Identity and Growth
Experiencing the Transformations of Motherhood
Of course a mother gives up a lot for her child: blood, sleep, tears, not to mention time, money, and peace of mind. But a mother must not feel obliged to give up herself. Not unless she wants to raise a motherless child."
The fact that we find mothering more difficult than we had imagined is a truth of the female experience that can be hard to talk about. Society's expectations of us and our own expectations of ourselves are so different from our actual experience.
* We are handcrafted by God
* We are uniquely made
* We are transformed by Him as we trust in His sovereignty and receive the blessings He bestows on us through this experience of mothering,
It's not only that children in general are a blessing, but, that the specific children God sends to us are given as His blessings for our lives. It is quite a paradox to find that an area where we have struggled so deeply has become one of our deepest sources of joy and pride. Mothering requires us to confront levels of selfishness and pride that might have been otherwise left unchallenged.
The experience of being a mother has called us to new levels of faith and perseverance that might have otherwise gone unexplored. We get to see our character deficiencies surface as we relate to our children and it provides a great opportunity-not for failure-but for growth. Recognizing that God is the Source of our children's lives is foundational to understanding the magnitude and the privilege it is to be a parent and the growth it brings to us!
The original bad Self-image
The Bible tells us that Satan is the enemy of our souls. He does not wish for us to know who we really are and why we are here. He rebelled against the reason God created him. He was not created in God's image, as we are, he was to be an angel. He did not love nor accept himself as God loved and accepted him. He was not satisfied with himself at all and it was that sin of his that led our original mother, Eve, to question God's love for her and reasons for being created.
When Eve chose to leave the Garden of Eden- yes she did choose by her disobedience-she walked out with a shattered image. She was less than she was meant to be, because she chose to leave the Source and Maker of her life.
The sure foundation of self-esteem is the knowledge that before, during and after life with a husband, children, career or even a youthful and physically able body, we are created to reflect God's character, to love Him and have honest, intimate communications with Him. God's purposes for our lives include our roles, but go beyond those identities. As Christians our identity should be rooted in God's unconditional love for us. He has given us gifts and resources to make a unique contribution to our world. When we work in partnership with Him we bring Him honor as we become all He created us to be.
The School of Soul Care
Most of us would never neglect our bodies but with this shattered image we've inherited we suffer from the neglect of our souls. We experience much discontentment in so many areas during our mother experience. Perhaps we need to live as if Jesus cared for more than just our bodies. The School of Soul Care specializes in the everlasting and the unseen. As we build up our own souls we also contribute the best for our children. Our souls are not some ghostly things. They are who we are now.
I don't just have a soul, like I have curly hair; I am my soul. My soul is me- with all it's abilities and experiences, memories, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, introspections, desires, choices and sensations. All of these capacities make us the image bearers of God. Our thoughts become our soul's transportation. When a thought gets more evidence, it grows up and becomes a belief. Our beliefs become our worldview and dictate how we live our days.
Read 2 Corinthians 5: 17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Christ sets us free to be the "me" that God always wanted me to be.
Read Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Speaks of being "near" and "far away" because of our faith in Jesus.
- Near what? Far away from what?
- How do you go from being far away to being near?
- What does being near mean when you are doing the everyday things of life?
- When do you find yourself most near to God? Most far away?
- What might help you stay near God more of the time?
Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken."[a]With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
- Why do you think Paul likens you to a clay jar?
- What is the treasure he speaks of?
- How are you "wasting away"? Physically, emotionally mentally? Other ways?
- Those are outward things. What's happening to you inwardly because you are "in Christ"?
- Where does Paul tell us to fix our eyes?
- How does fixing your eyes on Jesus help you discover the person you really are?
Many of the people in your life define you by only one or two parts of the whole you. You may not see much of anything clearly right now but God's Word helps us have the assurance that, though we don't know everything fully-including yourself- you are fully known by God.