I’m no longer in the stage of life where my friends are getting married. I’m in the stage of life where the only thing that out numbers the baby shower invitations piling up on my counter are the number of accidents my puppy is currently having (prayers for patience are much appreciated).
If I’m honest, it can be hard to watch one friend after another become a mom. That’s not because I so desperately want to be a mom, but because there are places in my black heart where I am terrified of babies. I get anxious about the way they seem to consume people’s lives. I am afraid of motherhood.
Why? Because being a mom seems really hard.
I recently realized that I’d given my identity a little bit to my job. Shocker, I know.
It’s honestly hard for me to imagine NOT finding a part of myself in my work. I spend most of my blood, sweat and tears on my job and the natural by-product seems to be that I find my identity there. How does one give everything – all their love and all their heart – to something and not find their identity in that?
I know that ministry is a calling on my life. I know that. So how do I pursue that calling with all I am and not find my identity in that calling?
How do you find your identity in Christ and not in your role as a mom?
Our culture greatly neglects the role of mom’s. They treat the role as unimportant and trivial, but on the other end of the pendulum swing is a danger just as great: the danger of finding our identities in a temporal role. Carolyn McCulley and Wendy Alsup both wrote awesome blogs on motherhood:
My concern is that in circles that rightly value the roles of wife and mother, the discipleship focus for women can be limited to those identities… I do carry no small concern that if we define and disciple women by roles that end in this life, we are missing the greater good.- McCulley
Motherhood is not the greatest good for the Christian woman. Whether you are a mom or not, don’t get caught up in sentimentalism that sets it up as some saintly role. The greatest good is being conformed to the image of Christ.-Alsup
What does it look like to be a Christian and a mom?
One of the best parts about my life right now is that I get to spend a lot of time with some mom’s who refuse to find their worth in their role as a mom. They make me believe in the glory to be had for the Father through the life of a mom who puts God above all. I’m so thankful. It’s not a small thing to be a means of building faith in a heart as hard as mine.
I’m kind of in love with the moms I have in my head as I write this.
They fight the good fight. They see their kids as tools of sanctification and means of grace and opportunities to disciple. They love them unashamedly with a force that would make the world tremble but with a love that is a shadow of the way they love their Father.
They exploit their time and the opportunities they have because of their role as a mom for the kingdom of God. And they haven’t arrived. And they’re not fully sanctified, but they are fighting the good fight.
They repent and rest.
They believe that they will love their kids more and not less when they find their identity in Christ alone.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus has modeled for us?
God loves us without need. He loves us without insecurity. He finds no part of His worth or value in us or our success or our love or our holiness. And He loves us recklessly and radically, not in spite of the fact that we don’t add to His worth, but because we don’t add to his worth.
With tears running down my cheeks on Tuesday I told some of these mom’s how thankful I am for their lives. I could barely hold it together as I shared with them how moved I was by their humility and grace; how shaken I was by the very real way they modeled for me that it is possible to be a mom and find your worth in Jesus alone.
One of them looked at me – head tilted with a puzzled expression on her face. Looking around the room, with all sincerity she said:
‘I can’t imagine being a mom if you didn’t find your worth in Christ alone!
It would be impossible!’
Women like that will be used to ensure the perseverance of the next generation.
I mean that with all of my heart.
P.S. Shout out to my mom. So thankful for her. Thankful for her tireless energy. Thankful for all she has taught me: give yourself to what you believe in, never stop growing, never think you’ve arrived, love books and learning, love people, give without fear. May I grow in my ability to do those things with as much energy as she does. love you mom.