When asked who I am when first meeting someone, there are a few go-to answers you would hear from me. "I'm a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 4 boys" Is my typical ice breaker answer. I stay home. I teach. I have 4 boys. Your answer would likely be different from mine- (Shout out to any other sahms, who homeschool 4 boys- message me... girl we are soul sisters) lol. Maybe you work and you'd tell me about your career. Maybe you are a student and I'd hear about your education you're pursuing. Maybe you're a grandmother and you'd show me pictures of your grands. You might share something you're passionate about- art, animals, fitness. If you are trusting and I'm making you feel especially invited, after introductions you might share a challenge you're facing, a fear or even an especially hard circumstance you're going through. We share these different layers, to different people, at different times. Our roles. Our responsibilities, commitments, schedules. Hopefully we share struggles and prayer requests, ways we're being convicted, and growing as well. It's this layer of vulnerability that I'm really passionate about this year. As a New Year unfolded, I made it my intentional focus to find joy in the daily- the mundane real-life. And to be transparent about ways I need prayer- ways I'm struggling to grow in my faith. Things God has really broken my heart over, and areas I'm experiencing HIS victory in.
Identity is very layered, and each layer is unique for each person you cross paths with. We might share a layer of motherhood, but differ in # of kiddos, ages, gender. We might both be married, but differ in hobbies or passions. We might both have a love for camping, or hiking. However, at our very very very core, as Women of Christ, we get to the deepest sense of "who we are". We are Redeemed. Daughters of The Most High King. We have been ransomed at the ultimate price and given a free gift that would have never been earned, bought or awarded. An undeserved gift of eternal life... forgiveness of sins. This is what (WHO) truly defines me, and starts effecting all other layers of my identity. I shouldn't try to find fulfillment in other roles, or responsibilities, but this is a constant internal war. In all honesty, one that I often times lose. If I'm basing my identity on my kids, they become an idol to me... With good intentions of taking this mom gig seriously, I unintentionally bump their status up a bit too high and pretty soon my whole existence is orbiting around them. Life is good if they are "behaving", if they are obeying or happy. I'm learning that this is a sin struggle for me. My fulfillment comes from a relationship with Christ. My identity isn't a wife, or a mom, although both are very important relationships that have shaped me and been life changing. My CORE identity and what needs to remain as FIRST place in my life is Jesus Himself. He brings fulfillment to my other roles, to the gifts He has given to me. He pours strength into my weaknesses, courage to keep going through a trial and His faithfulness in my life won't alter or shift. His GRACE is deeper than I can even grasp, and when He convicts me and then follows my repentance with such covering, cleansing grace! So let me formally introduce myself,
"I am Stef, a saved sinner, Daughter of the King"
My prayer for you is that if you are born again, you will truly seek to find your identity in Jesus. If you don't know what all of this means, or these are some new concepts for you- my prayer is that you will seek and find. The book of John is an excellent starting place, reading the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Himself... meeting Who He is and how it effects you and your eternity.