Who and What Defines me?

Who defines me?
Who gets to say who I am?
Who gets to point the direction I go?
Who gets to determine the things I know?
Yes, Who?

That day I began, so tiny, so small
That day I was planted against that wall
The day that Mom became my source
That day ‘of this world,’ became my course
That day!

During that time my brain formed
Little did I know it would become my norm?
Little did I know the patterns and paths?
Little did I know those ways would last
And become ‘Me’

My first glimpse outside, they spanked me, I cried.
Fear and panic that – then defined me.
Strange place, all alone, not at all like I’d known
Cold, naked and fighting to be.

The pathway of life to which I soon found
Depended a lot on who was around
Were they receptive to the needs I had?
Did I please them enough or was I just bad?

Many little ones there, close in age, unaware
Of the struggles our parents were going through.
So, big sis, yes, she tried, held us close when we cried
Hope spread thin, all turned in, yes, we’re going to –
Hang on!

Those close to me, they seemed to know,
They kept me alive, I continued to grow.
My focus turned to tasks to be done,
Work hard, do them well, then maybe some fun.

And then one summer, for a week of reprieve
Bible School – in that quaint little church.
They showed me a way, asked do you believe?
Said Yes and – Love made my heart lurch.

What opened my eyes made life never the same.
Knew there was hope, they said Jesus – His name.
How do I hold on to what had transformed?
To something so drastic – had made a new norm.

No words to describe the peace I felt.
But somehow, I knew the “steel wall” could melt.
The wall erected to keep abuse away
Now free – a new journey began that day.

But something was there, I could not explain.
While looking around, it became quite plain.
The rules of engagement in the world outside –
Required ‘be tough’ as a place to abide.
Hope was fading.

One more decade went by,
Then thought – marriage, I’d try –
To a man knowing love more than me.
Gently defining ‘wife’s’ role, the way we would go
Could this be the way back to ‘free?’

A few years passed, a mother at last –
Two little ones looked in my eyes.
As they reached out to see, oh could I really be
What they needed – warm, nurturing and wise?

How little did I know about which way to go -?
To take care and to know how to guide.
So, I watched a dear friend, who was able to show
How to tenderly hold and allow love to thrive.

And as the days went by, I continued to try –
To recover the peace, I’d known.
But what filled the place was turmoil, not grace
Full of patterns I’d learned and was shown.

Holding terror and fear at arms’ length
Knowing not who to call on for strength
Acknowledging life’s base I had known
With so little of freedom shown.

Mom and Dad, yes amazing and hard working
Loyal, moral, lived determined, with fear lurking.
Yet, so ‘normal’ was that way of life.
What was expected? – Days filled with strife.

Unwilling to settle for what I had known
Knowing deep within, there was more to be shown.
Moving ahead with much resolve
Exploring, not stopping until I could solve
The mystery.

That mystery I’d experienced that day at ten.
That mystery I’d search for till I’d find again.
Decades full of education and learning
Experimenting, many trials still left me yearning.
Yet determined.

So, in a quite unexpected way,
Found the Love I had known ‘that day’
I opened the door to a room with no light
Yet the room contained a presence so bright.

Was instantly consumed, just had to stay
Have so much joy, still there this day.
So, as I declare ‘Who defines me?
He’s the one who through time refines me.

He’s the one who took all I thought was lacking
Wrapped up the lies and sent them packing.
Has me standing on solid ground
Planted and no longer looking around.
Content and belonging.