Not just a Uterus:
These past few weeks have been consumed with “when will the babies come?” Shane and I have engaged this intense waiting season with vigor (to hopefully make it shorter) and patience (more on Shane’s part than mine). For people around us though, it seems to be the only thing that exists.
Don’t misunderstand me; I am more than thrilled of this huge life change and new members of the Rosty family. But, as a book I’ve been reading puts it, I’d like to be perceived as more than a “walking uterus.”
I’m sure many women can relate. As a young adult, you are just a “future bride” to everyone: “When are you going to settle down and get married?” If you ever got that checked off the list, the commentators follow through with, “when are you going to start a family?”
These well meaning individuals are worse than the paparazzi. Those of you who did become mothers might identify with the “lost-identity” now that everything is about the kids. The future-bride turned future-baby-maker, then walking-uterus turned mother-hen can’t catch a break.
To be honest, I must confess to being such an annoying commentator myself… to my shame (and I apologize to anyone’s identity I reduced from daughter of the King of kings to just another stage of life).
Even though I sometimes resent all the comments about my new identity, I have wholeheartedly jumped into it. I stop blogging about anything but the babies. I spend my days priming my home and body for the new humans. I gravitate to conversations about parenting and birth and breast-feeding. I change my profile picture on Facebook to celebrate my bulging belly. Then all of a sudden, I sensed the discontent in my heart and wish someone would ask me how my ukulele skills are coming or what new combination I am testing this week on my scones (it is marachino-cherry-chocolate, by the way). I realize I feel disconnected and frustrated, not because of the commentators’ perception of my identity, but my own.
Thankfully, God is shaping me through this “walking-uterus” season. In fact, He has been working on my understanding of my identity since I was a little girl:
Figure-Skates and Crutches:
I spent many of my growing-up years inside the ice arena. My sisters and I learned to figure skate at a young age and loved sport. When I was 14, I was starting to progress in my skills and grace as a figure skater. But more importantly, I was growing spiritually. I began to see the gliding and spinning as a way to worship my Creator. I had always enjoyed singing worship in church, but realizing I could worship God through movement gave me a whole new way to express my love for Him. My identity was skater-for-Jesus and I was flourishing.
Then I broke my ankle. During the dress rehearsal for the Christmas show, I sailed across the ice to take a practice bow, stepped down and *snap!*
Five months off the ice meant my newfound love to worship God was again limited. As I hobbled around on crutches, my identity required a bit of reshuffling. I wanted to be grumpy, but I felt God call me to worship Him.
It was not graceful gliding. It wasn’t choreographed to beautiful music. Limping my way around for months hardly felt like worship. But I learned to make it so. I put on a smile and held on to gratitude. I became “gimp-for-Jesus” and, you know what, I flourished in that too.
Colossians says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col. 3:23-24)
Through figure-skates and crutches, God taught me how to offer a joyful sacrifice of praise to Him in all circumstances. Today, I am remembering to offer that same praise from the bottom of my heart… right next to my expanding uterus. A part of me wants to be free of the seemingly all-consuming identity I am diving into. I want to be more than “walking-uterus.” But just like that 14-year old girl learned to worship on crutches, I am learning how my waddling through the panty-liner aisle at Walmart can be worship too.
I want my pregnancy to worship God. I am striving for a birth that honors His heart. I want to parent in a way that exalts His name. I just need to remind myself that I’m not just a “walking-uterus”, but I am a “walking-uterus-for-Jesus!” And I am flourishing.
So bring on the questions and comments about pregnancy and motherhood. If I’m perceiving my identity in Christ correctly, I’ll tell you all about God’s goodness through it all.
How about you?
What season of life have you found yourself in? Do you find it easy to worship God through this identity, or do you resent being in such a season?