Today, Linda Tang is guest posting on my blog and is also my guest on Moms Together. Her core message is identity, especially when it concerns the transition from career to motherhood. Oh how we need God to remind us who we are… and… who we are not.
It wasn’t which mommy group to join, or how to get my baby to sleep through the night. The question was…
Who am I? Where did I go?
I was so grateful for God blessing me with children, but deep inside… I still wanted to hang on to my career.
If you’ve ever thrown a pity party around the loss of your identity… welcome. Honestly, I became the perfect hostess for this kind of gathering… but it’s a party that I realized wasn’t really worth attending.
Hebrews 12:1 says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
The race marked out for us is not a race that happens haphazardly or by our own doing. You see, God is in control of where we are heading. Your course – my course – is God’s path and purposeful direction for us. And on that path, He constructs and builds our identity based on His perspective and principles for our lives… even within our “mommy” roles.
Our jobs, talents and passions have everything to do with who we are, but they do not define who we are. This was a big distinction that I needed to learn!
Maybe you, too?
I’d made the mistake of thinking that my career gave life to my identity… and so when the career was gone, I felt gone.
What I really needed was to look to God for the identity that I thought had been lost.
But God had me, and over time and through the process of parenting, He has revealed to me who I am in very unexpected ways.
The gifts and talents I sorely missed using were still there! They were just being channeled in different ways. How?
- Through creative interplay with my children
- By volunteering in my children’s classrooms each week
- By putting my PR skills to use in their school (God led us to a wonderful parent-participation magnet school)
- Through leadership at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)
- By taking my writing in a new direction
God showed me that my identity didn’t disappear… He just re-defined and re-positioned it.
The same is true for you.
So if you are a guest at the identity-loss party, may I suggest a few ways to exit?
1) Pray and ask God to show you the kind of woman/mom He is molding you to become (my guess is it is somewhere in the ballpark of His likeness.)
While you are in the process of shaping your children and influencing the person they will become, God is in the process of shaping you. It’s an effective trickle-down theory! “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
2) Journal your struggles. Whether the challenges are personality traits that you want to see refined or passions you want to pursue… get them down on paper where your handwriting gives voice and life to those desires.
3) Consider your passions. If you are no longer doing what you love, is there space in your life to pursue your interests in some other capacity (i.e., Church, a particular ministry, part-time job opportunity)? Maybe at school/volunteering or an at-home business/consulting situation?
God designed you and your strengths…so pray over them and for His timing in opening doors and presenting you with opportunities to use them. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
When we put God first and spend time in His presence, our desires align with His desires for us.
4) Recognize that you are where you are supposed to be right now, but also anticipate what God has for you this day. God has called you to where you are now, and your identity is not rooted in a role or position… but in child of God.
That title can mean a lot of different things that we don’t always consider. We often put ourselves, our time and talents into a box. But God is not an in-the-box kind of God. So be open to His guidance, and the doors right in front of you that you’ve not yet considered. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
And remember, you have an identity and path that is uniquely yours. And your identity has everything to do with how God is shaping and molding you on your mom-journey.
So when we look to Him for guidance… truth… value… and meaning, we’ll no longer find ourselves at the “identity-loss” party. Instead, we will be at the party with the One who celebrates who He created us to be.
And that’s a party that shouldn’t be missed.
©2013 Carey Scott, Linda Tang