When I became a mother at the age of twenty-five, I didn’t predict the innumerable ways caring for a little human would redefine how I live. A few years in, it occurred to me I no longer dress like I once did, have the same aspirations, or spend time with the same people. I was a stranger to myself.
My identity seemed like it was suffocating under the demands of motherhood.
I was confused and even a little resentful.
In a society where career, style, and social life are the things people look to for a glimpse of who you are, the unglamorous and often mundane role of “momming” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I found myself asking what my greater purpose was and I felt the need to somehow skirt my role as a parent to achieve something meaningful.
When I voiced these struggles to my husband, he reminded me of a truth I already knew— my children were wisely, providentially given to me by God. When I heard this affirmed, I faced the uncomfortable question this truth implied.
Am I willing to accept God’s plan for my life? Not as a soldier following military orders—can I receive it with joy, as a gift?
My calling was staring me in the face (or less figuratively, whining for apple juice).
I had to decide if I was going to cling to my idol of escape or embrace the demands of motherhood with joyful obedience.
As I recalled truths in God’s word, my heart and thoughts found anchorage.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
…Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
(Psalm 16:2,5,6 NIV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor;
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
(Psalm 84:11 AMP)
God showed me plainly that the boundaries of motherhood are pleasant because they were intentionally, personally, assigned by Him. He is not holding out on me. God’s plan for me is good and full of grace, favor and honor. When I view my circumstances as arbitrary– forgetting the wisdom of the One who designs them– I see a world of greener grass.
When I remember God is the Omnibenevolent Author of my life, I find great delight in His personal plan for me.
The currency of the world no longer defines my value. My confidence is not tied up with what I do or how well I think it suits me. The source of my identity stands entirely apart from those things. The fear that real fulfillment lies outside my present circumstances has been dispelled.
The One who laid the foundations of the world saw it fitting for me to possess skills, passion, dreams and children.
Contentment in my identity as a mother will only be found when I walk with faith in the One who has placed the boundary lines.
When I cling to the promise that His perimeter is a pleasant one, I can live boldly, liberated from the fear of missing out, set free from society’s judgements.
In the midst of sleep deprivation, crazy days, and slightly wrinkled mom-clothes, I am certain that even within the confines of motherhood, He withholds no good thing.