I get ma'amed a lot.
Drive throughs, random telephone calls, ordering pizza. I dunno what it is, but apparently through communication mediums with strangers when I try to talk polite I sound like a chick. Bummer huh?
But here's the deal. It can bother me. I mean think about it. It is not affirming to a 19 year old guy to get told "Yes ma'am" in all seriousness by a guy who's getting ready to make me a large cheese pizza. It's depressing, its insulting. It makes me feel inadequate, unmanly, and self-conscious.
But why? Why do I choose to let my identity be controlled by people I don't know? Why is my response to something so silly, so serious and drastic?
Here is the thing, instead of feeling self-pity and feeling that I have been wronged, God has been moving my heart. I have been feeling convicted of my fear and feeling of annoyance.
How does my voice affect who I am? How does being called ma'am change who I am inside? How can I be brought to a state of depression by someone making a simple mistake?
My voice can't change me. Getting ma'amed can't change me. My self-consciousness only has the power that I give it.
So what happens now? I get to choose. (You do too.) Do I empower myself to continue in hurting and debilitating my mind?
Nah, that's dumb. It's clearly and empty method when broken down.
So instead I choose to let my identity be a part of something bigger; Jesus. And the even better thing is this falls in line with my nature. Men (and Women) find their identity in who they are told they are. Instead of being told I am a "ma'am" I get to be told that I am loved, redeemed, and being built to do big things.
How much better is that?
Bottom line: My voice is not my identity. I am letting go of my identity, and letting it get wrapped up in something greater than me; Jesus. I now also like swing dancing.