“But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.”
-Philippians 2:17 NLT
There’s this debate in parenting circles of where the fine line is of giving yourself to your family without losing yourself in the process. Many blog posts have been written on ‘making time for you’ and ‘putting yourself first sometimes’, because it’s so easy to get burnt out as a parent. This is good advice; after all, you have to put your oxygen mask on first before helping another with their’s, right?
But–the Bible tells us to give all of ourselves to God and His calling for our lives. If His calling is motherhood, then I have to believe that we should give all of ourselves to our families.
I am not the same person I was before I had kids.
But, I don’t lament that.
Ever since I said ‘yes’ to God and leaped off the cliff, He’s been transforming me into the woman He created me to be. The Bible likens this process to refining silver. The metal is put into a burning furnace for a very precise amount of time, for it can easily be ruined if the silversmith leaves it in even a moment too long.
God takes us and burns up all the bad that has tainted us, and it hurts. There are moments when you feel the furnace is too hot, that it’s going to swallow you whole. But your Silversmith knows when to take you out, and He never takes His eyes off of you.
I never wanted to get married and was never entirely sure about having kids. I looked down at stay-at-home moms, thinking they were wasting their lives.
The old me was bitter and selfish; condescending and cruel.
I do not miss her.
I do not wish to go back, even though I am tempted to think I do.
Motherhood is the hardest job I have ever had. It has broken me many times. But it has also made me stronger.
God has been refining me in the furnace of motherhood.
I will happily lay down my life for my family. I will let the old me die, and choose to rejoice about it.
Honestly, I think that’s the secret: rejoicing in losing yourself in your family. Not seeing it as a failure or waste, but as something miraculous and beautiful. Because it’s hard to put others first all the time. But that’s the calling, isn’t it?
And because God is who He is, I now understand that the only way to find myself is to lose myself.
“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
-Matthew 10:39 NLT
I will no longer mourn the woman I lost, but celebrate the woman I am becoming.
I know God won’t stop until I am the masterpiece He destined in the beginning (because we are all His masterpieces). So I will look into the foggy future with joyful anticipation. Because I can’t wait to meet that woman.