Seasons have a duration of time they live out before we witness the evidences of their sometimes-too-soon change.
We watch spring earth form bulbs and then blooms which grow into a bounty of summer creation, then transition in contrast to autumn tones of beauty which lay below winter white blankets of hibernation.
Seasons must change in order to progress.
As it is with life when we find ourselves transitioning. We live out many stages as time goes on, some of which are planting, waiting, growth, brokenness, and healing. We even have stages of life where we live in the unknown.
Since the birth of my first-born, 10 years ago, I have been a Stay-at-home-Mom. My days consisted of changing diapers, washing dishes, folding laundry and kissing boo-boos. Sweeping crumbs off furniture, floors and petite girly lips.
Last September was the first year both of my daughters where in school full-time. My youngest was entering grade one and she was beyond exuberant and more then ready.
I would be entering our empty home from 9am – 3pm. I wouldn’t have the sound of tiny feet dancing and stomping to rhythmic tunes or the voices of sisters arguing over baby clothes and strollers. I was entering the unfamiliar, a year of uncertainty.
I had a few apprehensions but for the most part I was ready for this, or so I thought.
Several weeks into the school year, I mourned my loss of Monday to Friday daytime laughter with my sweet daughters. I cried, knowing I was closing a chapter and turning a new page. This new beginning in life had started and I felt lost. Tears flowed as I asked God “Now what?”
As summer holidays transformed into the school year, leaves were changing into vibrant colours of honey, scarlet and pumpkin. I, on the other hand, was feeling similar to the withered leaf falling slowly upon the ground, crumbling into pieces.
A large part of my identity was wrapped up in being a Mom. I was familiar with having play dates at parks, baking cookies after lunch, colouring Barbie printouts and organizing life, as I knew it.
Now I wasn’t sure. I felt I was loosing a sense of who I was along with the missing puzzle pieces and Polly pocket shoes.
“Who was I now, if not a stay-at-home Mom?”
Then it hit me like an overstuffed backpack on the first day of school. Wham!
Had I forgotten that my identity isn’t external? Was I putting value in gifts that were only meant to add to my life and not be my life? God was revealing that my value, worth and identity wasn’t in decorating the cutest cupcakes or my inability to sew the most adorable costumes. He was showing me that my significance and importance wasn’t in volunteering for field trips, multiple church ministries or other time consuming hobbies. Nor was it in my lack and shortcomings as a woman, a parent, a wife and a friend.
God was bringing me back to the basics and showing me that my identity is internal.
My identity is IN HIM and FILLED IN HIM alone.
My life is still changing and will continue to season. But I embrace the circumstantial transitions knowing that Jesus will always be my constant.
That is certain.
So no matter what loss or gain is to come, I will choose to remain IN HIM!
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Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:6,7,9,10 emphasis added.)
I need to be reminded of this often sometimes.
My identity is found in Him…and only Him…
Thanks for the reminder Manda (and yay for being featured here! I hope others get to know you and love your writing as much as I do! God has given you a beautiful gift.)
It is a daily reminder that I need… and by His grace, I receive it!
Having lived this same transistion, I can completely understand. In fact, I went back to the classroom the year the younger one started kindergarten. (That experiment lasted one year, and I came back home.) I remember this same transistion song replayed repeatedly throughout the years. When I no longer had one in elementary school… when I no longer had a middle schooler…. When I no longer had a high schooler.
That’s the point where I am now.
Your post this morning spoke very directly and with encouragment to my heart. You have the gift for doing so, as I’ve decovered time after time, Manda.
You are so kind, Debbie… a true gift. I am honored that God has used my words to speak encouragement to you!
