As a young mom I sat with my six-month old daughter, in the parking lot of Friendly’s.
Inside the restaurant my husband and friends celebrated a birthday. When we planned the evening, I knew it would be pushing it to bring the baby along, but we didn’t have money for a sitter, and I hoped it would be okay.
But it wasn’t.
The waitress brought our menus, and the baby began to stir. I put my pinky in her mouth to see if she would drift back off to sleep. That worked for a little bit, and I ordered my meal. But sometime between placing my order and it arriving, the baby decided that enough was enough.
Nothing worked. Not my finger, not a pacifier, nothing. Walking, patting, jiggling, burping … nothing worked. She needed what only I could give her, and she began to let everyone know it. I could’ve nursed her right there in Friendly’s, but it would have made the non-dads around our table uncomfortable. Call me cowardly, but I packed up our stuff and headed out to the car.
While my friends celebrated inside, I nursed the baby and wrestled with God and asked this age-old question …
“Who am I?”
I felt unknown. We had left NC where I had been running with my circle of friends for years. They knew my family history, my degrees, my accomplishments. Now Bill and I were in MA where all of that meant nothing.
I felt alone. Although I had friends, I was the only mom in the bunch. Getting out and going was just too exhausting, too hard, too much. I felt alone … isolated.
And I felt uprooted. Labels I had used to define myself no longer applied. I wasn’t a graduate student, or a camp counselor, or much of anything, it seemed. I felt uprooted.
Several years before, I had said that more than anything I wanted to be a wife and mom, but now that I was living the dream, I wondered, “Who am I, really?”
This kicked me off on what has now been a 20-year quest to root my identity in Christ. Between nursing the baby, folding laundry, and planning meals, I dug into the Bible. Rather than look at …
- my family,
- my friends,
- my feats, or
- my failures
to discover who I am, I began to search the Bible to see who God says that I am.
I’ve found that these identity questions tend to surface during seasons of transition. This searching was kicked off for me as I transitioned into motherhood. Are you in a season of transition right now? Into the marketplace, marriage, or motherhood? As things are “shifty” around you, are you asking questions like, “Who am I, really?” What scripture or Biblical truths have you found to be helpful as you wrestle with identity question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment below so that others can join in the conversation, or connect with me on Facebook.
Come back on Wednesday and we’ll dig in deeper. I’ll share words that God sang over me, and wants to sing over you as well as I learned how to root my identity in Christ.