Monday, September 16, 2013

Stolen Identity

I am suffering from a case of stolen identity. No one stole my credit card or social security number. My money is still safely in my bank account. It doesn't matter, my identity was swiped and I let it happen.

See, I know that the Devil is a thief.  His goal is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  This week I let it happen.

You see, my identity is one that should be firmly rooted in my Savior (Galations 3:26-27).  I know I am his child and he is the very best part of me. Unfortunately, I chose to believe the Chief Liar this week.  I chose to believe that my identity was found in other things.  Namely, that of wife and mother.

So what?  I am a wife and mother.  Isn't that part of my identity?  No.  It's what I do.  It's not who I am.   I am a sinner, saved by grace, an adopted child of God (Ephesians 1:4-5).  That is who I am and EVERY.SINGLE.THING about me rests in that truth.

Here's the problem with finding my identity in other things:  when things go wrong I completely fall apart and when things go right I am filled with pride.

Take for example my rad mothering skillz (or lack there of depending on the situation).  When the boys and I are in a public place and they're behaving and I speak in a fairly calm voice and maybe have on matching clothes and a little make up, people at times have been known to say, "I don't know how you do it.  You seem totally put together."  Well, honey let me tell you how I do it.  I am wonder woman.  I can conquer all evil within my children, I wake up ready to face the day, and make up magically appears on my face each and every day.  Of course I do it.  Of course I'm awesome.  I should have 20 more kids because they'd be blessed to have a mom like me.

Right. That's no where near the truth. But that is the lie of my enemy. That's the lie that he wants me to believe so that I have faith in myself. So that I have a pride filled heart.  That is the lie that I hear because I find my identity in being a mom.  The absolute truth is this; the ONLY way we make it through each day is because of God's grace.  It is his grace that I have patience.  It is completely his grace on my tired soul if my kids are behaving.  It is his love poured out on me that I can speak kindly to my children even when they disobey.

Then, oh help me, it's even worse if my kids are acting like normal children.  I have four boys y'all.  This means lots of yelling, lots of fighting, lots of disobeying.  So, what has sometimes happened is this; we'll be in public and the boys will be running off in different directions or hitting each other and some sweet little elderly person will say, "You sure have your hands full."  Yep, you're totally right.  This is way more than I can handle.  What was God thinking?  Everything is out of control.  These kids would be better off with a mom that could love them better, discipline them better, have more control.  They'd be better off without me.

That's no where near the truth either.  My enemy has come in and fed me lies that lead to defeat.  Lies that cause me to question God's plan for my life.  Lies that cause me to question God's sovereignty in my life.  Lies that can lead me down a path of great destruction. Here's the absolute truth; my boys are A LOT to handle, and I can't do it on my own.  But if I depend on God then we will be okay.  I will be the mom he wants me to be and he will mold their hearts to love him.

Now, if I had found my identity in Christ rather than in my role as a mom these little comments wouldn't set me in a tail spin of pride or despair.  They'd simply be another way for me to point to Jesus.

The truth is I don't want people to look at me and think I'm a great mom.  I want people to look at me and see my successes and many failures as a way that I show my kids Jesus.  If I show my kids love when they're disobedient it's because Jesus first showed me love.  If one of my kids chooses to share it's because Jesus is changing his heart, not because I'm doing something right.  If I have make up on then it's because God gave me the gift of a great husband who let me have 5 minutes to myself to throw some paint on my face.

Everything.  Absolutely everything is because of him.  I don't want to have Satan steal my identity anymore.  I can't have one foot in my identity as a child of God and another foot in an identity based on worldly things.  I want my life to be an outpouring of Christ so that everything I do, everything that people see in me is because of who he is.

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