Beautiful! I too am going through a time of aloneness at home. Our last of three children has gone off to college this year. We are total empty nesters. It’s at night when my husband is gone doing something that I sit in an empty, quiet house. The tears come… and I realize, I am in another major transition of my life. To realize that my identity is in Him alone and not in being a mom (although He gave me that gift) is refreshing. Thank you for the encouragement to know we will always be transitioning in our lives~ and He holds the key. Hugs
Oh yes, and how that transitioning time is often linked to His sanctification… cry those sweet tears, my friend. Jesus is holding each one, and is with you in those tough hours. Your identity IS IN HIM. And YOU ARE HIS treasure!
I love that he is our constant. I’ve felt that so many times as outward circumstances have changed. Sometimes it takes a while for it to sink in, but then he reminds me again -He hasn’t changed. He is still there. Thanks for sharing these truths and reminding me again. <3
I couldn’t agree more. He always brings us back to the simple truth of His presence and that He has been there all along. Our constant companion! Our solid ground!
Such beautiful words of truth and encouragement, Manda. Thank you for helping us to focus on who we are in Christ instead of the changing roles we have!
I struggle with this, Michelle… finding my identity in what I do and how I do it. But by His grace, Jesus is showing me that my value, worth, and identity are in Him ALONE. It’s in who He is and what He’s done. When I look to anything else, I am unsatisfied.
Great post, a reminder to me to stay rooted in what matters, to find my identity in Him and not be tossed around by change.
Love your blog too!
I love how when we are firmly rooted in Him, season can change, leaves may wither, but our stability remains in a firm ground… Christ our solid rock!
So happy to see you here!
And this is where I’m at, realizing my identity past identity isn’t in accomplishments of my yesterdays or the inabilities of today…it is just HIM! What a beautiful truth!
Past, present, and future… all in Him! Isn’t that a gift? That all we are is because He IS. Whoa-hoo!!! That get’s me excited! Burden lifted!
Such a beautiful reminder that I needed today and have needed for some time now. Since my oldest started Kindergarten and then my youngest started full-time, I have felt this “loss” of self and who I am. It is IN HIM from which my identity comes. Thank you & God bless you!!
On those hard days (that will come), we need to remember this (you and I)… and if all we can muster is a faint whisper, let it be “In you, LORD Jesus, will I remain. In you, with I find my worth.”
Thank you for sharing your words of truth and comfort. After a divorce and being a recent graduate from college who is looking for a part-time job, the lines begin to blur as to who I am. Like you, decorating, cooking, running errands for the family, etc. were my life. Thank you for the reminder that my worth is found Christ alone and not my job description or lack of.
I have to constantly remind myself that my identity is not in a title or role… but Jesus and Him alone. When the world shouts at us that we are to “be”, I tell myself “It is NOT about who I am, but who HE IS. It is NOT about what I can do, but what HE has done.” That is when I find my yoke becomes easy and the burden light!
Thank you so much; I needed the reminder today that we are loved by God – and find our identify and worth in Him – because he is God…not because of who we are, or what we have done (good or bad). “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.” Romans 3:22
AMEN!!! That just makes me want to do cart-wheels.
Thanks so much for celebrating truth with me!
Amy Sullivan says
“Was I putting value in gifts that were only meant to add to my life and not be my life?”
How often I do this! Yes, my children, husband, job, friends are all gifts in my life, but they shouldn’t be my sole purpose. It is so easy to find our worth in others and the tasks we see ourselves succeeding at.
Very true… and you are not alone in that wrestling match. It is easy to fall into the trap of finding validation from relationships and roles we live. I am learning, by His grace, that I need Him to make Himself known and to keep me humble, so that I will be able to fix my eyes on Him. And remember that it’s not about me, it is all about Him.
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Holley Gerth says
Manda, I’m right in the middle of lots of transition and your words were just what my heart needed to hear today. Thank you, sweet girl!!
Okay…when I start hearing, “Your identity is in Christ” multiple times within the span of just a few days, I start thinking God is repeating Himself to make sure I’m hearing! So lovely to find your words here, Manda. And yes, this transition time–mine are almost grown, almost gone, and I wonder what’s next. May we all keep our eyes on Jesus during these transition times.