Who I AmOne thing you can count on as a mother is change.

No matter what season of motherhood I have found myself in, as soon as I get comfortable, confident in my skills, the game changes.

Motherhood is a fast-moving time warp. Slow by the calendar, but fast in moments. There is never enough time to slow the momentum and drink in those hectic, out-of-control moments that will be tomorrow’s treasured memories.

Countless hours, days, weeks, years are completely devoted to those precious little monsters. Every waking moment—and rare moment of sleep—is filled with remembering not to forget the schedule, to sign the teacher’s paper, planning the week around sports, organizing, laundering, cooking, packing lunches, taxi-ing, and prepping those sweet faces for a life of independence.

Then it happens, you wake up and according to the daily schedule it’s college move-in day. That sweet little baby you just held yesterday is leaving the nest today.

They will pack everything they own…ok, let’s be real, they will only pack the items they deem important and, somehow, a picture of their dear mother isn’t one of those items.

But they will pack lots of things, turn off the light, close the door, and leave without turning around for a second glance.

All the while you will be memorizing every crease in their face, every glimmer of excitement in their eyes, because you know this will be the last time you will look at the face of a child. The next time you see them, they will be the adult you have prayed they would be.

When the door closes and the house is silent, you have the realization you don’t know who are you anymore.

Who am I now that there are no diapers to change? Who am I now the car is parked and doesn’t need to taxi a gaggle of kids? Who am I now that my days of active parenting are over—replaced with a front row seat to watch them take on the world?

It’s been 18+ years since I had a phone conversation without being interrupted, spent a weekend away from the stadium, or heaven forbid use the bathroom without being needed for something so urgent it couldn’t have waited for another 30 seconds.

How do I even know what my likes and dislikes are? What are my hobbies? What are my favorite foods, songs, movies? I don’t even know because I’ve spent too long listening, reading and watching whatever the kids’ were into doing.

But somewhere in the mix of all the emotions of motherhood, I confused who I am with what I do.

My true identity is not what title comes after my name; my identity is who I am in Christ.

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross gives me the assurance that no matter what hat I wear at any given moment, no matter how many titles I place behind my name, and certainly no matter how many diapers I change, I am redeemed and forgiven, therefore, I am a beloved daughter full of hope because I am called for a purpose. (Ephesians 1:5, 7, 12, 18; Ephesian 2:10)

Motherhood is a calling, a place of ministry, but it isn’t the only way in which I will fulfill my created purpose. I will forever be called “mom”, but my role evolves as the children grow.

The time spent dedicated to ministering to my kids will now be filled with other opportunities.

My identity as a child of God is secure, His intended purpose for which He created me does not diminish, but the way in which I fulfill my purpose has shifted.

Now I move into a new season for a while, knowing that soon enough seasons always change.

Yet who I am will never be determined by the changing seasons.

 

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This post is part of Suzanne Eller‘s #LiveFree blog

 

 

Amy Schlichter This post is part of Amy Schlichter‘s Looking-Up Link Up

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Written by Stephanie K. Adams

11 Comments

Suzie Eller

Such a powerful and needed post, Stephanie. We are still “mom.” I can tell you that as a mom to three grown adults who are parents themselves. Now I get to be mom in a different way. It expands. It’s different. It’s still beautiful. I also get to be “mom” to three beautiful human beings who fell in love with my children, and “Gaga” to the babies they brought in the world. It changes, yes. It also expands and it’s awesome.

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Stephanie K. Adams

Thank you for the encouragement, Suzie. It is such a hard transition, but it is also good because it is a new adventure with God. I’m excited to “Noni” one day…just not yet, they need a little more time. 🙂

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Cindy K. Krall

“But somewhere in the mix of all the emotions of motherhood, I confused who I am with what I do.” Stephanie! I LOVED this post! Countless mama’s out there need to hear this. We just took child #2 to college this fall. Mercy, I could relate. Thank you for sharing your humor and wisdom! (Your neighbor over at #livefree. 🙂 )

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Stephanie K. Adams

Thank you, Cindy. Our last one just left for college in August, too. But, the first one left only a few months before that, so it felt like a double-whammy. I am so proud of them both. Praying for you as you experience the “college mom” season.

Also, thanks for a wonderful post over at #livefree today. So wonderful!

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Deb

Whoa, needing a tissue now. You hit so many familiar chords and some I haven’t even discovered yet and honesty long for. Having two sets of kids in adult and child stages makes the norm for our age not normal. I know those silent moments will be deafening. The door closes behind them without a second glance back, just as we did and the cycle continues. Our seasons are overlapping one another. It is so different from others around us our age. Everything about it is out of the normal. Most people are running here and there on mini vacations without kids and time alone. We are parents of grade school children, pre teen, grandma, grandpa, retired, business owners, unemployed, stay at home mom and dad, working at home, parents of married, parents or college, new to a state, county and town, retirement from a career that was a lifestyle for 24 yrs and the list goes on. We have the little ones, with all those school age programs still pulling our attentions, but also the big ones with weddings and a baby on the way, college and career transitions and relationship issues. Bob now struggles to find his identity as a stay at home dad and still trying to find work after retirement and building our new business. It is like looking at a collage that keeps adding layers upon layers and constantly adjusting the lens to find the focus. It can be disorienting to say the least. Yes, Jesus is our Rock in the middle of the forest and we have to keep seeing it as a forest, while tending the trees. Thank you for the comforting and confirming words that in the midst of all those titles kept, lost, changed or renamed, we are His. A child of God and that never changes. The point in which I stand at the Rock and look out never changes.

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Stephanie K. Adams

Deb, you are definitely wearing a lot of hats and titles during this season of your life. But it is such a blessing to see how God has used your little family since we first met all those years ago. I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me. Keep on pressing in to Him as you journey through the littles and the grands. Stand firm on that Rock! Love you, friend.

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Crystal S. Hornback

Oh Stephanie! This is absolutely beautiful! *TEARS* I want to give you a big hug. And in a few years, when I am sitting in your shoes, bawling my eyes out through the glazed confusion of where the last 18+ years went, I will want to read this again! Praying for you, beautiful momma, as you navigate this new journey of life! #livefreeThursday

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Stephanie K. Adams

Crystal, I am sending you a hug right back. Enjoy these next few years. Take time to soak in the moments. Be present in the chaos. Enjoy the messes because, although they frustrate and cause delays in our plans, the day will come when life calms and all those worries we used to carry just doesn’t seem so important anymore. You can bookmark this page and pull it up in a couple years. 🙂

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Jan

This is so true! We fush over the present and soon it will all be gone. Thanks for the reminder to cherish this day.

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Stephanie K. Adams

Burdens can be heavy right now, but soon we will see they melt away in His light. Praying and believing for God’s goodness and mercy in your family always, Jan.

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Betsy de Cruz

What a beautiful post, Stephanie. I totally get this because it just happened to me! We dropped our son off at college in late August, and I was totally unprepared for how hard it would be the first weeks. We had an international move and a lot of travel before we got him settled in, so I really didn’t have time to think ahead about what it would be like. God is good, and I keep holding on to the truth: “There’s a time for every activity under heaven.” 🙂 Beautiful words. May the Lord open new doors to you. (I do still have a daughter at home.

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