Sorry this is so long, it has been stirring inside my heart for many weeks, and I want to share it. I hope that it will be an encouragement to some of you!
I greatly enjoyed teaching my first two years down here. I loved interacting with the students as well as the staff. And I felt like I was doing something worthwhile. The change to a full time mom (with some tutoring on the side) has been difficult. It means that I don’t see adults often. It means that I don’t go out often (we have no car, so it makes going far difficult). We are blessed to have a great small group and I walk with some other women 1-2 times a week, so God has provided me with fellowship throughout the week. However, I still sometimes have this nagging feeling that I’m missing something. After all, isn’t a missionary supposed to be out helping all the poor children, meeting all the neighbors, able to speak the language fluently, etc…?
And so I take care of Jeremiah, tutor some, and pray for opportunities to serve, , yet still these questions keep coming to my mind, “Am I doing enough? Am I enough?”
And then I realize that I’ve struggled with these questions all of my life. Even before I was a full-time mother. The problem is, we, as humans, are so quick to think that our identity- who we are- is found in what we do. I teach; therefore I’m a teacher. I work at a bank; therefore I’m a banker. I take care of my children; therefore I’m a mother. Of course, those things are true. But, they are not the foundation of who we are.
I’ve been reading the book Captivating. I’ve enjoyed reading it, but what has really been helpful is the guided journal I’ve been doing along side of it that forces me to take a hard look inside myself. Through it, God’s been teaching me:
-I am dearly loved by him.
-In Christ, I am enough!
-God has amply supplied me so I can make a difference.
-Everyone’s calling- the way we make a difference- is different.
So many times, we are guilted into thinking we should be doing more. We see someone who is being used in amazing ways by God, and we think that we are not doing enough. Or, we may feel convicted by God to do something, and become passionate about something, and then assume that everyone else should do it and be passionate about it. The important thing is that we fulfill the calling that God has called us to (not someone else’s calling). It may mean staying home full time with your children and home schooling them. Or it may mean teaching in a public school and sending your children there. Or going overseas to plant churches. Or working in a business. Instead of looking to what others are doing for direction, we need to look to Christ. This is not an excuse to decide that God has called you to sit at home and watch TV all day, every day. Rather, it is the freedom to do what He’s called you to do without feeling like you need to do more.
Learning this has freed me so much to take more joy in staying home. I love being home with Jeremiah, but the guilty feelings that would pop up frustrated me (not that they won’t still pop up from time to time, but now I know I don’t have to listen to them!).
Another thing that has freed me is the reminder that my identity is not in motherhood or as a housewife. Those are very high callings. But, they are not the highest calling. First and foremost, I am a daughter of God. I am His. He has bought me with his blood and I have given my life to Him And when I remember this, and realize that I can be who I am and don’t need to try to be someone else, I am freed to love my husband and son more deeply than if I tried to be a mother and wife first. Embrace the free love of Christ and don’t be afraid to be who He’s called you to be!
I'll end this with one of my favorite verses:
Eph 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."