Most nights I lay awake in bed rehearsing different conversations I had throughout the day. I worry if I said or did the right thing. I calculate and rethink what I should or could have done. I wonder why someone didn’t text back. I toss and turn making plans to fix things tomorrow.
Most mornings, my mind is running even before I open my eyes. My lists grow. I mentally rummage through the fridge trying to figure out breakfast. The kids fight. Anger comes up and at me from every direction. It’s another day managing a home filled with children and thankless tasks needing to be done. I want to pretend I don’t see my baby who is waving at me from her crib like a frantic New Yorker trying to catch a cab. I want to crawl back under the sheets and hide.
But I swoop up the baby, rush to the restroom, and wash my hands. I glance in the mirror and glance away quickly. Grumbles of disgust drift in and out of my mind. I fumble through my closet and yank anything off the hanger wishing I could get my act together and work out for once. I grab my phone, and b-line straight to the kitchen for coffee. I have to dig through dirty dishes for my favorite mug, and I am frustrated.
With the baby on my hip, hot water in motion, and other children appeased, I start scrolling. What have I missed? Who commented? What are other people doing, wearing, saying? How can I momentarily escape my reality? These quiet questions motivate me to slide my thumb up the screen in search of answers. Pretty lives and pretty feeds move like flash cards before my face, and my annoyance grows with the sound of the kettle blowing, “I’m done already!” Then I hear, “Mom, Mom, MOOOM,” like an unwelcome banging on the door interrupting my mission. I toss my phone down with a groan and lecture my kids about patience and being kind. It’s ironic; I realize that.
My heart is a tangled mess. I slowly implode on myself and explode onto them. My identity so easily goes into crisis mode. I’m in an anxious tizzy to fix and fill myself with anything that will soothe my unsettledness — accomplishments, caffeine, beauty, a fit body, and obedient children. I look to my reflection, closet, mothering skills, or social media to tell me that I’m good enough. When I can’t live up to my standards, shame taunts me, and I come undone.
My identity is relentless to get an answer to the “who am I” question. I’m desperate to be a good enough mom, faithful enough friend, spiritual enough pastor’s wife, or pretty enough woman. The list goes on. There is a deep longing to be okay, liked, and known. When my identity can’t find a resting place, I become restless. My identity can be like a ravenous beast devouring anything that mimics God. But I am never satisfied until I find my satisfaction in Christ.
Our identity will only find peace when we let Christ be what pieces us together.
What binds your heart together? What is that thing that holds your heart muscle in place? Is it being noticed by others, liked by peers, admired by coworkers? Is it your ability to cook, counsel, or create? Are you striving to be perfect? Are you consumed by pride, resentment, envy, or deceit? Is your heart only calm when you have money in your savings account, clean counters, or an organized closet? What are you dependent on for peace? What false identity have you been squeezing to death to give you life?
That thing binding your heart together will in time make it hard for you to breathe. That identity you are working relentlessly to control will in fact control you. When the ties of your heart are stitched tightly around you, release and allow Christ to be the good heart surgeon, delicately slicing and intricately stitching your heart together. He is sewing His identity onto yours. His perfection is now suctioned to you, dissolving your sin.
So receive, cling, and allow Christ to be what binds your heart together. Not beauty, marriage, motherhood, traditions, behavior, abilities, accomplishments, anger, or pride, but only Christ. His love binds your heart into perfect peace. You can rest in this hope alone — that Christ’s love is threading your heart together for His endless good. His love echoes into the deepest recesses of your soul, and all of your not-enoughs are welcome here.