Out of the box

There are always things in life that define us.

Before this year I thought I was doing pretty well defining myself only by God.  But leaving college and the safety that comes with knowing what the next year holds, has made me reconsider. (note to self: pride cometh before the fall)

I've let things other than God define me: busyness, grades, friends...And I think by letting myself be defined as something other than a child of God, it's become easier to define others by characteristics and circumstances instead of their title as God's child.

For example, at work we use a system that stores all the names of the children we work with along with bits and pieces of their life. There are a lot of little boxes in the system that tell us what the children like or don't like, what they participate in (cane ball anyone?), family members, etc.

But, the check I never like to see is the one that marks the box entitled "orphan."

I let that box, above anything else, be the one that defines them. I go through scenarios in my head about what their life must be like...most of them depressing. And while the scenarios could be true and it is completely heartbreaking that they lost their parents, thank God they're not defined by that.

They're not defined by a little check mark or the circumstances in their lives, and neither am I.

This week I'm going to strive to find comfort in that...in the fact that I'm not defined by anything except for God. And believe me, I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like...but I'm pretty sure it's a process.

Some of the girls where we work in the DR. Children of God. Photo by Philip Slowiak.