There are days I just wish I could go back to the way I used to be. I used to be able to get up early, have cleaned the whole house and made a dinner plan by 8 am, completed all my marketing work, ran three miles, and be finished by 1 pm. One friend called me the Energizer Bunny. I prided myself in the way I could work hard and fast.
Pregnancy has changed everything. I know it won’t last forever, but there’s still the adjustment of getting used to the new normal. At least during this stage, I’m exhausted all the time, just feel like sleeping, and struggle to have energy to do the smallest tasks.
As a type-A “go-getter,” it’s tempting to allow so much change to precipitate an identity crisis. I can no longer be “Julianna the long-distance runner” or “Julianna the marketing writer” or even, “Julianna the perfect homemaker.”
And that’s a good thing.
Your change might not be a new marriage and pregnancy. But life brings change, and suddenly, we find ourselves no longer doing — or able to do — what we once unknowingly shaped our identity around. It’s that feeling of inadequacy whenever you switch roles or enter a new season, suddenly going from ‘expert’ to ‘newbie.’
Because what I do doesn’t determine who I am.
That doesn’t mean I throw excellence out the window and perform poorly because “God doesn’t care what I do.” He does. We’re commanded to do everything as unto Him — and why would I give Him anything less than my best?
Rather, when seasons change, I can rest in the fact that God sees my heart of wanting to serve Him, not the quota of what I’m able to do. How grateful I am to have a husband who sees me the same way and lavishes me with thanks, even if I feel I’m doing a lot less for him than I used to be able to! I appreciate he sees the effort, not the end result.
Ultimately, it’s who I am that makes the biggest impact on the world, not what I do. I think about many of the missionaries I’ve had the privilege of interacting with — both on the field and at home. It’s not moving to a third world country that makes them a missionary — it’s how radiantly their lives shine for Jesus, no matter where they are. They’re the kind of people who can step into any room and make an impact, simply by being who they are.
So instead of wallowing in pity that I can’t accomplish everything I want, my desire for this season is to focus on becoming. Who I am as a future mother is determined by who I am becoming today. Do I want to raise my child to love the Lord? Then I need to focus on growing in my love for Him today. Do I want to model godly womanhood such that I can disciple younger women? Then I need to focus on becoming that woman now. Only then will I be able to look back on this season and not see wasted time but a sweet season of God growing my heart.
The question is, who are we becoming?