“Life transitions remind me that identity is a complex topic and not something that can be reduced to one or two things, like being a wife and mother. There are many layers that make up who we are, but one most important layer is the foundation. What is the foundation of your identity?”
I was strongly rooted in my singleness. I was content in that season. I had grown up in the same city for thirteen years with many friendships built along the way. I was a leader among the youth and singles in my church. But then I married my husband, which meant moving out of my parents house for the first time and leaving the rest of my family and friends to move out of state. When I moved from Orlando to Philadelphia I didn’t know anybody unless they were friends of my husband, and everybody knew me as his wife. I had also just graduated college and couldn’t find a good job in my new city. I experienced a multitude of quick transitions at once, and I had an identity crisis. I didn’t know what to do with my life except clean our one-bedroom apartment, wash and dry our clothes at the laundromat, grocery shop, and attempt cooking. Growing into a wife away from home was lonely.
When I did finally find a job I was pregnant two months after I started. I stayed home after our first son was born, and just when I was getting comfortable with the new me, my identity changed again. I had a traumatic birth experience and a battle with baby blues my first month home with my newborn. On top of that I was adjusting to the constant demands of a nursing baby who kept me up at night. I was being stripped of my independence, learning about true sacrifice and the strength of a selfless life.
My identity changed when I moved and became a wife and then a mom. It was like adding layers on a cake. The cake is still a cake, but the layers keep growing. And the transitions of adding new layers to my identity felt like growing pains. The biggest transitions of my life made me who I am now, because I was humbled through those experiences. It’s God’s natural way of perfecting my identity in Christ; to become more like him. Because I belong to him and he disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:6).
These life transitions remind me that identity is a complex topic and not something that can be reduced to one or two things, like being a wife and mother. There are many layers that make up who we are, but one most important layer is the foundation. What is the foundation of your identity? Foundations are vitally important, but in life, easy to forget. As G.K. Chesterton says, “We have all forgotten what we really are.” This is why so many people run around trying to “find themselves” and discover who they really are. We are confused, because we don’t have a solid foundation. We have all forgotten that we are made in the image of God. We belong to him and our purpose (or identity) is in imaging him.