The end of the summer means the beginning of fall. And I’ve always loved fall. I loved our school’s soccer season, and definitely college football season. When I moved out the state of Florida, I learned to love seasons and the cooler, s’mores weather the fall would bring.
Now the Fall means even more to me, as my husband and I got married in the fall and both of our children were born in the fall. So, the fall brings many celebrations. And it allows me much time for reflection.
“So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3.21-23
The past few weeks, as I think back to the days that I gave birth to my blond-haired boys, my hope in the gospel becomes clearer. Most of the birth stories I read are those where the mom had a natural birth. Whether it is in a birthing center, a home birth, a water birth, a birth without any pain meds. My husband will tell you – that wasn’t me. I was a week late with our first, and labored for 34 hours. I loved that epidural and I loved my midwife. I had a really hard birth scenario and much bleeding afterwards (and yes, the epidural had definitely worn off). As I first held my first son, my mister would tell you my tears were more from relief than joy. And that was so true. A year later, a new state, new friends, new doctor, my water broke 3 weeks early. Only a ten hour labor, but that epidural was really nice too. I am just not big on pain. And you know what, that’s OK. The end result was the same – I had two baby boys that were a glorious creation from a gracious Father.
Here’s the gospel: you are no more a good mother if you have an epidural or you have a natural birth. All that is in Christ is still yours. Do we find our identity in the type of birth we had or that fact that Christ died for us on the cross? Maybe you aren’t a mother or this doesn’t really hit home to you like it did me. Here are some other examples:
We shouldn’t find our identity in our marital status. I was single until I was 34. In church world, that was so hard always answering the “so when are you going to get a boyfriend” question.
We shouldn’t find our identity in how many children we have. Or don’t have. Or whether we have biological children, foster, adopt, have a quiver full, only have one, or don’t want any.
We shouldn’t find our identity in the ministries we are involved in or whether we don’t involve ourselves in any ministry outside the home. This was tough for me when I got married. I was super involved in the church before marriage. And I was only told I would have more opportunities as a married woman. That has been the complete opposite in my experience and such a hard pill to swallow. So, I cling to Christ. And it looks different. And church and ministry can highlight so many heart sins in us.
We shouldn’t find our identity in our social media presence – or lack there of. We can’t find pride on either side of the Facebook app. There are some who don’t spend time on social media and others who are consumed by it. But, that is not your identity.
We shouldn’t find our identity in whether we paleo, plant-based, whole30, organic, or enjoy our daily trips to McDonalds, Chipotle, or Chick-fila-A. It doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter if you use oils or take Tylenol or Aleve.
We shouldn’t find our identity in whether we work outside the home, or in the fact that we are #mompreneurs or SAHM.
We shouldn’t find our identity in the fact that we send our children to public schools, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools, homeschool or co-ops.
We shouldn’t find our identity in our yoga pants or the latest fashion.
We shouldn’t find our identity in our husband’s jobs. This has also been tough because my husband is no longer a pastor. So that means, I’m no longer a pastor’s wife. My identity isn’t wrapped in that.
Not whether anything…only Christ. Christ should be our firm foundation. And how this plays out in relationships to other women is that we should be aware of how we speak about such things. We need to know the woman we are speaking with, know her life, her heart, her hurt, and help her see the truths of the above statements – and help her stand in the gospel, too.