I remember the moment with a mixture of pride-filled validation as well as shame.
I had just arrived back at school after a morning pre-Kindergarten field trip with my five-year-old son. As the children were set loose on the playground to let out their wiggles, one of my son’s sweet classmates cuddled up against my leg and reached out and grabbed hold of my hand. Seeing this, my son came tearing across the playground screaming, “She’s not yours! She’s MINE!!” Flash-forward to the present when that same son, now a teenager, would probably rather his friends not even know I’m his mom. It’s no small wonder many mothers experience identity crises as their children grow up.
Lately I do feel a bit like a stranger in my own body. The pandemic, the political unrest, and the barrage of bad news and cancellations have all knocked me so far out of my comfort zone that I can’t even remember how a comfort zone feels. The question that keeps circling in my mind asks, “Where did last year go? And what will this year bring?”
When routines and rituals are stripped away, we are forced to face the most basic truths about who we are and what is most important to us.
Periods of uncertainty can rock us to our core and make us question ourselves, our faith, our leaders, and the very lens through which we view the world around us. Where do we turn for grounding? What do we lean on for stability? What is the truth? Furthermore, who even are we?
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So, if I am no longer doing so many of the things that I feel defined me, has it changed who I really am? In other words, are we what we do? Or do we tend to do the things that we inherently are?
This is what I know to be true about myself: I am saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. My Heavenly Father loves me and calls me His own. I love my God and my Savior.
And honestly, that is enough.
This does not mean I will always feel super content and at peace. Honestly, right now I struggle to feel either. In response, I choose to do the following: I remind myself of the promises God has made to me, and of the reassurances Scripture provides. I reflect on all the lessons He has taught me through the course of my lifetime. I remember the stories of the faithful ones around me, and how God provided for them and proved Himself trustworthy time and time again. I spend more time in prayer and in the Word of God.
I serve a faithful God. Sometimes me faithfully serving Him looks simply like trust and a whole lot of patience. Sometimes He removes comfort and familiarity in my life to drive me more fully into His arms. Sometimes He asks me to simply be still and learn, because He is preparing me for what He’s doing next.
I choose to lean into life’s uncertainty with the certainty of who God is, and whose I am.
I pray I never doubt for a second, regardless of all the other questions that may plague me, that Jesus is running towards me screaming, “You’re MINE!”
I believe He is running towards you, too.
Rest not in what you do or who you think you are, but instead rest in who He is, and in the knowledge that you belong to Him.