I have struggled to find my identity in each new stage of life—from childhood to motherhood. I felt this struggle most acutely through my connection with others, identifying myself as a good friend only by how much quality time and thought I put into each friendship. As each new stage unfolded, I found myself discontent with the reality that my old relationships, though important and life-giving, looked different and often grew distant and I was forced to build new relationships.
Before being a mom, so much of my identity was wrapped up in what I could do to build up relationships but fearing that if I did not do everything and attend all the things for my friends that I was not being a good friend. Therefore, it is no surprise that after I had my first baby I went through a bit of an identity crisis.
Instagram became the kryptonite of my heart. Comparison and shame all began to creep into my mind and heart because other mommas made motherhood look so easy and adorable, while here I was driving the struggle bus. FOMO (fear of missing out) became real for me and led to feelings of grief that things were not the same. Then shame set in because, after all, I should be grateful for a beautiful family.
However, the issue was not Instagram, it was my heart. Much of my identity was wrapped up in what I could do for others and how “good” of a friend I was. I felt like I was able to earn people’s love through serving them. After I had my first born, it felt like I would be forgotten by the people I loved because of my limitations. My baby girl needed more of my time, care, and attention, which left me with less to give to others. I had to learn to accept this. I had to learn to be who I needed to be in this new season.
As my relationships began to change again entering into motherhood, the Lord brought me to Deuteronomy 7:6–8:
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you…
The Lord used that passage to help me understand that I would never, and could never, earn His love because He loved and chose me before I even knew Him.
It was in this truth that I found I could rest in my identity as a daughter of our sovereign and omniscient Lord. He knows our needs and has the power to fulfill them in ways no one else can.
I know I am not alone in my struggle to find identity solely in the Lord. So, if you are struggling with knowing who you are, find freedom in knowing that it is not in your Instagram feed, your career, your travel, your hometown, your friendships, your family, your sexual orientation, your spouse, or your Enneagram number. Our truest identity is found in the story of creation: God thought of us, created us in His image, and delighted in what he made. The Creator of the Universe chooses us and loves us even in our limitedness. May this be our truth in which we walk today.