Sometimes I feel
Kind of like a shadow. I know people “see” me, but it’s just a blurry outline- a resemblance of my true identity.
(Believe me, I know people see me. Especially little people. It’s evidenced in the eleventyhundred times daily I hear “MOM! Can I……?”)
Before marriage and motherhood I was a bit more sure of myself. Slightly more connected to my own passions, dreams and ideas. My decisions and motives were all about me because, well, I had no one else to have to worry about. I did what I did because I wanted to. I was just me.
Somehow, as often is the case, my identity became enveloped in my role as wife and mom.
No longer was it “just me”. It was “me and…”.
Bit by bit, my choices changed to be more about others and less about myself. And although motherhood is a wonderful way to learn about being selfless and giving, it’s also easy to fall victim to losing sight of the things that make us unique.
Don’t get me wrong- being a mother to my three littles and a wife to my husband is one of the best things about who I am. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish that people didn’t see “Derick’s wife” or “______’s mom”. I wish that they just saw me.
For some of us, motherhood comes as an identity that we gladly embrace. It’s something that we longed for, waited for, prayed for and happily claimed when the dream became a reality.
For others, motherhood was an unwelcome surprise. The identity brought anxiety and uncertainty. With time, though, the joy of new life and new identity expanded our hearts and made room for love.
But however motherhood began for you, odds are, there have been moments when your identity as a mom seemed to be your only identity and you’ve longed just to truly be known. Not for what you can do for someone. Not for what you have to offer. Not for your parenting skills (or failures). Not for your housekeeping or Pinterest boards or minivan or potluck contributions or Facebook statuses or PTO involvement or Instagram filters or ability to do.it.all.and.still.look.good.
You stand there with a child by your side or a baby on your hip and you just want someone to look past it all and SEE YOU.
Well today, mamas, I want you to know that there is someone who sees you. Someone who gets you. Someone who really knows you. Someone who doesn’t just see an outline or a shadow or a resemblance of who you are or used to be but really.sees.you.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! “
-Psalm 139:1-5, 13-18
Oh mamas, know today that you are seen, loved, and cherished by the very God who has been there from the first moment of your existence. He has been a witness to every single day of your life. He knows you better than you know yourself! He knows what you are good at, dream about, and are passionate for. He placed those very traits inside of you when He gently wove you together. He also knows your struggles, flaws and failures. But He doesn’t define you by them. He loves you in spite of them. You may feel invisible at times, but you have never gone one day as unseen by the God who sees and knows all. And despite your moments of lessthanperfection, His thoughts about you are precious and many.
I am so thankful that in moments when I feel invisible to the people around me, I am completely visible to the God who created and loves me just as I am. And although I still long for relationships with other women and mothers where we let our guards down and our dreams spill out and our vulnerable places lay exposed and bare, I find comfort in knowing that the depths of who I am in all my complexity are fully known by the God who is also my dearest friend.
So today, dear ones, dig deep and remind yourself of the passions that you’ve pushed aside. Dare to embrace your uniqueness. Pick up that old hobby. Dabble in your dreams. Find joy in reconnecting with what makes you YOU.
But know that even when you’ve forgotten or you feel forgotten, there is a God who never has.