By Angela Bell
When I was growing up, I didn't know what I wanted to be, but I knew who I was. I got a lot of "You seem to know yourself very well" comments.
It's true. I did. I still do.
Ten years ago, I moved to Houston. I stored my belongings, packed my car, and headed south. After three decades in my home state, I'd built a vast network of supporters, friends, and colleagues, but in a city of millions, almost no one knew me.
It was an incredibly difficult time filled with significant changes?cobbling together a living with three part-time teaching positions, losing my beloved pet, supporting my sister, anticipating the arrival of my twin nephews, and feeling helpless as my brother-in-law grew weaker and finally passed into the next world.
All the while, I knew my role. I cracked jokes and provided comic relief. I taught my students. I listened. I gave hugs. I claimed my title as Auntie Ang with gusto. People saw the role I was playing, but not who I was inside. I missed my friends and family and fought bouts of homesickness. I also questioned God. A lot.
Nothing about me had changed, but everything around me was different. I knew who I was, but no one else did.
While my world spun out of control, one thing stayed absolutely the same. No matter how frustrated, confused, and furious I was, God was there. No matter how many prayers were answered with no, God understood why I asked. I never lost my identity with Him. No matter how much of a stranger I was to others, God knew me.
He still does. He always will.