Over coffee and dessert the other night a friend and I had a conversation about being a wife. She has been separated from her husband for several years now and a divorce is a pretty sure thing. She was saying how she loves being a wife and that's all she knows and she can't seem to move on not being one. Of course I told her how all the 'books' say we can't hang our whole identity on one role or person and she said she knows that. Her counselor told her to 'get over it'. Can't see how that helped. Laying in bed awake the next morning I started thinking about it and wondering why we do wrap ourselves so in a role, isn't it a good thing to be so devoted to our husband or child? And what could I have said that would have been more help. I thought of my mom who has no identity outside of being a mom and she is almost 84. She has never been able to let us 'grow up'. She needs to be in the middle of my life all the time to give her worth and value and needless to say it has put quite a strain on our relationship. It has kept me from fully being the 'adult' God intended me to be. I wasn't free to be me, the grown-up me. So it really doesn't work for either of us. Mom could have done so much more in her life. My friend is a smart, woman of faith, capable of accomplishing so much, but she is stuck. So what is the answer?
I lay there pondering this with the Lord and it seemed that he was saying, being a wife, mom, daughter, grandma, good employee are all grand, noble things and he calls us to them but they are only a piece of who we are. BUT the root, the core of who we are is being His! I am first and foremost, the absolute core of my identity, His daughter, a child of the King. His plan for me might include the role of wife, mom, grandma, sister, bank president, teacher etc. but those are just pieces of who we are, not the whole. Could it be that when we identify with one of those other roles to excess and derive all of our fulfillment from that one that we have made that our idol? Something to think about.