This article was originally published at: http://www.morelikemomma.com
There are many things, like acne, I thought would be non – existent by age 30. I also thought I would feel certain of who I was and never question my worth or purpose. However, I am finding that regardless of age, questions about our identity can spring up as unwelcome as roaches that sneak in during a rainstorm.
Last September, I got married and moved five hours away from a place where I was heavily invested in my local church and community. I left a body of believers where I was deeply known and loved. Moving away and discovering my place in a new city felt like trying to walk with a missing leg…awkward at best.
I was elated to be married to my incredible husband. However, I frequently wondered “what am I doing here?” For the previous 10 years, I had always known “what I was doing.” I was a student, professional , church planter, children’s pastor, community volunteer, and added to my resume every year a tangible list of accomplishments and achievements.
During our engagement I asked God what He had for me to do in the next season of life and I heard:
- Invest in our marriage
- Make our house into a home where many could enter.
I was thrilled and terrified in the same moment.
I had dreamed of being married and creating a home together, without any kind of pressure to earn an income.
I was also terrified…. “really God?” I asked repeatedly…” is that ALL you want me to do? But I have a masters degree, I have dreams and I am a doer, a get it done kind of girl!!!!!!
I decided to obey what I didn’t understand. For the first months of our marriage I spent investing in our relationship, while renovating our home. I slept 8 hours every night, for the first time in over a decade. My body returned to a healthy weight, because I sat down for meals instead of throwing food in my mouth, on my way to the next “thing.”
Although it was obvious God had given time and space for my body to rest and our marriage to flourish, I still dreaded meeting new people because of the inevitable question, “what do you do?”
“Ummmm….I’m a wife” I would uncomfortably answer.
“Oh? And….” The curious stranger would cock their head waiting to hear what my “real” job was…
“Well, I’m a wife… that’s my job…” I would hesitantly re-state, wondering if I should have called myself a “domestic engineer” and left the conversation before they could ask for details.
Why can’t I unashamedly answer that question I wondered? I was being obedient to God’s boundary lines for the season, but the accuser would weekly assail me with questions:
“Am I valuable?” “Am I important?” “Am I enough?”
I realized God was allowing a stripping of things: jobs, degrees, church leadership, and relationships, to reveal that I had found value in those things. He wanted to draw my heart nearer to the Him – because He alone can tell me who I am and give me value.
When I live with my identity based solely on this simple truth: I am God’s child – my questions can always be answered:
Who am I? I am a child of God.
What do I have to offer? Me. my sense of humor, perspective, thoughts, ideas and questions along with my passions and dreams.
Why am I valueable? Because I am His child.
My jobs, degrees, volunteer work and relationships weren’t bad things. They represented seasons where I grew, changed, contributed and found sweet friendships. But roles, positions and achievements cannot be the foundation on which I determine my value.
My value is determined by my Father, God. I rest secure because as His child I am valuable not for what I do but for who I belong too.