It was the final few minutes of my barre class and I was laid flat on my back staring up at the ceiling. The lights were off, music low, and we were stretching to finish out the hour.
That’s when it hit me.
I had this odd realization that I am not the same person I once knew.
My mind flashed with all kinds of past seasons – like college days or mission adventures or newlywed months – and I became so acutely aware of how much has changed. Not only around me, but in me. I’m so different, I thought.
My friend Erin emailed me a few months ago asking the question of how I have found myself since becoming “mom.”
I thought on it for a few days and then sent back these words:
I’ve gotten to know myself today. I came to realize quickly – but also over time too – that I am not the same. Things are not as they were before. Just like my body isn’t as it was, so I think there is a part of me that is different too. Maybe the same pieces, but it all sits a little differently. The stretching, tearing, expanding of preparing for motherhood has left me changed.
So I take time to learn who I am now. I sit with my thoughts. I take note of what goes through my mind. I let me be me, as I am, in relationships and friendships even when it’s a slightly altered version from before. I decided I didn’t need everything to go back to “normal.” There is a “new” and I decided to get to know the new.
Erin later posted words on social media that powerfully summed up what I was trying to say, which was this:
I am not static. So I am befriending my becoming.
I find this realization equally freeing and terrifying.
So much of me has changed and I am thankful for that. I want the God who moves us from glory to glory to move in and through me as well. I want such moves of him to be evident and tangible. Not all of them will be, of course, but I know there is beauty in the realization that things are shifting, resettling, and redefining.
But then it’s just as uncomfortable. Who really am I, so I wondered as I stared up at the barre studio’s ceiling. What do I dream for? Who am I becoming? What stirs or frightens or activates me most?
Those are powerful questions. At times it’s easy to answer them from what I know to be true based on prior seasons. The challenge for me, though, is to consider my answers in connection to who I find myself to be today.
Allowing myself space to wrestle with those questions reveals what I didn’t know about myself — the new, surprising, and not so pretty too.
Motherhood is teaching me that I am changing. Just as I am getting to know with wonder the little ones in my care who are growing and maturing each second of their lives, so I must befriend myself.
I must get to know who I am today as I am now.
Because ultimately, to surrender to the truth that I am not static necessitates I hold space for myself to grow in the process.
The new things God promised throughout Scripture are those that begin in us. He is changing, renewing, and upgrading us. Resting into the truth that we are different today frees us not only to know who we are through past history but also through present moments.
Here is where we meet God. This is our sacred ground where where we learn what he is doing and who he is making us to be.
So allowing ourselves the opportunity to change and become keeps fresh life flowing from us. It holds space for God to do in us what we could not know or imagine apart from him. And it keeps us breathing, dreaming, and living with him what comes today.