Firmly Rooted

It’s interesting to me how easily our identities can be gobbled up by motherhood and pursuit of it. I have friends who have lost all sense of “self” because they have so wholeheartedly devoted themselves to being a mom. They take a step back years down the road and have no earthly clue who they are anymore. And then myself…I have devoted so many years, so much energy, money, time, emotion, tears and prayers into becoming a mom. And when I took a step back I realized that somewhere along the way, I too had lost a sense of who I am

For a long while, I felt like a mangled mess sitting in the aftermath of an infertility tornado that had cleared a path straight through my identity. Infertility chewed me up and spit me out. The aftermath of that destruction had become a place of isolation and loneliness and I found myself sitting among the rubble trying to figure out which way was up.

The hardest part of that aftermath was I feeling like such an outsider. A misfit. I would look around and all I saw were people doing something different than I was doing. It made me deeply uncomfortable to not align with the world around me. I mean, I’ve always fit in. Ever since I was a child, I have always done the same things as my friends, gone with the flow, been in the same life stage as my peer group. I’ve blended in quite well until recently.

My inability to blend in anymore made me realize just how much I’ve looked to the world around me for validation. I looked to friends, family, Facebook, bloggers, church, women in line at Target, people on TV, other photographers and society for acceptance. I drew a huge amount of affirmation from the infertility community, but after a while I started feeling like an outsider even there. I have sought after affirmation, approval and my identity from the world for far too long. Is it any wonder I felt lonely and lost when I kept looking for validation in invalid places? 

God in His grace and goodness, gently reminded me that I need to stop looking at the world, and start looking to Him for my identity.

Christ is the Beginning and End, my Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and my Complete Joy. He is the Source of all that I am and ever will be. And He has created me to walk a unique path, to live a life that maybe doesn’t look like everyone else’s. And you know what? I’m learning to not only embrace this truth, but give myself permission to get excited about it. Instead of feeling self conscious about my inability to blend in anymore with the world around me, I’m reveling in my ability to break away from the patterns of this world and follow a path of discovering who I am in the Lord. Maybe it sounds a bit cliche, but honestly few things seem as important to me these days as having an identity that is firmly rooted in Jesus.

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