Mother's Day Identity Crisis

Living in a world where labels tell people so much about who you are can be a tough spot for those in waiting and in longing. Don't get me wrong. I love so many of the labels that identify me. Wife, teacher, sister, friend, life group leader, coach, neighbor, American, and daughter are just of the few labels that I am so proud and humbled to be called. Every year around this time, I find that I struggle with what label I fall under in the "mother" category. Yes, yes, I know, I know. Many of my very sweet friends and family reading this would quickly respond and say, "Of course we look at you as a mother, Rach". But you see, I have found that it is not the labels that people give us, but the labels we see ourselves as that truly define our identity. 

Because you see, no matter how many times, you tell me I am a mother, I still find myself struggling with the big "Mother's Day Decision" do I stand and be recognized at church when they honor mothers? I know, it may not seem like this big life altering decision, but to someone in my place it can be really tough. I have found on Mother's Day that whether I sit or stand (I've done both; you get to test out lots of scenarios and experiences when you wait so long) I still feel awful and unsure. This is one of the many reasons, I have skipped many Mother's Day services. If I am a mom, then why do I find myself telling my husband how I just want to be a mom? This has been a label that I just get really hung up on. You see, we started the adoption process in May 2012, and we are still waiting for the day to bring our child home. Maybe it is just me that has struggled with this; however, I have found that as I have shared my thoughts and experiences that I am not usually alone, so I hope this post reaches the right person at the right time.

It can tough to be the only one not in a certain category. Although others probably don't think of it, I am often the only women in a group without any children. When you start to compare your story with someone else's things can turn ugly fast. You start to identify yourself as alone, not enough, uncertain, jealous, and angry. Many people will isolate themselves because they feel people don't understand what they are going through or that people will judge them if they are truly honest with their feelings. This is the biggest identity crisis of all. Good news! If your currently here, you don't have to stay here because you are so much more than what you're telling yourself!

My hope for you is as Mother Day approaches, you realize that although this label may seem like the biggest and most important label in your life (Trust me! I know it is important. I can't wait for the day that someone calls me mommy), you come to understand that there is one far greater. You see many times in waiting, we become so focused on the label that we are longing for that we are blinded by who we already are! Through my faith in Jesus, I have come to acknowledge that my greatest identity is not in what I make myself whether that be teacher, wife, friend, or mother. No, you see I have been looking at myself through my eyes. As I step away from the mirror and I push aside all the many labels that I often use to identify myself, I find my identity in Jesus. This is an on-going process that I am still working on and reminding myself. Trust me, I have not arrived.

Although I am not where I want to be, I have found that as I look at my identity in Christ and not in myself, I can rest in who He says I am. In Christ I am labeled Forgiven, Bold, Wonderfully Made, Set Apart, Adopted, Free, Delighted in, and a Child of God. These are just a few of the beautiful labels that I can confidently call myself as I see myself with this new identity. Does it answer the question of whether I should call myself a mother or not? I haven't quite fully come to the conclusion of how I see myself. I want to see myself as a mother, but it is a struggle, and maybe it is okay with just however I feel that day because above all I have realized that no matter what label I choose, the labels that haven been chosen for me through Jesus give me the ability to rest in my TRUE IDENTITY.  Remember choosing and feeling are two very different words. Many days I feel one way, but I have to choose to view myself the way God sees me.

This just happens to be the label that I struggle with the most. For you, it may be something else. Maybe it's a job title, a relationship status, or a label you are trying to remove. These things aren't usually bad, and often times are some of our greatest achievements. So rejoice in your accomplishments and be proud of what you have done, but never lose sight that what you have done doesn't come close to what has been done for you.

For those mothers that are reading this, I hope that you too come to see your identity beyond the amazing yet challenging role of motherhood. I pray that you feel so loved and honored this coming Sunday. I in no way am trying to take away from celebrating you. I am so thankful to be the daughter of the best mother in the world, to be the sister of the most selfless and caring new mom I have ever seen, and to be friends with such beautiful, humble women who give me such an amazing example of motherhood.

1 Peter 2:9                      1 Peter 2:24                      Romans 8:15                      Zephaniah 3:17
Psalm 139:14                  Galatians 5:1                    2 Corinthians 3:12             1 John 3:1


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