What is your identity? Who are you? What makes you, you?
Venturing into the journey of motherhood can leave us divorced from the woman we once were. Slowly, though rarely with intention, our “self” gets buried somewhere. Somewhere underneath the laundry, the diapers, the pick-ups and drop-offs, we lose our self. We think back to our pre-children selves like the way we’d remember an old friend; Oh yea, whatever happened to that girl? She was cool. I miss her.
Why do we do this?
Maybe it’s because of the lack of sleep, or the abyss of confusion that we get propelled into, wondering constantly if we are even doing this motherhood thing right. Or, maybe it’s the drastic overnight change from being completely independent, to being the primary provider for tiny humans that pretty much can’t do anything by themselves. And amidst all of this extra stuff, rather than cultivating various aspects of ourselves, we opt for sleep, or a shower, or drinking a cup of coffee while it’s actually hot.
Perhaps for you, you’ve lost yourself somewhat accidentally along the way.
Or maybe for you, you’ve been misguided by well-meaning people who have assured you that this, this new title you’ve been given is your new identity; a mother is who you are. And so, just like with any good thing, you’ve placed the sum of your being in it, defined yourself by it, and continue to pour yourself out completely onto your children. While it’s true, you are a mother, that isn’t all that you are.
Saying motherhood is my identity is like saying “Space Mountain” is Disneyland, and using those two terms interchangeably. Sure, Space Mountain is one aspect of Disneyland, but it doesn’t fully encompass it.
Similarly so, our identity is multi-faceted and can’t be fully encompassed by one role we play.
Our identity is fraught with passions and skills and gifts and interests. It’s enriched by roles like friend, mentor, wife, and mother. It’s a life-long journey of being shaped and reshaped, broken and redeemed and coming through fires we didn’t think we’d make it through. It was crafted in the innermost place of Holy, set apart, made to produce reverence and reflect the very image of the Divine. It’s made up of inner-wirings and things that make us hum happy tunes, and it’s built with gravitational pulls toward certain things and experiences. It’s all of this. All of these components mixed together uniquely and specifically to make up who you are.
Motherhood is not your identity. It’s simply one beautiful, amazing, challenging aspect of it.
But, discovering and cultivating that identity can be a struggle. It can feel selfish, inconvenient and irresponsible when little lives are so dependent on us.
So, what’s a girl to do?
I guess what I’ve learned along the way is that the journey of discovering your identity is worth the risk. Allowing yourself precious time with the Lord, so that He can reveal to you who He made you to be, is the paradoxical way to more life. It will come back to you ten-fold, because it’s in this place of being led by our Creator on a journey of discovery that we truly begin to come alive. And along with this awakening comes an enhancement and enrichment in our children’s lives, our marriage, our friendships, and our intimacy with God.
“Identity: A Soul Journey” is a 7-week workbook & video teaching study that leads women on a journey of discovering their unique and specific identity created and given by God. If you’ve struggled with placing the entirety of yourself in your role as a mother, or if you’ve wrestled with a false identity, or if you’ve never really taken the time to get to know yourself, then join us. Join us on this soul-journey of discovering the unique you God made you to be.