When You’re Not Who You Thought You Were #UNITE


When my brother and I payed for Ancestry.com’s DNA test for our father, we never imagined the shock that would come to us.

My grandmother came straight from Norway, and yet, she went to the grave boasting that she was 100% Scandinavian.

Little did she know….that was a lie.

In fact, test results came back that she was more Irish, than Norwegian.

And I find it interesting how we can believe we are somebody, from someplace, but never really know who we are until we check whose blood it is…

Running through our veins.

So, when a Celtic expert came to the local library, I had to go hear her…had to go relearn who I was, from the perspective of the Irish.

My people, I was beginning to realize, were more than farmers in Bergen, family who came over on a ship from Norway.

“They were fighters”, the Irish lady speaking goes on to tell us. “The men were dangerous, but the women? They were most fierce.”

And that resonated in my ears.

I mean, I knew I wasn’t quite like my peace-loving, English Mother, who was all about live and let live, grace and hospitality.

I was a warrior from the first day I came screaming from her uterus.

I would rather play soldier from the time I was in Elementary School, than be some damsel in distress while playing with my older brother.

And, when an Irish and Latino marry, you can only guess what might happen.

Still, I have learned wielding a sword can be effective. The weak can lie down and die, but something in my fiery green eyes would do anything to stop it.

As believers in Christ, what does it mean to live like Jesus, and yet be gentle and kind, not railroading in this life or caving into apathy?

“They would rather die, than not be free.” The Celtic speaker at the library shares willingly. Those words, cut through me…

file000426815026Freedom or death. Something about that sounded beautiful to my ears.

That’s exactly what I have thought, but never knew how to put into words.

In fact, on my Facebook my quote says, “To live without belief is a fate more terrible than dying.” ~  Joan of Arc

And I have always admired this woman who went into the war, didn’t hold back in fear, quietly embroidering goods, on the sidelines, for the soldiers.

Joan of Arc was a woman anointed to fight, leading the charge, and being a voice of truth and reconciliation.

In a spiritual war, it’s easy to live invisible and passive, expecting someone else to be bold, us enjoying the benefit of their work.

But what about Deborah, the judge, in the Bible who led the charge into battle? 

Silence wasn’t her destiny, and passivity would not have honored God as much as her living out fully her identity, walking in the call placed on her, by the Lord himself.

And oh, how I can relate to this fight against discrimination, injustice, for the orphan, and even over creationism, which started with my evolutionist pressing science professor who battled me in front of the entire class.

I wasn’t made for tea parties, silent side lines, letting my life alone be the sole reflection of Jesus life in and through me….

And me just smiling and nodding.

I would rather die than live bound by legalism, laws, rules, and false notions leading to a life-time of bondage and someone else’s notion of supposed purpose….

I have known slavery and I will never return to it, ever again. As children of freedom, His death paid for our full liberty in every way.

“The Celtics also warred together. The women weren’t weak and helpless, but an asset to their husbands.” The speaker continued.

“Women and men would fight back-to-back. Their swords extended. Husband and wife….Because who has your back more than your spouse?” She elaborated.

And I think about our adventures, my husband and I; parenting, foster children, China, visiting orphanages, having home groups together all these years….

And how, nothing can stop us when our backs are up against each other.file00070601870

And how we have truly learned, two are better than one. If one of us falls, the other will lift up their companion. (Ecc. 4:9-10)

And here we stand twenty-five years later, stronger, more in love and tenacity for this mission He has called us to, than ever.

And oh, how we can run from our identity, or more tragic of all….never really know it.

We can fight to be one person, not ever realizing the entire time, we were someone completely different.

And I don’t want to go back to speaking Norwegian prayers, never hearing about my Irish blood flowing through my veins.

I find it funny how we can believe we are somebody, from someplace, but never really know who we are until we check whose blood it is…

Running through our veins.

Sisters and brothers, it’s time for us rise, know who we are in Christ, and live life tenacious, fighting for the life He died for….

The world has enough crocheters. Let’s hold our heads up high, stand tall, backs together with the ones we love and fight.


Welcome to UNITE. UNITE is an all-inclusive, NO RULES Blog hop!  Please join us, by adding a post below….

And then, would you mind, as a courtesy, linking back to UNITE in some way; maybe on Facebook, Twitter, through Instagram or some other form of social media?

Thanks for being a part of UNITE! Enjoy the link up and all the incredible posts added!

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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. You can find her writing, overlooking her property, advocating for the orphan domestically and internationally, & making memories with her husband of 24 yrs.
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Popping the Christian Bubble #UNITE
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  1. Your post gave me so much to think about Jen. I denied my identity for many years as I strayed from my Christian upbringing and went my own way. I’m grateful that Jesus never let me go.
    Thank you for sharing and for the link party.

  2. I get this. I’m a fighter and have always known it. Not surprising that I’m a redhead with green eyes and Irish😂 It took me years to understand how God created me and for what purpose. Learning to use my “fight” in the right way was a process.🙄😉 My passion is God and His Word and now I know better how to enter in to the ring of life fighting for the right reasons. Great post! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

  3. Thanks for this good word and for the linkup! Jen d’Arc :) , keep fighting the good fight! May the Lord give you victory as you fight for Him.