I recently read a blog that spoke so vividly about the realities of being a mom and it so clearly depicted what many of us go through when it comes to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, unsatisfied and sometimes depressed (I have posted the link of the blog below). The author mentioned the story of the prophet Elijah depicted in 1 Kings 17-19. As I read through the passage, I couldn’t help but notice how if I were Elijah I sure would be struggling with a sense of identity once all of the busyness and excitement of being God’s spokesman, serving the Lord, experiencing God’s provisions, killing bad guys, raising a dead boy, traveling all over in obedience to God, performing miracles, calling down fire from heaven, etc. had been put on pause.
Once he had “accomplished” all of those things, one woman, Jezebel, threatens him because of his opposition to pagan worship and he loses all confidence and flees in fear. He basically asks God to take his life and doubts much about himself and God. He travels in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Yet, in the midst of his fear, doubt and loneliness, God reveals Himself to him and calls out to Elijah in a quiet voice and reassures him that God is not done with him. He is to use Elijah to anoint Hazael and Jehu as kings and Elisha as prophet.
How quickly we forget God’s faithfulness in the past that it so easily affects how we view the future. It’s easy to say: “I can’t do this anymore. I’m the only one who knows what this feels like. I’m defeated and I need an escape.” What a victorious life Elijah lived and how quickly that turned to defeat and fear.
I can’t help but struggle with my sense of identity when my accomplishments are merely a memory or printed on a resume. Being a mom has been more rewarding than I could’ve imagined, but there are times when you feel so lonely, overwhelmed and insignificant that you forget that God is still there in the midst of the mundane and lack of “amazing” accomplishments. I keep wanting to tie my sense of self-worth to what I’ve accomplished in my past from counseling, evangelizing, teaching, traveling the world doing missionary work, leading worship, being involved in theatre and acting where people would give standing ovations for your performance, being an active singer and musician…I miss the accolades, the recognition and sense of accomplishment, but at the end of the day, unless my heart is in the right place what does it matter? Do I seek to bring glory to God or myself? Although performing different tasks now-a-days like wiping bottoms, keeping a budget, trying to be creative in making daily meals, running errands, cleaning throw up and doing piles of laundry are less glamorous than the former, God is using all of that to minister to my family. I may not feel very significant, but my family does appreciate what I do and that’s where God has me in this season. I need to be faithful in the little and the big stuff. This is my ministry at the moment and I know God is not done with me.
In the midst of our fears, doubts, anxieties, dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy God is still there faithfully calling us and drawing us to Himself. I know God still wants to use me in other ways, but as Psalm 51:10 says: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” I want my heart to be in the right place and be faithful where God has me because He has ALWAYS been faithful and will continue to be faithful in my life.
My identity and who I am should not be tied to what I do or my accomplishments, but rather, whom I belong to and what He does and has done. My sense of self-worth will be apparent when I stop focusing on myself and stay focused on God’s majesty, grace and goodness.
Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Proverbs 3:3 “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Reference to Blog Post: