Thursday, March 31, 2011

Identity Crisis 101

The past couple months have taxed me. Not so much physically (although this pregnancy has certainly taken its toll) but more in a psychological/emotional way. Its been a bit of a process of redefining who I thought I was.

A lot of my "identity" and I believe self-worth has been wrapped up in who I thought I was.
I was a capable homeschooling mom of five. I prided myself on being able to juggle the demands of toddlers and grade schoolers and a husband who travels. Sure, there are days that I want to pull my hair out, but for the most part, I had it down and I truly loved my life with all my little ducks at home. I don't know that I really loved teaching, but I loved having my kids at home. I loved being the one to see the lights go on when they learned things and being the primary influence in their lives and education. When we had to enroll the kids in school in January largely because of my health issues, I was devastated. I thought that's who I was! I was a homeschooling mom! What now?

Ill be honest that there are still days I cry when C leaves with them in the morning to drop them off at school. Its not how I want it to be. I want them under my wing during these vulnerable years and its really torn me up to not be able to do everything I always thought I could....and should be able to do.

"Who am I now?" Ive found myself asking.

And then there's the natural child birthing soapbox I've been prone to stepping on. I've had incredible birth experiences. I've done my research. I've taken countless hours of natural childbirth classes and seminars. I've birthed babies naturally in a third world country with sub-par care. I love assisting births as a doula. Ive helped with births in hospitals...and in cars on the side of the road. Im fascinated by birthing! C laughs at me as he reads for entertainment before bed...Im curled up feverishly highlighting a chapter on vaginal births after C-section. Nice, light reading....you know?
I thought I'd found rational solutions to every possible complication that can arise during a delivery.
...and the my heart condition was diagnosed and Im looking at the likely necessity of an early induction of a possible pre-mature baby and my options for doing it my way being stripped away. What now? That's what I do!

So who am I now?

I dont think I am wrong for wanting to homeschool. Its not an unhealthy aspiration. My child birthing background has opened doors for ministering and assisting other new moms. There's nothing wrong with that, but.....

But when your passions become your driving force, then it's out of balance! When anything but God himself is the source of your identity then it's idolatry!
Whoa!
That's scary stuff that He takes very seriously! Idolatry is anything that takes the place of God in your life. When the God-given dreams, interests and desires are fueled by your own strength, as mine have sadly been at times, then effectiveness is minimal! It has been pride for me. Ugly, pride that Ive believed my success as a mom...or as a childbirth educator....or as a wife....or as a doula, rose and fell on my ability to perform and do it right. Meaning, to do it how I thought was right! Just because I could do it, doesn't mean it is bringing glory to Him! Ive been striving.
Striving!
Striving for perfection, for achievement, for identity.

So who am I now?

Its been a process. A long process, but Im finding myself strangely at peace with things that haven't turned out how I thought they would. Theres a freedom in not needing to be perfect. God knows, I never was, but I sure felt bound to my ideals that kept me striving after an unrealistic view of what makes a good mom.  My impact as a mother on the lives of my precious children is going to be intimately related in the true source of which I find my identity in.

Its the classroom God has me in. So grateful for His patience with me because Im a sloooow learner sometimes!
Im redefining. Re-prioritizing. Repenting. Reassessing.
.....Relieved!

8 comments:

Donna said...

Well, whoever you are is wonderful...as a mother, teacher, doula...or anything else you put your mind to! You are great at it all!
This was a good post for me though....things taking the place of God...even troubles getting in the way sometimes....losing sight of the prize. Thanks for a thought provoking post!

The Smith's said...

Thank you for this reminder and your example of wanting to be who GOD wants you to be in this season. So hard to reprioritize our thoughts and actions sometimes!

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing your heart sweet friend. love you!

Crystal... said...

Good words to remember.. Thank you!!!! I have been struggling with this (and still am I guess) a lot this year. Thanks for your words of encouragement.. YES God is in control and I am HIS.. I may not be who I want to be.. but I am who God has created me to be... Still in the process of having this sink in.. but getting there.. HUGS and thanks again!!!!

Rebecca said...

It's Plan B, my friend...and GOD knew it all along. You, as always, handle is with such grace. Know you are prayed for often as you learn to live and find yourself living within Plan B.

C~ said...

Wow, girlie. I can totally relate to this journey. How gracious He is not to leave us in the state we are in but move us to another level, to deeper place of understanding who we are in His eyes. Love you. Praying for your heart!

birthinukraine said...

funny, i have gone through the same identity crisis! . . . different details, but definitely relate :) motherhood is such a means to transform us into Christlikeness, huh?

taylor said...

what a sweet post. thank you for your honesty- its so refreshing to read what others are learning!!!

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