Sometimes we think we are sooo strong. That we are sooo confident in our identity in Christ (but in our own strength) that nothing matters, but then one extra arrow from the world topples our defences.
I like to think that I am confident in who I am. That clothes and looks don’t matter that much to me because I am a child of God. But perhaps that is just a front I have been putting up to explain/protect my fashion fatigue and lack of style. You see, the weight of the world came crashing down on me this week when I went to buy some new clothes with my £40 voucher I had earned through breastfeeding (yes I live in one of the lucky places where they pay you to feed your baby!). I looked in the mirror and finally saw the reality of my reflection – the almost 30 year old frumpy mummy that I had slowly become. I didn’t think I had changed much since leaving uni other than a few extra bags under my eyes from sleepless nights. But I had.
And that’s not a bad thing. Except that my view of myself hadn’t changed too. I was thinking I was younger than all the other mums but in reality I wasn’t. I am the same as them, just trying to muddle through mumhood as best I can. And that’s not a bad thing either!
I was working against the grain and not with God. God wants to use us in our current place. He wants us to know how much he loves us as we change through life’s seasons. But to do that we have to accept that we have changed. I am an almost 30 year old frumpy mummy, with wonky boobs from breastfeeding, “child bearing” hips, bags under my eyes, a wardrobe that is full of blue clothes and fashion from five years ago and normally rocking my hair in a “mum bun” because I haven’t had time to dry/style it. When we force being ok with where we are, we miss out on God’s purpose for us. When we relax into it and accept our season, God can use us greatly.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (message version)
By forcing my confidence in who I was, I was missing out on so much more. Now I am trying to relax into the mother of two boys that I am, and seeing where that takes me. I will not force anything, but will let God use the “unforced rhythms of grace” in my life to grow me in this season and to reach out to others. I am no longer an ex-uni student who happens to have two kids. I am a mummy through and through, and that is awesome!