Tuesday, July 28, 2009

life defining

Sunday night was momentous, and if you promise to keep the envy under control, I'll tell you where I went.  The American Idols 2009 tour came to Memphis, and I  was there (way, way up there, but there) to cheer my heart out for this year's top ten. Okay, okay, a little jealousy is fine =).

It was fun, silly, cheesy, exciting, and everything else I expected it to be, but believe it or not, I'm not going to give you a summary, critique, or anything of the sort about the night.  I'm simply using it as a segue into the post because something Danny Gokey said during his set is relevant to what I wanted to write about today.  If you remember, Danny is the contestant whose wife passed away shortly before he tried out for the show, and at the concert Sunday night he made mention of the fact that he didn't want to ever be defined by a tragedy he had been through.  

I loved that he said that.  The tragedies of our life shape us—that much is undeniable—but they do not need to define us.  Danny made it clear that he has no intention of being known for the rest of his life as "that guy who lost his wife."  And I have every confidence that this desire has nothing to do with how much he loves her or misses her.  It's simply not want he wants to be known for.  

I am one hundred percent with him on this point.  I have lost a child. I'm part of a group  that no one ever wants to be part, just like Danny.  But as much as I love Poppy, and as much as I believe she has left her permanent mark on my life, I never want to be defined by the tragedy I went through.  I don't want to be known as "the girl who lost her baby," not because I'm ashamed of what happened or because it's too hard to be reminded of it, but simply because that's not who I am.  Thank God, I am not defined by what happened to me already or what will happen in the future, because those things are out of my control.  

So what do I want to be defined by?  Good question.  I don't think about it every day, but last week as I was sitting through the funeral of a great man it was my privilege to know, I started giving it some thought.  Funerals make us think about that kind of thing, as we fast forward in our heads to what might be said about us down the road at our funerals.  I know this: just about any of the stuff I do is not what I want to be defined by. I mean things like cooking, working, running, sports watching, reading, blogging, etc.  Instead I want to be defined by my relationships, both with people and God.  I want to be defined by being a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a teacher, an aunt, and a child of God.  Those are the things that go down in my book as being forever important.  The other stuff is fun, it's important, but it's not defining.

So thanks, Danny, for a little insight into life definition.  I think it's good to be reminded every now and then.


brandi said...

I thought about you when he said that. You are so not defined by your tragedy, but it helped make you who you are. You are a wonderful child of God, friend, mother, writer, etc!

Penny said...

Great post as usual! You have beautiful insight. Tragedy shouldn't define us, but REfine us. You allowed God to use your tragedy to glorify Him and encourage others. That is a true mission. =)

Mrs. Mother said...

I have often said that I don't want my tragedy to define, but I do want it to inspire me and change me. I believe it has.