Last night we had our annual Mother’s Day Banquet at church. A friend and I were the co-hostesses for the event and were so thrilled with how it all came together and turned out. Here’s a glimpse of the night.
I was also the speaker for the night and wanted to share my message with you, dear Moms, for this Mother’s Day. It’s a little longer than I usually post, but I want you all to know that you are more…
Let me give you some background about myself. I am a Type-A, blue personality. For those of you who don’t know what that means…it means I’m complicated. I like things neat and organized – even though my house may not always reflect it. But, I am also a very compassionate person. I take things personally – very personally. I am over-considerate of people’s feelings and even take things personal for them.
For instance, when we take the family to a restaurant and we have less than a pleasant experience, I tell Jacob he still needs to tip big, because…well, “Maybe they’re just having a bad day. We never know what has caused them to act this way.”
OR when I see the saggers walking down the street. You know…the ones where they have to walk with their legs 3 feet apart to hold up their pants? I have been known to say, “Maybe they have no self-esteem and are just looking to be included.” or “Maybe their family life is something more horrible than we could imagine.” I truly feel sorry for those kids, because it’s their parents are not concerned with their appearance or they don’t fit in with their peers.
In simpler terms, I cry – a lot. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m upset and frustrated. I cry at movies. In fact, that’s when we figured out I was pregnant with our first child. We were at my parent’s house watching “Master and Commander.” Have you seen it? Well, I honestly don’t remember much about it other than what made me sob – like a baby. We were at the part when they are in the storm and the boat is breaking apart and turning on it’s side from the weight of the water it’s taking on. They’ve lost several crew members in the ocean, but one was hanging onto the mast, which they had to cut off and get rid of or go down. So they did. They left him in the ocean. I remember just starting to cry as I watched them leave him there. Jacob looks at me and I couldn’t even contain myself, but I managed to get out, “They are leaving him? Oh I can’t handle it. Why?” He calmly explained that they would lose the whole ship if they didn’t. It still didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t believe they were leaving him there to die. So I cried. We soon found out that I was pregnant at the time and that seemed to heighten my “crying” tendancies.
I’m a crier. Some people may say that “I wear my heart and feelings on my sleeve.” And that’s probably true.
While being a compassionate person can be a wonderful trait, it is also something that I struggle with. I struggle to remember who I am and where my identity lies. I struggle because my husband, children and family mean everything to me. I would do anything for them. What I do at home is to show them how much I love and care about them. It’s an outward expression of how I feel. And when they don’t respond in the way I feel they should, I am hurt – deeply hurt.
It took some hard and tough lessons for me to realize just how much I put my own self-worth in people.
I have looked for confirmation and love in many places on this earth. Although I grew up in the church, my senior year I had a little rebellion. I dated a 25 year-old, who was much too old for me and I got into some trouble, which sent me into a downward spiral of deep, dark despair. I sought love in men on earth and in my relationships. One that led to rape and a child as a result. At age 19, I was facing some of the darkest days in my life, while dealing with the fact that I was soon going to be a mother. At 9 weeks, I lost the baby, but the trauma and scars remained for years.
It was never a question in mind of whether I would be a wife or mother, I always knew I wanted to get married and be a mother. But I was working toward that on my time table. I was so desperate for love that I was willing to do almost anything to find it. Even putting myself in dangerous and harmful situations.
As John said in Revelation 2, I had “abandoned the love [I] had at first.” He tells the church at Ephesus to “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first.” I had lost my way and consequently lost my love and zeal for the Lord. It was time to remember what David says in Psalm 139:14, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He made me. In his image, He made me.
He made me for a purpose – to Glorify Him.
He made me for a calling – to praise His name.
He also made me to be a mother.
Being a mother is said to be the most difficult job you’ll ever love. As a mother, it is easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routine and life. We see a task list in front of us – laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, and mix in some boo-boo kisses, cuddles on the couch and schooling and that pretty much rounds out my day. Of course, some days are easier than others, but generally speaking my days are defined by the little ones roaming my house.
As a blue personality, it is nearly impossible for me not to take things personally when my kids are upset or get hurt by other people. But being a mother is just one position or title I hold in this world.
I am also a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, wife, mother and friend to many people.
My identity is not in what my family thinks of me.
It’s not in what my friends think of me.
It’s not in the jobs I’ve held.
It’s not even in being a wife or a mother.
My identity is in Christ.
While my past experiences, trials and even successes have shaped me and guided me to the person and Mom I am today, they are no longer what defines me.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
When I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior I became His.
Through the power of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I am no longer a victim. I am no longer trapped in that deep, dark hole of anguish and despair. That is a very lonely place to be. But I am so thankful that since I accepted Jesus Christ and was baptized at the age of 8, my identity has not changed. I am still the same Annette that was born to Doug and Quaye on that Sunday morning in April. My titles have changed, but my identity has only changed once. On that Easter Sunday in April, 1985 I became forevermore, a child of the one true King.
Dear Moms, you are not defined by your past mistakes. You are a child, a precious child of the ONE TRUE KING.