When I first moved to North Texas from my home town of San Antonio, I never dreamed I would have such a tough time making the transition. At first, I was elated to have our family back together after my husband lived in Dallas four days per week for a number of years, but then reality set in. After twelve years on local television in San Antonio followed by a very visible job as the spokeswoman for San Antonio International Airport during 9-11, I was a public figure in San Antonio. I knew many people and would be stopped regularly by those who knew me (but I didn’t know them) in the grocery store, malls and in restaurants. Then, I moved to Flower Mound and there was a deafening silence.
In Flower Mound, I was no longer the public figure. Instead, I was the mom and a seminary student. When people asked me what I did, I told them I was a Master’s Student. “What’s your Master’s Degree in?” they’d ask. I’d reply, “theology” and then I wouldn’t hear from them again. I would say this was the beginning of an identity crisis for me that lasted for a couple of years.
What I realized was that God was reshaping my identity. While the past careers will always be a part of my history, he was transforming me into who he wanted me to be and I believe he had to take me out of my very secure world in San Antonio to do it.
The Holman New Testament Commentary on the book of Ephesians speaks to the confusion we often have in our identity in Christ. “We have been born into and grown up in a fallen world, so we have learned the ways of the world. We have become like it. When we become a Christian, we are no longer who we once were (2 Corinthians 5:17). Too often, however, we don’t see ourselves correctly. We act like the thing we think we are, rather than what we really are.” In San Antonio, I thought I was the former sportscaster doing ministry but during the silent years in Flower Mound, he reshaped me into the minister who is a former sportscaster.
After I began to get this concept, he brought me numerous friends who did not run from a friendship with me because I was in “ministry.” He has given me the honor of leading Women’s Ministry at our church and speaking on a regular basis to the women of our congregation. He saw me through graduate school where I graduated with a Masters of Theological Studies Degree in 2008 from Perkins School of Theology at SMU.
This past week something interesting happened to open my eyes to my new identity. I was at my son’s school parent orientation. The parents were following our children’s class schedule to see what they did each day. I was in my son’s art class. The art teacher was explaining what she wanted to accomplish in the class when she looked at me and asked, “Weren’t you on television in San Antonio?” “Yes, I replied.” “Do you still do that?” she asked. “No, I am in ministry now.” I found that rolled off the tongue easier than it ever had before. The next day I was at the mall shopping for a blouse when a saleswoman came up to me and asked, “Were you on television in San Antonio?” I couldn’t believe this happened two days in a row. She had lived in San Antonio for 14 years and used to watch our station. I told her that I was in television but now I’m in ministry and proceeded to invite her to our church and to Bible Study. I was the minister who was a former sportscaster in action.
Who are we in Christ? Many times we must allow the Lord to take us places that are out of our comfort zone to find out. Sometimes, he will eliminate all the noise out of our lives so we can hear his voice more clearly. The process may be painful for a while but at some point, God will allow us to look back and see his overall plan as he transforms us into his image.