Before I was a mama I had other identities. I am a daughter, a wife, a sister. I was previously an instructor and a therapist. I was a TV binge watcher! I was a speed-reader! While some of those identities are still in places, others have gone away whether by choice or by circumstances. As most mamas know it is very easy to get caught up in being a mom and forget our other identities. I recently had a birthday and I had to stop from asking for or buying things for Charlotte. But that was my first thought. I should get something for Charlotte…for my birthday. It sounds a little silly, but I love her and get joy from picking out baby things! I have always had the dream of being a wife and a mama and I feel so deep down grateful that I am getting to live out those dreams right now.
One identity that remains true is Child of God. I belong to Him and He is the one who holds the key to all my identities. I was reminded of this truth while participating in my church’s journey entitled “I Am”. It has been awesome to slow down and really think about what I believe is my God-given purpose. I told my small group that I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to be a marriage counselor. I was OBSESSED with books about marriage. I wanted to know everything about how to have a good marriage. I was laser focused from freshman year in high school all the way through graduate school knowing exactly what I wanted to do. Unfortunately as most people know and we millenials are bad at, everything takes time. I had jobs that I didn’t want and although getting me closer to my goal, they were not what I wanted to do. It caused me to lose focus once I started working at places that didn’t do marriage counseling.
If I am honest, my heart is not as in it. Going through this journey I am logically reminded of my purpose and identity in God. I can’t say my feelings are in it though. It’s almost like I’m going through the motions, but not completely wanting to accept it. So I think my purpose is shifting and that’s okay. Now I think about ways to still fulfill the desire to build healthy and happy marriage while getting to pour myself into my role as wife and stay at home mom. I imagine holding couples’ retreats or running couples’ workshops in the evening or weekends. I imagine running marriage ministry at a church. I imagine traveling over the United States (the world?) with my marriage therapist idol, Dr. John Gottman. These dreams don’t feel out of reach, just not my current priority for now.
I wanted to share first because I find value in writing things out, but also because it was a challenge from my small group. I’m putting my purpose and dreams out in the open partially for accountability, but mostly for myself to see that these are important enough to share. So no conclusion for now. That’s where I’m at. I hope you are encouraged to consider what your dreams and purposes are and not lose your God-given identity.