know I’ve come through it, I’m missing that moment of connection. In movies the expectant parents always seem to wait until the delivery to discover the sex of their baby.

Birth is accompanied with a declaration of identity:

“It’s a boy!”

“It’s a girl!”

I have yet to make that declaration. God has shifted my world-view and altered my very being. The thoughts, reactions and behaviors that once came so naturally to me are missing, and the replacements are unfamiliar.

As I’m introducing myself to new people I’m met over and over with the same statement, “Really?” As I describe myself to people, they don’t see the person I’m describing. That person doesn’t really exist anymore.

Instead of boldly declaring who I am now — because it feels strange — I’m grasping for the comfortable that was. How confused Josh would have been if I had continued to introduce myself as Melissa Redmond after our wedding.

It’s time to start properly presenting myself as I really am.

Jacob wrestled with God, and walked away with a new identity.

Is there a time in your life where you have walked away from an encounter with God and known you were different?

Was it uncomfortable to acknowledge that new you?

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12 Comments

  1. April says:

    It’s funny you talk about this today. My dad and I had a conversation last night about who I’ve become over the years and how he was proud of all I’ve been through and how I’ve handled myself through it all and as I was sitting there I could honestly say that I am proud of who I have become as well. I have a long way to go still, but don’t we all? And at the same time, the last two years or so have brought about healing, growth, knowledge of who I am, who I am in Christ and where my life is heading. Like I said, I still have a long way to go, but I can say that it’s been a blessing to see God move me beyond some situations in my life, and yet, sometimes I still act or present myself as if none of that has changed. I’m working on that. thanks for this post, it is a great reminder to remember who we are and not live as if we aren’t what God made us to be.

    1. Melissa says:

      What a great conversation to have! No matter how old we are it’s do comforting to know our parents are proud of us. :) Thanks for sharing, April.

  2. Heather says:

    WOW! And again I say, WOW!
    You are amazing. This is amazing. I am amazed. So much so that I have no ability to incorporate word variety. I am on my fourth pregnancy and I feel really weird and uncomfortable and sort of lost in it all. I pretty much feel out of my own body all the time. I am not fan. Not feeling very molded by it all yet. Hoping I will soon. This helps. You are loved and admired.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks, Heather! And congrats on the pregnancy! Four’s a great number. Haha! I have learned so much from both pregnancy and parenting. I think that’s why God gave me four kids. :)

  3. Danielle says:

    Great post! I’ve just been studying Jacob’s wrestling with God in a new Nancy Guthrie Bible study, so you pointing to that example! I’d say two times that were very changing to me was going through my parents’ separation and our unemployment period. Both situations I walked away with a deeper identity in Christ. I wouldn’t say how God met me itself was uncomfortable, but the process due the circumstances definitely were!

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks for sharing those, Danielle. I can imagine that both of those circumstances were huge in shaping the person you are today. Did you recognize right away that you were different, or is it only in looking back that you see the change?

  4. Sharon O says:

    We are all changing into different people, as we deepen our thoughts and hearts into ways of God our attitudes and our process changes.
    This is a wonderful writing and challenging too. thank you.

  5. Lea Culp says:

    Awesome entry and such a blessing to read and ponder. Love the way you compared it to labor and delivery, such a great comparison. Thanks for sharing your heart and may you have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Jason says:

    I’ll let you know if I ever stop wrestling.

  7. I think I may in that place right now…and I’m quite curious as to how I’ll come out on the other side. :)

  8. I’ve been in a state of “used-to-be” as identity for a couple years now. You’ve given me a lot to think about here, about how that’s even less healthy and good than I realized. Hmmm…

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