Monday, January 30, 2006

Chronic Amnesia

Sometimes I forget who I am. It's funny because I wear a name badge to work that allows me access into secure areas. I have students call me by name all day long, "Hey Prof. Caruana," or "Mrs. Caruana, can you help me with this?"

But not everyone calls me by my right name.

My husband calls me Fred. Long story.

My siblings call me a variety of names that rhyme with "Vicki." (I'm sure you can think of a few yourself). My own brother calls me "Stick."

People who've known me since childhood call me "Vic."

And I long for my mother to call me "Toria" again. But she's gone now and she was the only one to call me that.

Even though many of these names are offshoots of my given name (well, except for Fred), I forget who I am and I don't always come when I'm called.

You see, there seems to be someone else whispering in my ear and calling me names that muddy my sense of self and confuse me.

He calls me "not good enough," "weak," and even "stupid." And instead of turning a deaf ear, I raise my hand in recognition like a child answering her teacher with "present" when the attendance is taken.

When you have amnesia you latch on to those who seem to know you. The devil is great at disguising himself as someone who knows me. When I forget who I am, he swoops in and tries to imprint me with another persona. The only way to combat this is to intentionally surround myself with those who really know who I am and replace his lies with the truth.

But what if you can't find enough people to surround you with the truth? What then? My mom isn't here anymore, but I meditate on what she called me and who she said I am. I can read her letters, and hear her voice inside my head. So I remember that I am her first born. I am strong. I am talented. I have hair the color you can't get out of a bottle. I have a heart for God. And I am "Toria."

Surround yourself with those who know and speak the truth. Reread God's love letters to you. Meditate on who He says you are - a son or daughter of the King, someone worth dying for, someone worth saving. That way, when you suffer from a bout of amnesia (which you will), you can rely on a Word of truth to tell you who you are - and then come when you're called.