#66 My Past No Longer Defines Me, So What Does? by davidTrig

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Welcome back. You belong here.

I’ve been wondering about the different titles we give ourselves through the years – creative, immigrant, engineer, teacher, mom.

As a young boy, I had no such titles, none of us do, I was simply me, a boy who played guitar in church, loved the almond tree in the middle of the church yard and loved sitting behind my dad as we drove around in his red 1972 Mazda singing worship songs in three part harmony.

But as I got older I began to label myself – immigrant, musician then as I experienced pain I thought of myself as fearful or anxious, but none of those things really stuck, now a days I know there are things I’ve gone through or things I love but none of them truly define me.

So what defines a person? And is there such a thing?

I remember years ago I was struggling with issues of identity, my mom was here visiting so I walked into her room, sat on her bed and I began to cry. I kept asking her, mom, who am I? Who am I?

She listened to me intently with eyes only a mother can have. As tears kept bubbling out of me I looked to her hoping for an answer that would guide me along the way….and I got one.

It was a few sentences that forever changed my life.

I remember when I lived in Colorado, I went through a time of waiting and wondering what I was supposed to do with my life (I guess I like to ask a lot of existential questions).

My mentor Debbie and I were having coffee during one of those cold, snowy Colorado mornings at the local coffee shop, yet somehow her kindness made my heart feel warm inside.

I told Debbie that I felt afraid – what will I do now Debbie, I feel lost. I remember her saying – you feel afraid now, but from now on you are called Fearless Trig.

So what did my mom say that forever changed my life?

She said two things that go beyond being born in another country, growing up on 843 Raymond Ave in a one bedroom apartment or loving music and church. In fact, her words continue to ring true to my core and have been affirmed by God over and over again.

She said two simple phrases:

First she said,

“You are my son”…

You are my son meant I belonged to her, that even though I didn’t have the privilege of being raised by my mother and father, that day I finally understood that I had always belonged to her. It meant that in spite of feelings of abandonment and loneliness, in spite of feelings of growing up with an orphan mentality, I was none of those things, I belonged to my mom.

Second she said, “you are loved by God”.

I have always heard that God loves me, but something about having your mom tell you that God loves you as you cry on her shoulder, imprints the truth deep within your soul.

It was as if I had never heard those words before, and this time it meant that no job loss, no income problems, no church struggles, nothing could keep me from being loved by God. It was not dependent on how well I played music or how well I spoke, in fact, this truth had nothing to do with me, it had everything to do with God – God simply loves me as I am.

As you can imagine, those two truths have deeply changed my own self-perception, they have changed how I view loss, pain and sadness, they have given me new life.

At times I still feel alone, at times I still feel afraid but nothing like before. Now it’s as if I have a secret weapon, a truth that defines me, that gives shape and purpose to my wandering soul – I am loved by my mom and I am loved by God.

That’s the kind of truth you can drive around singing to all day long.

Thank you for reading,
have a great night.
— davidTrig

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