Just As I Am: Five Minute Friday

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Photo Credit: Jim Morefield Flickr via Compfight cc

 

This is such a fitting word for someone going through the existential journey I have been on for the past couple of months. Because identity and purpose have been heavy on my mind lately; who I am and how I define myself.  Because I live in a culture that focuses so much on what I do as the definition of who I am.

When you are a parent who primarily stays at home and doesn’t have much else to show for her day than piles of dishes and laundry, defining myself by my accomplishments isn’t very appealing. I don’t produce much in the way of product because most of the tasks in my life are perpetual. Dishes will be used and washed, clothes worn, meals eaten faster than they are prepared.  Much of the rest is immeasurable. I cannot quantify the hugs I give my children or the discipline and encouragement I dispense (often more of one than the other, depending on the day).

It is easiest to define myself as wife and mother but if I wasn’t those things (or if I suddenly ceased to be those things), I am still someone. I can focus on my identity as author, dancer, creative artist, but again, even if those were stripped away, I am still someone.

As I’ve labored over this concept for the past few months a friend commented to me something that has stuck fast, and I keep returning to it again and again.

“Something that God is teaching me is that my most important ‘job’ in life is not to be ‘productive’, but to love Him. If I never work outside the home again; if all of my life is spent driving children, wiping bums and noses, limiting screen time and folding laundry, I am just as loved and valuable to Him as if I was a globe-trotting evangelist – and that’s what is really important. My value needs to be in what He thinks of me, not how ‘productive’ for the Kingdom I feel.”

I strive to live like I really believe this. That even as I pursue God’s will for my life, investing myself in dreams and desires that I believe he has given to me, I need to be willing to build all of that on the immutable and unchangeable foundation of my identity in Christ. That I am a loved child, a daughter of the king. Nothing I accomplish in my life can make me more worthy of that position in the heart of God than my redemption through the blood of Christ has already made me. It is done, finished. With that comes a beautiful freedom to explore because I cannot fail, not really. Because even if my strivings, godly as they are, come to nothing measurable; I am loved just as I am for who I am.

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3 thoughts on “Just As I Am: Five Minute Friday

  1. Thanks for sharing Bethany! I can totally relate to being defined by one identity…I actually wrote about that for #fmf today as well. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to be narrowly defined by God, but widely identified as His daughter, friend, and beloved one. Happy to be your neighbor today at #fmf!

  2. Found you on FMF (i’m waaaaay at the bottom this week!) and I’m so glad I did. You are singing my song sister!! I left my career to be a SAHM about 13 years ago and I have felt everything you described a million times! You are not alone, sister. Something the Holy Spirit gently reminded me of several years ago was that if the only “product” I create after all these years of hard work is 4 children who grow up to become INCREDIBLE men and women after His own heart–if all the seeds I planted all these years grow into 4 adults who love Him and serve Him that’s a heck of a lot to show for my one, small life. Keep pressing on, sister. What you are doing is big and important and it matters to your Daddy just as much as you do. 💜

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