Before everything collapsed in 2014, we could consider ourselves pretty successful people. We were married for 13 years. Almost all of our close family lived in the same city as us. We had been members of the same church since our wedding day & it was my church before that for about five more years. As soon as we got married, we started a family business & we had a team of very good creative people working with us. All of that was part of our lives. We were known as prominent family & church members as well as reliable friends & business partners. We were loved & we loved it.
The moment we left our country, we lost not only some tangible things: we lost vital parts of who we were. Who we considered ourselves to be & who those around us believed we were. In a sense, we ourselves were lost. I went through a couple of sudden layoffs, and I remember pretty well the moment when I could no longer easily answer the question: “What do you do?” smiling & handing over my neatly done business card. That feeling of nakedness because of a stripped identity was rather painful. With leaving our home country behind, the question I could no longer easily answer was much more profound: Who are you?
Even if I could answer it, who would believe me? Why should they? How would they know if even I myself hesitated? The fact that I was almost 40ty made this issue even more complicated. The middle-age crisis with the leaving home icing. Oh yes, and a cherry on top: childlessness. When I shared some of my struggles with one Christian counselor, her reaction was: “How do you live with all of that?” Frankly, I did not know. I had no slightest idea. The amount of void piled on me made it hard to breathe at times. The truth was that underneath that void, my real core identity laid almost undamaged. I just had to unearth it, dust it off, and re-introduce it to the world around me. And that was no easy task to do.
PS I am reading The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan which speaks volumes about my lost condition, but my nail polish not just speaks. It screams! Green color?!? I never ever do that. I do not like it at all! And … I have a Ukrainian flag on two nails! Saying: I am lost, I miss my old way of living, I have no idea what to do!