“I’m not really a runner,” I said to my training partner.
Baffled by my response, she said, “You’re training for a marathon and at this moment you are running. Therefore, you’re a runner.”
“Well, I’m not a real runner,” I protested.
She shook her head and chuckled, perhaps thinking that I’m a lost cause. But I’ve thought about that conversation many times over the past couple of weeks. Then, yesterday, I made another discovery about myself. I don’t consider myself a writer either. Although I write and have even been published, it’s difficult for me to the claim the title.
And then there’s homeschooling. I have completed one year of homeschooling my kids, yet I don’t consider myself a real homeschooling mom. Yes, I educate my kids at home, but I’m not the whole package. I don’t grow our own food, organize every inch of my home, use homemade cleaning supplies, or even say the pledge of allegiance every morning to start our school day (gasp!). I even miss some things about the public school system, and I send my youngest son to preschool – maybe that’s what disqualifies me for real homeschooling status.
I’m not sure why I wrestle with accepting these roles as part of my identity? Maybe I’m trying to reject labels and stereotypes. Perhaps I don’t feel like I’m a complete success at any of these roles. Or, maybe I’m afraid of the expectations that will come with such titles – expectations to act and think a certain way. Maybe I don’t want to box myself in. Who knows?! (I’m sure there’s some sort of therapy that would help me unearth the root of my issue, but letting it roll around in my head and using it as fodder for my blog is much more fun. I’m thinking I could get some serious mileage out of this one!)
Regardless of how I feel about the many dimensions of me, one thing is for sure. I know I’m a child of God. I’ll accept that one, even savor it. What’s not to like about it? It’s freeing place to be. It lightens my load to know that my Father is taking care of me and it excites me to know that He blesses me with His good things – redemption, mercy, grace, and love. It’s here, as His child, that I find rest. I don’t have to do or plan or strive. I don’t have to measure up. I just have to be.
If you find yourself struggling with the many hats you wear, balls you juggle, or the many facets of your identity, I pray that you find rest in His arms as you remember that first and foremost, you are a child of God.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15-17