Finding our Identity
I was busy. Too busy. Working while in school, three kids going ten different directions, a recent move to a new state and my pastor/ husband meeting and greeting as we tried to find our footing. Makes me tired just thinking about it! This pace of life wasn’t anything new; this was our life. A continuation of the life we had at our last church and I understood this was for a season. I was sure things would change when the kids grew up, and we completed grad school.
It was in this setting that my husband was planning a mission trip to Mexico. No problem, I got the kids. Plans were set but in God’s infinite sense of humor Rob got sick the day before the trip. Since it had already paid in full, the church asked if I would be willing to take his place. “No worries,” they said, “we will take good care of them.” Assured all would be well without me I quickly packed my bags and nervously headed out.
I was a few hours into the trip when it hit me. No kids, no husband, no responsibilities except to help out. I was not in charge of anything! If we ran out of supplies or got lost it wasn’t my problem to fix! I took a deep breath. Wow. When was the last time I was just Michelle? Not my kid’s mom or the pastor’s wife but just…me? I couldn’t remember. I’m so used to being responsible and in charge or at the very least identified by my role to someone else. I took another deep breath; I could feel my muscles relaxing. Perhaps there was a reason the Lord allowed Rob to get sick at the last minute. Maybe I needed this more than I realized.
The trip was hard work, sweaty and blissful. The week flew by as some of the ladies would stop by my room in the evenings just to visit. We would laugh till we hurt, and I remembered I was funny. We would cry together, and I remembered I was compassionate. We would problem solve, and I was clever. When had I forgotten this about myself? I loved being a wife and mother. I embraced being a pastor’s wife and a counselor. I was living an abundant life, and yet somehow I had lost my way. That week in Mexico reminded me that I am so much more than the roles I play. I am a beautiful child of God created with my own unique set of talents and abilities from the Lord. Given to bless and serve others. I felt renewed with a new sense of purpose.
Upon returning home, I learned what I didn’t know. Rob’s sickness had turned into pneumonia while I was on my trip and had become completely bedridden, relying on our youngest daughter to bring him food and hugs. The church had done a great job bringing meals, and our kids were old enough to fend for themselves, so there was no permanent harm done. Imagine my surprise though when my oldest daughter greeted me with bright blue hair followed by our son sporting a two-inch high mohawk! In his weakened state he explained the kids took advantage of him once they realized his ‘no’ button was broken! We laughed till we cried. I didn’t mind; the color would fade, and a pair of clippers would soon fix our son. All was well with the world; I was rejuvenated.
There is a book I have used for years for spiritual discipleship by Robert McGee called, “Search for Significance.” The book addresses who we are in Christ. In his workbook he reminds us that we are “deeply loved (Col 3:12), completely forgiven (Col 1:22, 3:13), fully pleasing (Eph 5:29), totally accepted by God (Eph 1:4-6, Rom 14:3, 15:7) and absolutely complete in Christ (2 Cor 1:22)” (113). Take a moment to breathe in those words, ladies. Our identity doesn’t come from the roles we play but from our Father, who loves us. It is in our busyness that we take our eyes off of Christ and lose sight of how he made us special, complete, and loved.
When we accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, we were redeemed (justified) from our sins and became a new creation. Therein lies our identity; not in relationship to others but in our relationship to Christ. We are daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Eph 5:1). We have been adopted into God’s forever family (Gal 3:29, 4:5, 7, 31). We can cry “Abba Father” which means Daddy (Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6). Christ cherishes us (Eph 5:29). We are God’s treasured possession (Eph 1:14), and we are the dwelling in which the Spirit of God resides (Eph 2:22).
Do you hear it? Soak it in. Ladies these are just a taste of the verses that reveal our identity in Christ. Meditate on them. Remember you are treasured by the Creator of the universe as you wash yet another dish and fold another load of laundry. What we do matters to the King of Kings and we can only keep from getting lost in our busyness when we remember whose we are. I know it is a struggle, but I encourage you to set aside some time today just to be still and feel the great love of your Daddy for you, his precious daughter.
You are cherished.
You are precious.
You are loved.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV) Read more…