Identity, Personal Growth

Karla – She Is Known

I remember the first nursing shift I worked as a newlywed after returning from my honeymoon. I went to sign the medication log and wasn’t sure which name to use. Should I still use my maiden name or my married name? When does my name officially change, I wondered? My supervisor responded ‘Use your married name, that’s who you are now.’

Yesterday I picked up my new passport and now I’m using my maiden name again. Life didn’t turn out quite how I thought it would. The man I walked down the aisle to marry all those years ago has started a new life with someone else. Our three amazing sons are not little boys anymore. They are establishing their own lives as young men. After 20 years of living and working in Asia I am about to go home to Canada. These past 24 years have been filled with joy and happiness, tears and sadness, amazing memories and heartbreak. But as I step into the next chapter of my life I find myself asking ‘Who am I now?’

So much of my identity has been tied up in being a wife and a mother. For so many years I have been known as ‘his wife’, ‘their mom’ or even ‘Nurse Karla’ but what about now? What title or description do I use now? It is not an easy journey, learning to embrace the new, accepting a challenge you never wanted or expected.

And the journey continues. But I am so grateful to God who in the midst of my confusion, sadness and self-doubt continues to remind me ‘ Karla, you are my daughter, I love you and you are mine. I will never leave you or walk away from you. Life may not have turned out with the ‘happily ever after’ you dreamed of but keep your eyes on me.’

So I’ve decided it doesn’t really matter what name others use for me as long as I remember the name that God has given me, that’s the name I’ll answer to. That name is unchanged by circumstance, marital status, location or employment. It’s the name that will outlast all of the others. I am Karla, known and loved by God.

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