Living in DC I am processing the compelling paranoia most people have to define themselves based on their job title. Business cards are golden tickets that can grant access and favor to a select few. And women are fastidious about describing themselves as “more than just a mom.” I feel compelled to respond:
I have been privileged to work alongside remarkable people on several continents; from anti human trafficking projects that engaged law enforcement, the judiciary, local NGOs and the international community in Ukraine to my native South Africa where I tackled issues of housing injustice and sheltering orphans and vulnerable children. But if you were to meet me at a dinner party, I would still introduce myself by the job title that defines me, first and foremost – that of mother.
Once impressed by people of influence and positions of power, I have since experienced a rite of passage that has set me apart from all I used to admire or aspire to be – the otherworldly experience of co-creating life with Christ. It is one thing to read and imagine what it might have looked like as the Father breathed life into Adam, it is quite another to witness a brand new being cough and gasp its way to a first breath as lungs that have never held oxygen before expand for the first time.
It is one thing to picture the Creator shaping Adam from the earth; it is another to feel a human foot kick you from the inside. It is one thing to understand with your head that man was made in his Father God’s image, it is quite another to look into the scrunched up eyes of a wailing infant and hear his cries soften as you whisper “I’m your mom.” As he recognizes himself in you and you see your own image imprinted over his profile.
It is sacred. It is bloody. It is real.
It is truth that climbs up off the pages of Scripture and leaps alive into your arms when theoretical beliefs in a Creator give way to experiencing the act of creation.
I will never be the same – neither spiritually nor physically. But it matters less to me that I fit back into my favorite size 6 jeans from Prague than it does that I treasure up, as Mary did, the significance of the experience. And in doing so, everything else falls into its proper perspective. And I no longer need a business card or an official job title to define me.
I have this:
Pretoria, South Africa
Michigan, United States