I am going to go out on a limb and assume that every one of all have answered the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was younger I had various answers to this question. A veterinarian, then a doctor, then a teacher, then a professional athlete, then a coach. By the time I started college I thought I would be a geneticist, God would have different plans for me. My point is this, we all had plans of what we thought we would do with our lives, we use these plans to identify us. Think about it, when people meet each other the first thing they do is share their name and what they do.
I began college studying to be a geneticist at a Agricultural school. Around my Junior year in college, I could sense God was calling me into the ministry. I knew that God made each of us for a specific purpose and that God had a unique plan that only I was created to fill. So I figured God had a way of working out ministry with being a geneticist. I could see how having an agriculture degree would help in being a missionary. I just knew that was what I was suppose to do!
I told God, “Okay,” and started following Him with everything I had. After I graduated, to my surprise, I didn’t go into the mission field, I instead became a youth minister. I began to wonder how I was suppose to use my degree I worked so hard to get. Five years into serving as a youth minister, I could sense God calling me to be a stay at home mom. I said “Yes,” because I wanted to be with my son everyday, but I wrestled with how this could be ministry. Now I know what a blessing this is, but when I was 27, I felt like God was demoting me. I was going to be a missionary with an agriculture background, then a youth minister, now a homemaker!
I didn’t want to be identified as “just a mommy.” If I was called to the ministry then it should be something on the lines that everyone identified as ministry, or so I thought. I remember wiping my sons little bottom and thinking, “So this is going to advance the kingdom of God… nice.” Sure I enjoyed my son, but I just didn’t want to be identified as a “stay at home mom.” For crying out loud I had a college degree!! I didn’t want people to think that, “all I could do was have babies and clean the house.” I wanted to do something great for the Kingdom of God.
I don’t remember exactly how old my son was when I finally realized I needed a heart change. I died to the plans I had and said, “I don’t want my will for me Lord, I want your will.” I began to pray that God would change my heart and help me to see being a homemaker with His eyes and not mine. I needed to have my perspective changed and realize that I was not “just a mommy,” “I was a mommy.” I think the problem lies in the fact that I put God in a box and only felt like I had options A, B and C when really I had options Alpha through Omega!
God spoke to me so clearly one day and said, “I called you to the ministry, and your ministry begins at home.” I got what God was telling me. At that time I had two people that God was calling me to show the love of Christ to: my husband and my son. I realized that I had the opportunity to reflect God’s love and help shape a family that was set apart for God’s purposes. God opened my eyes to see that the Kingdom advance was happening in our home!
Once I got this, I no longer had a problem with being identified as “a mommy.” I didn’t care if people thought cleaning the house and having babies was all I could do. I could see the purpose in God calling me to minister as a mom. I also realized that it does not matter what I did, my identity didn’t need to be wrapped up in my occupation. My identity was to be found in being the wife, mom and daughter God was calling me to be. Anything beyond that didn’t matter. My identity was not found in a job title or job description.
Each of us have different venues that we are serving in right now. It may be out in the workforce or at home. You are called to be a light right where God has placed you, regardless of where your job is. God has place you were you are at so that you can show the love of Christ to whoever you are around, God is not worried about your what your job title is. You and I have got to realize that when the day is done and the dust has settled all that really matters is this: Were you the spouse God has called you to be today? Were you the parent God called you to be today? Were you the child of God that He called you to be today? Other than that, nothing else matters.
Sure, working hard at your job and giving it the best you can is important, but when we begin to let our job title identify us, we begin to believe the lie that our value as a person is dependent on how good or bad of a job we do. This type of thinking only causes stress, anxiety, worry, depression, arrogance, fear and doubt. Don’t find your identity in what your job title is, you are more than that!
I want give you four things that you can begin to do today to help you begin to find your identity in God and not in your job title.
- Ask God to change your way of thinking. That you would begin to find your identity in God.
- Begin to daily pray that the Holy Spirit would help you to be the spouse, parent and child that God has called you to be. Pray each of these that apply to you.
- Begin to renew your mind with what God’s word says about you. His word is the truth so you know what He says about you is correct- not what a job review say.
- Worship God! The best way to battle any attacks of the enemy and any negative thoughts is to fix your mind on God. When you begin to praise Him and worship Him the Holy Spirit come in and brings clarity to your thinking and puts your mind on the right track.
I will let you know that there are days that I still get attacked from the enemy. Some days I just don’t go so well with my kids, being a stay at home mom is challenging- to say the least. Either my kids have gone to time out numerous times that day or I stayed in a constant state of frustration or there was a lot of fighting amongst my kids, etc. There are days that I get irritated with my husband and I know I didn’t do my best at being the wife I was suppose to be. Other days I just don’t love others the way I should because I am selfish. On those days I am tempted to feel like a failure at being a wife, mom and child of God that day. On those days I do the four steps I listed earlier.
The good news is this, God knows I am not perfect and when I try to be the wife, mom and child out of my own strength- I will fail. God is the God who is gracious, compassionate, understanding, forgiving and is our very present help so that we will have the strength to be the people He desires for us to be. Since I am a child of God he dose not identify me as a failure, He sees me as a victorious masterpiece that He is using for His greater purposes. That is an identity I gladly bear!