Friday, March 29, 2013

It's Been 5 Years...

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." 
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

It's hard to believe that it has been 5 years since my nephew, Billy went home to Heaven.  It was so unexpected, and as an aunt living in another state at the time, there weren't enough hugs or chances to rock my sweet boy to sleep.  Sometimes when I miss him the most I watch the videos my sister and brother-in-law created of him and sent to me prior to his death and even the ones sent after.  He was and will always be a precious gift unto my family and I thank God for the healing that has come into my heart over the years since.  I thank the Lord for the gift and blessing that my sister was able to have two more babies and how much of their older brother shines through them.  Being an aunt is not something I take lightly or just the title of another family member.  I adore my nieces and nephews and I praise God that there is no greater gift that I've experienced yet in this life.

Today I remember a sweet baby boy with ridiculously cute and chubby cheeks, and an infectious laugh who will always have a piece of my heart.

William Thomas Darnell, Jr. 11/01/07 - 03/29/08

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
~ James 1:17

Friday, March 22, 2013

Counseling vs. Cristyn: An Identity Crisis

"The identity of a person is based on the distinguishing characteristics of that person."*

"Your identity involves both inner character and outer conduct, which distinguish you from everyone else.  Your visible conduct should consistently reflect your inner character.  This forms your identity."*

The Visible Me: Reflected by how I'm known by others.  Based upon my personality, actions, masks, pretenses, outer appearance

The Real Me: How the Lord knows me.  Based upon my nature, character, and value system


Can you see where I'm headed with this post?  It has been a while since I've blogged and the theme that keeps popping up, the one that is the subject of many conversations with those in my life who mentor me has been "how do I define myself?"  I've realized over the last year and a half that I've slowly shifted from truly knowing who I am, knowing the visible and real me to labeling myself as "Counselor Cristyn."  And initially it was cute and funny, but over the last few months I've realized it has become more of a mask, a way to hide my true self and convince others that I'm strong and wise.  Not to say there isn't any strength and wisdom in my true identity, but realizing it shouldn't be defined by what I do.

The truth that I'm realizing is that it became easy for me to throw myself into my career, to throw myself into counseling when other things in my life seemed to be falling apart.  Instead of facing the disappointment head on and working through the frustrations I opted to strengthen my ability to help others with their disappointments and frustrations.  In fact it wasn't too long ago that I told a friend of mine, "I believe I'm better at being a counselor than at being Cristyn."  Talk about a heavy statement!  I don't think I realized the truth of it all until I threw that statement out there.  I also think I've relished in the praise of others regarding what I do and the statements of "I don't know how you do it, I couldn't do it."  I shifted my identity into what I do rather than who I truly am based on accolades and the attention I received from others.  I LOVE what I do, don't get me wrong.... but it cannot be who I am.

I've sat in this for a while now and separated myself from my career when I get home at night to begin to define who I truly am.  I find rest in this:

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

I also am finding a new peace in what I like to do and the uniqueness of my personality.  I'm finding comfort in my randomness, my madd dance skillz :)  and the reality that counseling is what I do, and Cristyn is who I am.

My face before dishing out unicorns and rainbows
across the city of Irving

*Resource: "Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook" by June Hunt (2008)