Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mistaken Identity

Hayley loves to make lists and carry them around with her until they are tattered and torn. One of the lists she frequently works on is a list of all the children she plans on having. She has completely worn out several "baby names" books. [See photo: she is reading a baby name book while we are camping.]  These lists are exhaustive with pages of children's names. I have seen lists where she will pick a child's name for each letter of the alphabet - that's 52 children with a boy and girl for each letter. She will also assign them middle names. I have seen many of these lists over the years. She has a boyfriend with a seizure disorder and they talk about getting married when Jesus comes and they believe they will be healed from their disabilities.

I never realized how much having a handicap was a part of her identity until one day she showed me her list of children and each one on the list had a different handicap next to their name. She had blind children with a seeing eye dog, autistic children, children in wheelchairs, deaf children, and the list went on. I objected - reminding her, "But, I thought there wouldn't be any people with handicaps when Jesus comes." To this she irritatingly replied, "Don't trash my dreams!"

This statement rang in my ears for days, weeks - months even. My daughter didn't have the ability to see herself, in the future, without a handicap. As I listened and looked around at myself and others, I began to see that my daughter wasn't so different in this respect. I saw many people's identity as mistaken - barriers - holding them back, frustrating them. My eyes were opened and I realized more than ever before that our identities should not be based on what we do for a living, how many children we have, our IQ, our status or any other thing that is temporary. Our true and unchanging identity is that we are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us. Anything else is a mistaken identity and too limiting.


  1. Wow. Beautiful, beautiful thoughts Susan. Thank you for sharing.

    --Kristin Frey

  2. Oh Susan this is lovely! thank you for sharing!