Archives For identity

This morning I picked up my phone to scan through the latest photos posted on Instagram. Someone I follow – and strongly admire when it comes to keeping me up-to-date on the latest fashion trends – posted a photo with the caption,

“I picked up a new white girl habit of being addicted to nail polish. This is my cry for help.”

Wait. Is that a thing? I looked down at my hands, and saw my nails painted in a sultry, hot pink. My shoulders dropped and I slowly connected the dots. I’m wearing nail polish. I’m a white girl. If you are white, you can’t wear nail polish. It is uncool. If you wear it, you are uncool. You cannot wear nail polish anymore, or you will be rejected.

photo credit:

photo credit:

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Note from Alana: Abbie is a dear friend of mine. I have known her my entire life – our parents have been friends since before Abbie and I joined this world. I am blessed and honored to be able to share part of Abbie’s story here. I love you, lady!

Sexuality Redeemed
shared by Abigail Livingston

I grew up in what I’d call a “Christian Bubble”. My parents loved (and still love) Jesus, and they tended to raise my siblings and I on the overprotective side (their intent was out of their love for us). But this created in me a level of ignorance about how the world was in real life. Part of that ignorance was about how to have or pursue healthy relationships with boys. I was taught that “true love waits”, meaning that I should not have sex until I get married. There was not much else shared about romantic relationships as I was growing up even in church-and I was definitely not allowed to date. Continue Reading…

Being Who I Am

Alana —  August 30, 2012 — 4 Comments

Note from Alana: This is strange. Josh and I both wrote our posts on this topic within a similar time frame. Each not knowing the other person was writing about the same theme. I’m intrigued by how many 30-somethings struggle with their identity… and perhaps people of all ages do, but it’s the 30-somethings that are beginning to speak out. You can see Josh’s guest post here.

Alana Mokma, you are OKAY as you are.

Just be you.
Just be you! It sounds so simple. Yet for me, this is really difficult. To be honest, it’s embarrassing. Especially because I’m putting myself out there as a person who can help you identify who you are. I can help you identify your strong spots, your weak spots, your passions, your talents… but… I’ve been struggling to do this for myself.

Two weeks ago, I realized why: Continue Reading…

Your Story: Joshua Mokma

Alana —  August 28, 2012 — 11 Comments

shared by Joshua Mokma

Expectations. We all have them.

What happens if you live your life out of other people’s expectations? What if everything or most of what you did was out of what others wanted you to do?

Who would you be?

I have some really bad news.

Who would you be? Probably not yourself and probably not who you were created to be.
For most of my life I have lived inside other people’s expectations for me. It has been my parents, grandparents, bosses, brothers…even my wife. I have lived a SAFE life.

The big question then is, WHO AM I?

Josh Mokma

To be honest, there is a huge part of me that has no idea who I am.

I just said that.

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You Suck Booty

Alana —  August 16, 2012 — 13 Comments

You suck booty. We’ve all heard it. The words come in assorted forms and from various sources, but it all means the same thing: You suck.

The other day, I heard these words in the form of an inner voice. I am currently an Interior Designer, working part-time for a local construction company in Grand Rapids, MI. I am the sole designer, so I experience the positives and the negatives of working alone. Positive: I get the final say on the design. The negative: I lack colleagues with whom I can collaborate to create the best designs for the client. Everything comes from one perspective, and it’s mine.

16 Shades of White

I was assigned a project where I was to meet with an established business (and previous client) to help him select new paint colors for the exterior of his building. All cards on the table, selecting paint colors is one of my weakest and least favorite areas of design. You’d think with so many colors to choose from, it would be easy. But, did you realize there are at least 16 shades of white? And that is only in one fan deck, from one company! I digress. Needless to say, I was feeling anxious coming in to this meeting. I pulled into the parking lot and slowly gathered my things. I took my time looking at the building and surveying the project before walking in to meet with the client. We met. He was cordial and essentially said, “I know my type of business, but I am not artistic. This is why I need you, the professional, to help me figure this out.” The professional? Yes, I suppose that is what I am.

After a brief meeting inside, I exited the building and was left alone to figure out which colors would work best – and that’s when the voices kicked in:

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Your Story: Amanda Whitehead

Alana —  August 14, 2012 — 13 Comments

Reclaiming Lost Identity
written by Amanda Whitehead

Amanda pictured with her Mother.

No one is a stranger to hurt and pain. While the causes vary, the feelings are experienced by all of us. My story is about my flawed attempt at handling my emotional life, the aftereffects of that attempt, and the journey of finding real healing and learning to walk in wholeness. My story is a Jesus story.

I came to believe certain things about myself as I navigated my school years, unwittingly attempting to find definition. None of them were spoken over me by my parents or loved ones; I picked up and accepted them as I learned the ugly art of comparison. Carrying these falsehoods around like a heavy dark shroud, I spent the bulk of my teens and twenties trying to be perfect…to be extraordinarily productive…in order to earn value. I hid myself in busy-ness. I navigated a few significant broken relationships. I arranged my world to foster the delusion that anything lacking was lacking because I simply didn’t have time for it. Every choice I made, every motivation, was silently influenced by my warped identity. I was set up for surface success, but it was all built on a foundation of failure and misery.

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I am honored to begin the Your Story series with friend, author, speaker, marriage and family therapist, Carissa Woodwyk.

Finding Me.
written by Carissa Woodwyk

The Woodwyk Family

The Woodwyk Family

I remember the moment that I found out I was pregnant. My heart…it leapt, it soared. That dream so many women share, had come true. I was going to give life to someone…someone who looked like me.

After two years of “trying” and fertility meds and injections and ultrasounds and blood draws and prayer and cautious hope, we saw the + sign on the stick. The celebration and elation and dreaming began. The months of all-day sickness, an ulcer that led to Darvocet, months of numb taste buds, the gradual weight gain that every woman despises, the restless and ever uncomfortable nights, and the waning energy all ended with a sum of 40 weeks growing the life inside of me.

Mysterious, miraculous, unbelievable.

As an adoptee, the journey of becoming a biological mother didn’t come without reflection…reflection of my life in my birthmother’s womb. What was she contemplating? What was her heart feeling? Did she want to give me up for adoption? Was she forced to give me up for adoption? What were the voices around her telling her to do? Was I a secret? Was I planned?

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