Perusing the blogs in my feed reader this morning, I was reading Motherhood Mondays: What If You Can’t Have a Baby? and this line caught my eye. And actually, in a lot of ways, has very little to do with motherhood and babies, but so much to do with our everyday lives.
“If you’re seeking wholeness from another person—looking to your child or spouse or job—then when you encounter challenges in that relationship, you’re going to feel threatened. Your worth and identity as a wife/mother/business owner will be sucked in to every bad mood, tone of voice, stressful moment, etc.” – Mara Kofoed writing for A Cup of Jo on Motherhood Mondays
I think this is something a lot of people struggle with. I know I have struggled with it. I always caught my identity up in being the best at whatever it was I was striving for. Because if I wasn’t the best, I was meaningless. And if I failed, it wasn’t just a failure or a setback, it meant that I was a failure, that that failure defined me. I was defined by what I did and if those things weren’t the exact right things, I was worthless.
But how wrong I was. Life is changing all the time. And the thing we do today, might not be the thing we do tomorrow. You can be so many things and you can lose those things in an instant. Life circumstances change and suddenly, you have no job by which you defined yourself. People leave you or die and suddenly, you can’t be defined by who you are with them anymore. And your whole world can shatter in a instant, because you’ve defined yourself around something that you can never be sure is permanent. That sounds morbid and grim, but it’s true. One day can change your life forever or it can be completely ordinary and you don’t wake up knowing which is which.
I have only one thing in my life that is guaranteed to be permanent and never changing and that is my identity in Christ. I will always be special and cherished and loved by Him. There is never a point where I can mess up so much that He will stop loving me. I can never fail so bad that He will turn His back on me. That’s completely and totally reassuring to me. I used to wonder how God could possibly love someone like me, now I just rest in His amazing grace, assured of His continual love for me, no matter what I do. There is always forgiveness.
So now, I try to be the best wife and the best mother and the best daughter and the best everything else I do that I can be. But I no longer feel the need to be the best of all those things that there ever was. I am worth something even when I am not the best in the whole wide world. I am worth something even when I fail. And that is such a freeing realization that I had a while back. Stake your identity in the permanent, unchanging rock, not in the external trappings of this world. I know it’s hard not to get caught up in those things, but you are far too valuable to be just put in that kind of box, to be just that person. You are worth someone just as you, plain and simple, because the King of Kings thinks you are.