"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We all have numerous identities. The farmer, the banker, the doctor. The dad, the son, the sister, brother, etc.
I have had many identities in my life. In high school and bible school I was coach’s daughter and some others I won’t share ;-). Then I was Brian’s wife-the wife of a dairy farmer. I became Cybil’s mom, and then lots of babies’ moms! I was numerous things in the Willmar Mothers of Preschoolers group and at church, one of the well-known was the “organizer”. Then we of course became the (big family) missionaries who went to Africa. Throughout all this time, I was the mom of (4,5..8) who home schools and seems to be able to do it all with ease.
About 6 years ago, my identities were rocked, and rocked hard. Sure they had changed (single to married, working to staying at home), but then they were hit hard. Hard at was I who everyone (including myself) thought I was? Or at least perceived to be? And I am just now understanding what that rocking was.
I am a mom; that is who I am, what I do…and I didn’t (and still don’t always) see myself doing a very good job anymore.
I was a missionary, but now-well, I am back.
I have become the mother of Brian’s children, more than Brian’s wife.
What else do I have? Who am I? Am I anything else? Why is my identity tied to what I DO more than who I AM? Why do I judge who I AM based on how I am DOING it?
All I know is that I had/have begun to believe the lie that I am no longer doing a very good job at any of them. Based on what? On
the kids’ behavior? On my feelings? On the fact that I am where I am (physically) today.
Logically I know I am more than what my feelings will allow-I am. so. left. brained. My emotions do not connect to my knowledge a lot of the times. I rely on my logic so much, why should my feelings matter? Fake it till you make it, right? But there seems to be this aspect of feeling that is buried so deep, that the lies are believed there maybe. I have no problem believing something on the head level, but is my faith and trust truly behind it if I am not “feeling” it?
Yes, I know my identity in Christ. I am a daughter of the King, and I don’t want to discount that (logically). That is true but that is a whole other side that feels as if it has been rocked. I believed and followed through at a high cost, and whether just perceived or not, I feel my identity has changed in other’s eyes because of that too. Like that should matter, I know; but it does.
Because my children are seemingly my “it” right now-every function of life seems to revolve around them-what they do (it feels somewhere down deep) reflects on me. I have these standards and expectations for them that are mostly unrealistic. Standards for them that I don’t always hold to myself.
Grace. For whatever reason, my grace card with them isn’t very high, even for the littlest of mistakes (3+3=7). Stupid mistakes bother me with them and the sarcasm comes out (Really? 3+3=7? That’s what you learned 2 years ago in math?). Yet if I do something stupid like forget to subtract a check in the checkbook I just say “oops, forgot that one.”
How do I change this? Because I will always be their mom. This is where I have to choose to “walk out” my identity in Christ, but again that feels tattered still too. There is no intimacy, oftentimes I am only hanging on to the logic of it all. And I think that is enough, but it’s not all it is suppose to be. I am not looking for another thing to do to make myself a new identity either. I don’t want to start some new project so I can then be associated with that.
So without being too “Christian-eaze”, how do you deal with your identities-in Christ, as a mom, as a teacher/doctor/worker? How do you separate them? What do you do when you don’t feel you are doing one of them very well? When you struggle with the grace needed to do and be each of them? When you know that you are more than what you do but it just doesn’t feel like it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is something everyone woman goes through - not just you. What you need to realize is that each of your "identities" is still a part of you - you need to think of yourself as a diamond and each "identity" is a facet of that diamond - some may be more polished than others, but they are a part of what makes you a whole. You will eventually come to be comfortable with all of your identities - but it takes awhile - I'm still working on parts of mine!