I was working hard to make sure my professional life didn't intersect with my mom life. I showed up successful and faith-filled in each area, but I didn't feel fully present in either. I struggled with lots of guilt around disappointing my kids, my business, my husband … even myself ... always feeling like it was never enough … never good enough, never enough time, never enough effort. Maybe you can relate?
As my responsibilities grew in business and family, it became harder to have the energy to do it all well. I felt pulled in too many directions! The internal conflict between my talents and callings grew.
So, I just figured I’d quit. I’d stop working professionally and just “be a mom.” I did that, and guess what? The same insidious guilt trip came with me. I still felt torn between motherhood and doing other things. I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough, loving enough, or spending enough time. I was still fighting the same internal battle. But, why?
I was trying to fight a battle of time and attention when the real battle was one of identity and rest.
God stepped in and said, “Why are you defining yourself by what you DO? You are mine. You are precious in my sight, and I love you … no matter what you DO. You might need to adjust somethings in your calendar or expectations but let me hold your identity.”
Knowing that we need to build our identity on Christ is one thing, but actually walking that out is hard!
Here are two key actions that helped me move toward building an identity in Christ. Maybe they will help you, too.
Separate your performance from your value. You are valuable regardless of what you do (read Isaiah 43:1-4).
Integrate your motherhood and career―they both belong! They do not need to compete (read Proverbs 31:10-31).
The tension of separating and integrating is real. I still have days, weeks, months when I feel out of rhythm and need to recalibrate my identity! I don’t do it perfectly, and honestly, I never will. But I have found that the secret to more peace and freedom isn’t in quitting your kids, your job, your husband, your crazy life … the secret to more freedom and peace is found by letting Christ hold your identity. Let Christ hold it all together … perfectly imperfect.
Heidi Lewerenz is the mother of 7 children, a speaker, coach and trainer. She delights in supporting ambitious Christian women to succeed at both business and family! You can connect with Heidi at: www.heidilewerenz.com.