If nothing changes in our family, I will have homeschooled for somewhere around eighteen years by the time my youngest graduates. Meanwhile, my husband and I have been in ministry most of our married life. It is reasonable to say that most of my life is tied up in homeschooling and ministry.
The danger comes when I let those things be my identity.
It’s an easy transition. We do something for so long that we think ourselves to be that role. But, what would happen if God instructed my husband and me to put our children in a traditional school this fall? How would I feel if our family role changed and we no longer served in a ministry role. (We’ve actually been there before, and it was quite strange!)
If my whole identity is caught up in what I do, then when what I do is removed from my life, I have no idea who I am anymore.
In a way, I want to go ahead and say that I am a pastor’s wife, homeschooler, writer, editor, teacher, etc. But, the truth is that those are the things I do. Who I am is very different.
- I am a child of God, called to live out the Great Commission. (I just happen to do it as a pastor’s wife.)
- I am a parent responsible for the education of my children. (I believe that God’s instruction for our family is homeschooling.)
- I am a personality who learns best by organizing her thoughts in written form. (I have the privilege of submitting portions of what I write for publication.)
- I am the type of learner whose brain processes grammar well. Add to that the fact that I received a solid grammar-based education. (I am entrusted with the privilege of editing the work of others.)
- I am a learner with the ability to communicate to others what I have learned. (I am honored to be able to turn that communication into lessons for my children as well as youth and young adults at church.)
This list is incomplete, though. I am also an organizer and administrator by nature, yet I am not officially in an administrative role right now. I have always been sought out for counseling, and I pursued a counseling degree in college as a direct result of that. But, I never felt any inclination to follow through with a graduate degree that would allow me to practice counseling professionally.
I could go on.
The point is that what I do and who I am are different. Yet, they are also intertwined. Anytime I say goodbye to one aspect of what I do, it feels like I lose a bit of who I am.
But, the reality is that I never lose anything. I am just forced to find new ways to reflect who I am.
And that my friends, is the essence of what I do. I reflect who God made me to be. I take the creation of God and turn it back into something that will bring glory to Him. Because, ultimately, that is who I am – a being created for the glorification of God.
It is such a blessing to do what I do today. But, may I consider it an equal blessing to glorify God in the next stage of life, even if all the things I love and do today suddenly disappear!