I don’t consider myself a prideful person. At least I don’t want to be a prideful person. But I think it’s possible I am. Maybe a little. Maybe even more than a little (ouch). I try to focus on the Lord and let my identity lie in Him, not my accomplishments or anything else. But I learned that maybe I don’t always do this. The source of this lesson was from an unwitting friend.
I have a fairly new friend, one I met within the past couple of years. She had recently moved to the area because her husband was hired as one of the pastors at our church. He is new to being a pastor and she is new to being a pastor’s wife. When I tell you this lady is kind, generous, gracious and many other positive descriptors, I am not exaggerating. She is a woman of prayer, a wonderful mom and just a generally lovely human being.
My friend is also an Audiologist. She was able to find a job in her field with a pretty amazing hospital group in our area when she relocated. Actually, it is the 2nd best children’s hospital in the country. She was grateful to find the job. I guess I didn’t really know or understand what an Audiologist does. I had never talked to her much about it but I knew vaguely that it was something dealing with people who have hearing issues. According to the Audiology Awareness Campaign:
An Audiologist is the professional who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss, Audiologists have extensive training and skills to evaluate the hearing of adults, infants and children of all ages. Audiologists conduct a wide variety of tests to determine the exact nature of an individual’s hearing problem. Audiologists present a variety of treatment options to patients with hearing impairment. Audiologists dispense and fit hearing aids, administer tests of balance to evaluate dizziness, and provide hearing rehabilitation training. Audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing problem needs medical or surgical evaluation.
I looked into this in the first place because last week my son failed a portion of his hearing screening at his 5-year-old checkup. I immediately texted my friend because I knew she was an Audiologist (though admittedly, I still really had no idea exactly what that meant). She replied, noting he should get checked out based on the results of his test. I decided that I would arrange to take my son to see her for a consult. After finding out what the job entailed, I ended up Googling her. Yes. I Googled my friend. I found out that she’s even more amazing than I realized. She went to impressive colleges. It turns out my very humble friend has her AuD (Doctorate in Audiology) and does this important job for children who have hearing problems. And me? I had no idea.
Little does she know the lesson she taught me. On several occasions we have talked about my job as a teacher but…
1.) I had never really asked her about the details of her job. (Lesson there I’m sure.)
2.) She wasn’t running around identifying herself by her job title or qualifications.
It became clear to me that I am always quick to tell someone I am a teacher, allowing that (at times) to be my primary form of identity. This is something I never even realized about myself until I found out the impressive credentials of my friend. Credentials she didn’t flaunt or make mention of at all.
The way I see her is as a daughter of the Most High God, wife of our pastor, mom to her daughter, kind friend to me. Even more impressive is that she doesn’t refer to any of those things either to identify herself. It is her behavior and her treatment of others that show who she is – a Christian woman who is walking the walk. When I see her in action or interact with her, the love of Jesus is what radiates from her. She genuinely cares for other people and it is evident.
At first, I didn’t tell her I was writing this blog post. The reason for that is that I was afraid she wouldn’t want the attention and might try to talk me out of it. Then, at the (ahem) encouragement of my husband, I did mention it to her. She reacted exactly as I expected – with humility and downplaying her accomplishments.
Philippians 2:3 reads:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (NIV)
This verse personifies my friend. She is caring, helpful, prayerful and the kind of person who is easy to spend time with and talk to. Her heart is to serve others and she does not elevate herself. Without even realizing it, she has been a great example of humility to me. She probably won’t want the attention. People like her are rare so she deserves a little shout out for being the embodiment of Proverbs 27:17:
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
So then, this little confessional blog post is an encouragement to you to make sure you are finding your identity and purpose in the right things. I hadn’t been, as much as I wanted to. My number one identity should be that of a follower of Jesus and it should be clear by the way I live. The Lord has been working in my heart lately about this and it was cemented this week when my humble friend taught me a valuable lesson. Thanks girl! You have no idea how much it helped me.