I love walking.

We currently live near a manmade lake that feels more like an old friend than an artificial basin. I have fond memories walking the harsh concrete and uneven gravel path in high school and college.

It’s the place my husband first told me he loved me; the place I talked with my aunt about my faith; the place I learned my grandma’s emphysema from second-hand smoke was worse than I thought. I’ve laughed with friends, cried to God, and observed painted skies. It’s a dear place to me.

My appreciation for the quality of conversation and comfortability with silence comes in part from walking around that lake.

Our previous apartment was also near a lake, Lake Michigan. We walked or biked to work and school for most of the year. I was known for calling family and friends during my walks to work, classes, and errands so often my family would typically ask, “are you going for a walk?”

I remember walking to rehearsal one spring afternoon. I had recently found out a high school classmate died and called my brother halfway through arriving to my destination. We talked, I walked, I stopped, I cried. I felt I was able to process the situation differently while walking.

I went for a walk recently. I’ve often thought about bringing a small pad of paper with me on my solo walks. Like that spring day, I often find that with each step, my mind searches thoughts hidden by screens and to-do lists.

I was thinking about this blog I’m writing, about sending words into the unknown, hoping to help another and in the process examine what purpose I have in this season of waiting. I was thinking about how I’m grateful for this period of living close to my family, Daniel’s job, singing opportunities, and watching children grow.

I evaluated what causes fear to creep up in my life. Why did it feel crazy to move to Nebraska? Why do I fear having kids while singing? What about others knowing our struggle to start a family is scary?

During my walk, a common thread struck me: identity.

You see, labels come easily and can easily distort reality.

mother, father, son, daughter, child, adult, singer, millennial, baby boomer, Chicagoan, Nebraskan, etc.

Do these things help shape who I am as an individual? Absolutely! Labels allow us to identify and understand a set of information. But, when they become my identity, they distort the fuller picture of who I am created to be.

It’s dangerously easier for me to be pinned into the corner of infertile by myself and by others. How many times have I heard another share an issue and label them accordingly, forgetting that they are a complex individual with a variety of joys and struggles?

Rather than experience the diverse abundance of life I have secured in Christ, there is a false security beckoning me to rest in the ascribed label rather than the One who provides true rest.

I’m learning daily what it means to rest in the One who first modeled and then called us to rest in Him. I’m finding that it first starts with acknowledgement and repentance. Acknowledging that He is Lord and I am not and repenting of my forgetfulness.

|Matthew 11: 28-30|

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