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Updated: Feb 4, 2023

My identity felt jumbled up at this point and I felt like I lost a big part of who I thought I was. My identity has always had question marks written all over it though and the pieces that I thought were me, were now near impossible for me to see clearly.

I had grown up in a home where I felt like my voice wasn’t heard and who I was, wasn‘t seen. I was heavily labeled as “the sensitive one”, blonde, naive, easily offended, the loner, the worry wart, bitter and unforgiving, and the list just went on and on. I felt like I was trapped in the body of a person that I didn't like based on what I was told. Much of my life, I lived in constant fear and was always on my toes not knowing what to expect next. My voice not being heard and put down most of the time. I was anxiety ridden which has unfortunately carried through into my adult life. My body image was one that got constantly picked at and now even more I felt self conscious of it. These things I had struggled and battled with for years and when my identity got even more shook from all of the accident stuff, the tower felt like it was crumbling down.

I had always taken people's words to heart and never really stood up for myself. But now it was different, I had no other choice but to make myself heard and fight for myself like I had never done before. It went against every grain in my body but I knew that if I didn’t do it, no one else could or would. Advocating and pushing back have been one of the most exhausting, challenging and rewarding things that I have had to learn to do throughout this process.

A lot of my identity I took to heart on how my house appeared to others. Now, I was at the mercy of my husband and two little girls to do most of the cleaning. They really tried their best but it was never really up to my standards. The sting of embarrassment on how my house looked, felt like a direct reflection of what type of mom and wife I was, stung hard. It has been something that I still have to exhale over and tell myself to ”let it go.”

When it came time to sell our little yellow house, I came to realize that I poured myself so much into it that I took it on as my identity. I had thrown myself at my house and garden. My heart and soul was stamped throughout it. I know, so silly, but honestly it became an unknowing idol in my life and it was one of the hardest things to sell and leave behind. I had to grieve the loss of it and once it sold, my heart immediately wanted to get out of my hometown that I had called home for almost 30 years.

I had heard from a few friends over the years that once they hit age thirty, they really came into their identity and felt more solid in who they were. I couldn't wait until I hit thirty. I think that parts of me thought once the clock hit midnight, I'd magically all of a sudden have this whole identity thing all in order and finally be able to know who I really was. Chronic pain changes you regardless if you wanted it to or not. I have felt really lost and had so much hope riding on finding the hidden piece to my health, so that I could be the previous car accident Keana again. With the constant let downs, the moments where I had to allow myself to "feel the feels" and then dust myself off and pick myself and keep going and fighting, I felt like pieces of me were getting lost along the way.

Brandon is the most organized guy I know. He always made sure that we had things properly planned out and we prayerfully went through each of our decisions. When it came to move, we couldn't find a place to rent on the island. Brandon had tried on multiple occasions to find a place but they got snatched up right away. He had made a couple of trips to bring some of our belongings over and at one point he phoned me and said, "Would you be okay if I tried for an apartment so that we at least have somewhere to live?" I agreed but we soon found out that there were fifty other people ahead of us on the waitlist. The market was hot and we were trying to move to the island at a time where it was 1% occupancy rate for rentals. We had so much peace and knew that the island was where we were supposed to move and decided to pack up our life and move without a solid place to live. It was a huge stretch in our faith. It felt like we were lunging off a cliff believing that God was going to catch us.

On our way to the island, we stopped in to visit with my sisters. We got the phone call that we had been accepted to live at a Condo, but it wouldn't be available until after the first month from when we arrived. We had already booked ourselves a hotel and lived there for a month until we got the Condo. What an adventure! We were all very grateful to finally be able to settle into our new place and not have to live out of our suitcases!


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