Reframing Our Identity

boy child childhood happiness
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Since GHC-Texas, I’ve been reading through You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal with It by Rachel Jankovic. She spoke about the book during the conference with a no-nonsense attitude; I would even say she came off a bit yell-y. The book doesn’t mince words either.

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But this can be helpful, particularly when we look at the world’s bumper sticker wisdom and t-shirt-deep identities. We look to the world to define us and tell us who we are when the Bible has already told us.

So while the question, “Who am I?” is common, an actual answer to it is uncommon…This is because no one wants to hear (or give) the one-sentence summary: “Yeah. Okay. So you are a middle-aged, overweight housewife who lives in Cleveland and has trouble staying on task.” (pg. 80)

Ouch.

But Jankovic goes on in the next pages to set up two different ways of identifying herself; here is a snippet:

I live in Idaho, less than a mile from where I was born. I married fairly young and have seven kids. Life is busy, and I am almost always needing to cook something…My work is often repetitive, but I enjoy it and I love my people…I tend to take on projects and mostly finish them, but occasionally get overwhelmed… (pg. 83-84)

She says that this way of describing herself comes across as boring because we are not made to be the center of our story. She reframes it with God at the center, and it looks like this:

To the glory of God, I live in Idaho, less than a mile from the place I was born. To the glory of God, I have seven children and struggle to keep up with my regular tasks…To the glory of God, I lift up my children. To the glory of God I ask them for their forgiveness. To the glory of God, I have had phases where I had to let go of some of my “dreams,” and to the glory of God, I have had phases where I needed to pick them up. (pg. 84, emphasis mine)

I often struggle to accept that this–this home, these people, this blog to type without a ginormous rockstar following–might be all that God has called me to.

And you know what? It just might be. And that’s His call and I would do well to get on board with his program than trying to go my own way. A foot trying to be an eye will not serve the body–or itself–well.

So, to the glory of God I am a 31-year-old mother of three. To the glory of God, I am homeschooling them, doing my best to teach them knowledge and wisdom. To the glory of God, I have a husband to work beside, a home to keep, and people to serve and be served by. I love books and words and spare time to tinker with both–and to the glory of God, I have that, in differing amounts per season.

In the world’s estimates, this is not much. But in God’s economy, it is enough and will be enough until He calls for something else.

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