So, I shared how I got to the friendships I have now, and how there are still struggles even when you have great friends. I wanted to share some practical tips from Better Together and some things that I’ve learned along the way that help to forge these friendships. It can feel so awkward putting yourself out there. It’s so hard to be rejected. I’ve have been, I’ve been blown off, even ignored. Maybe I’ve even done that to people I have been in contact with, and not even realized it. I want to say, it’s worth it to put those things aside to find our place in the community of believers. God will help us find our spot, but I think it’s important to know our identity in Christ first.
It’s pretty hard to be confident when you don’t know who you are, or maybe you’re just not quite sure, now that there is a little one or multiple little ones helping shape your new identity as a mom. It’s pretty hard to get used to this new you, when you become a mother. It’s so different than what you’ve known. It’s putting off self in a way that’s pretty painful, it’s all the time, constant. It’s uncomfortable, and you are so tired and exhausted, you don’t even have time to think straight. As your kids keep growing, they challenge you, and you see how selfish they are, as you have grown further from selfishness. You learn even more lessons about how much God really loves us, as He plays that Father role with us. He never loses His temper though, and our tantrums never cause Him to question His identity.
We start with who we are in Christ. Without that, what’s the point, really? You can read every self help book on the planet, and you will always come up short. We CAN NOT ever be good enough! We will never be productive, nice, pretty, skinny, helpful, fill-in-the-blank enough without Jesus. He is the answer. He wants to do it all for us, IN us. He is our identity, when we accept Jesus, and believe His word. We are HIS. That’s pretty amazing to think He wants us, and that He calls us His own, even when we act like selfish children. God says in His word, “See what great love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”, 1 John 3:1. He claims us, just like we claim ours, even when they may totally humiliate us. No matter what happens, or who may reject you, you are a child of God, nothing can change that. That is who we are in Christ. I’m going to list some other verses at the end, that also talk about our identity in Him.
The next identity that I have found to be helpful is to know who I am, like the kind of mom I am, what my personality is. God has given us all unique strengths, and also our own spiritual gifts. These are the things that may change some, but are pretty much our makeup as a person. Like whether we like to be home more, or out more. Are we more introverted or extroverted? Are we more organized, or do we like things a little more free? Jill would call that being a “filer” or a “piler.” I can bet as you read the examples, you identified with them, and knew which one you were. I’m more of an organized person, who likes to be home, and I’m somewhere between extrovert and introvert. I love people, but love my alone time. Think about yourself, and your strengths, and those things about your personality that make you, YOU! In Better Together, there is a mom personality inventory. It will also be available on Moody Press’ website soon. I think you should so take it. I took it at the Hearts at Home conference, and it really helped me know who I am as a mom, and have confidence in that.
Knowing who we are in Christ, then knowing who He made us to be, can really help us to be confident. It helps us know what we can take on in life, and what to say yes and no to. I feel it helps with our comparison struggles as well. Jill says in Better Together,
“What if we could really understand and appreciate who we are? What if we could better understand other moms and be more accepting of how they are different from us? How might that make a difference in our friendships?”
That’s HUGE to me! It would be so awesome if we could let go of a lot of this comparing and worrying about what type of mom is better! There is no “better”, it’s just different. God created each of us in a unique and wonderful way. Let’s “stay in our lane”, as my friend Amber says. I say all of this to myself, as well. I’m not there yet, I’m still on this crazy journey. As I understand my limits though, and who I am in Christ, I’m not as easily offended. I don’t take on what someone says in context about their own life, and try to apply it to mine.
All of this takes us back to our relationships. When we know who we are in Christ, we know He is the only one who makes us complete. We know He comes first. When we know how God made us, then we can be friends with someone who is strong where we are weak. We can see the value of all of the different types of relationships, there are so many, and they all have value in God’s kingdom. Jill points out that understanding our relationships, helps us to have the proper expectations of them. I love this from Jill, “One of the biggest benefits of having a tribe is being able to access the strengths of other moms to fill your gaps.” We are meant for community, we can not do this alone. God shows us time and time again how much we need Him. Sometimes, many times, He uses us to be Jesus to each other.
Check out Better Together, coming in March.
Verses about our Identity in Christ:
- Eph. 2:6-10
- 1 John 3:1-3
- John 15:5
- 1 Cor. 12:3
- Phil. 4:13
- Romans 6:11
- Romans 12:1-2
- Col. 3:9-10
- Col. 3:12-17
- John 16:13
- Gal. 5:16-17
- Matt. 22:37-39
- 1 Tim. 1:5
- Matt. 28:18
- Col. 2:10
- James 4:7