God is the ultimate creator, he created everything out of nothing but His love and imagination.
When I was younger I used to think that God couldn’t understand me because I was a woman. Jesus came to earth as a man. He never had a period or went through labor; how could He understand women? I felt understood as a child and teenager – I think most people that age do, but especially creatives.
God couldn’t know what it was like to be me.
I can’t remember how long that kind of thinking undermined my sense of Jesus, but I do know now that those thoughts were based on both a fragmented knowledge of who God is and an incredibly faulty understanding of what it means to be a woman. I was basing my identity as a woman on my physical body.
I mean that’s what they teach you in the beginning right? As a kid you look up at a trusted adult and ask “what’s the difference between boys and girls?” And that adult probably chose the easiest answer, because they’re put on the spot. (Maybe they thought they had more time before they needed to come up with the answer to that question for you.) So they answer with the obvious thing: “Your private parts are different than boys’,” followed by some confusing simplified explanation of sex.
Pause for a moment.
I need you to know something. I feel uncomfortable writing right now. There are so many more qualified people out there to talk about these kinds of subjects, they’re really big issues! God, identity, gender, motherhood….I’m no expert. There are professors that know all about women’s history, pastors who can tell you about biblical femininity, doctors who can tell you about your reproductive system, and therapists that understand our brains better than we do. So why should I say anything?
I don’t know enough.
I’m not qualified.
Those are the thoughts that attack us so often! Do you hear that voice? The one that shuts you up, feeds your fears, and tell you that you’re not enough. Let me take a minute to declare some truth. The voices that silence you out of fear and doubt are straight from the enemy. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 1 Tim 2:7
Enough? Am I not woman enough to talk about who I am as a woman? Am I not loved enough to talk about what it is to be loved by God? Or am I not enough of a child of God to be used by Him?
I am enough because Christ lives in me.
I am far from perfect but I am qualified by the blood of Christ to share the stories He has given me. My stories are His stories. And I know that the more we share our stories, the more we share grace, faith and love with each other. I know I love listening to the hearts of women around me, so I should feel confident that there is a reason to also share my own heart. Vulnerability is strength. Honesty requires trusting God even in our weakness.
I am deeply empathetic and understanding of different viewpoints and that often makes me feel that mine must be wrong – since I can’t know everything I often choose to keep my mouth shut. So bear with me as I learn to use my voice and share my story.
Marriage and Motherhood is not who we are.
When I was in college, students were required to attend chapel three times a week. I am so grateful for all the amazing people I had the opportunity to learn from during that time. One chapel talk influenced me deeply. It was a talk by Christiana Fitzpatrick called Boundary Lines. She talked about the beauty of singleness and how marriage should not be the end goal for Christians. Our primary identity as Christians is that you are created and redeemed. That is your true and ultimate personhood. Marriage is not forever, it is ‘til death do us part’ – God and our life in Christ IS forever.
The thing that stands out most in my memory is how she advocated for friendships across genders because God’s image is reflected differently in men and women. We get an incomplete picture of who God is if we do not take the effort to live in community with women and men. While this post is not about marriage, or friendships outside of marriage, her words resonated with me deeply and influence how I think about relationships and my own personal identity. Every person is created in God’s image, but no one is a complete reflection of God. I embody His image in different ways than my husband does, or my daughter.
As a mother I’ve come to realize the overwhelming gift and sometimes terrifying responsibility of God’s image in me. In scripture, God is referred to as our Father. But I know that I am created to reflect His image, that who I am as a woman, wife and mother is a small reflection of a huge part of who God is.
God gave birth to this world, nurtures his children, loves fiercely, protects fearlessly, and creates intricately. My gift, your gift, the gift of a mother is the gift to create, help and nurture; to be an undeniably tangible part of God’s process for creating life. What a magnificent thought – that I am not only a jar of clay that He molds and makes, but also I reflect the Potter himself as I have birthed and now mold my daughter through His love. I am both the hands of the Potter and the clay that He molds. God is both an artist and a mother. I am both a mother and an artist.
God gave birth to the universe.
Mothers give birth to new life. Without mothers God’s children would cease to exist here on earth. Mama, God chose to use YOU to continue His creative work. He made you in His image to continue making in His image.
Knowing that I am created intricately to reflect God’s glory should give me the confidence I need to live every day without fear of inadequacy but unfortunately I haven’t reached that place and I’m not sure if I ever will. I see myself as painfully inadequate. It’s not that I compare myself to everybody around me constantly, it’s more that I compare myself to who I think I could be. I see all the facets of my desires and life experiences and think to myself, if only I gave myself wholly to this pursuit or that, imagine what I could do!
Stay in your lane
I’m a person so full of ideas that it is hard for me to content myself with the present reality. I see ideas for what I could be doing better or how I could start this venture or that ministry. But then I look around and realize that in the little things I’m still selfish. It’s in the little things that I need Jesus. God is with us in every moment. And it’s the tiny moments that add up to our life.
It’s my responsibility to live well the life God has given me and stop trying to live by anyone else’s standards.
So what is the takeaway here?
Stop comparing yourself to anybody else. You are created uniquely in God’s image. I want you to walk through this day knowing that God created you and loves you. He has a plan for your life that ends with Him wrapping His arms around you as he welcomes you to your forever home. You are infinitely valuable no matter how well you balance motherhood. There is hope for you and your children even when you feel completely incapable. God is with you. He delights in you. You belong to him.