Maybe You Haven’t Really Lost Yourself.

A song came on the radio while I was driving home from picking up my three school-goers the other day. It began right as I was heading into the hilly straight stretch where cell service is lost and a few miles before the spot we always figure out whose turn it is to check the mail. It was a song I’d heard a hundred times and knew well. But this time it took on new meaning as the lyrics popped in a way they hadn’t before. This is your life, are you who you want to be?

Yeah. There was that theme again. The one that’s been hanging around so often. Who is Amanda really? I usually think I know, but she seems absent more often than I’d like. Which is never. I believe I’m doing the things God has for me to do in this season of life, but am I being the person He intended in the middle of it all?

If what follows is too deep like Jeremy may have suggested once it was too late to scrap it all, grab some coffee or splash your face with some cold water. I’ll wait. I was just kidding about the cold water. Who does that to themselves? But coffee, yes to coffee.

Here’s the part that could possibly be too deep for a Monday: If all the things that aren’t truly me were stripped away, what would I find? Who am I really?

The pretense.

The frustrations.

The rushing.

The hoping people are pleased with me.

The insecurity.

The striving.

The distraction.

If those were gone, what would be left? I believe it’d be the me God had in mind all along. So I guess it’s not really who I want to be like the song suggests, but rather who God created me to be that I’m searching to find.

3-30 TMM3

I’ve been spending some time thinking and praying about who I’d be if I were down to the bare bones me. Without the addition of fear and sin. I’d be one who likes to be fun and funny, isn’t afraid to look like a fool for the sake of what’s good and right, has ideas, passion, and drive. And love. Deep, deep love for Christ, His word, and for people.

Sometimes, though, this true me is crowded out. I don’t mean for her to be. But life. Life and the daily grind shoves its way in, bullying her into a corner.

Does it ever feel like your true self has been backed into a corner? I’ve only just begun thinking about it in this way.

As moms, as women, as humans, we can get so bogged down. And then we settle for the belief that we’ve lost ourselves. “The real me will come back when the kids are grown,” we console with a sigh. I’ve felt that way many times through the years. Motherhood is draining. Right there in the middle of the beautiful parts, sometimes we just feel like we don’t know who we are anymore.

Crowd, crowd. Shove, shove. Elbow, elbow.

I don’t think our true self is ever really lost or gone. But I do believe the bossy crowding lady is allowed the victory all too often.

She’s backed us into a corner with no wiggle room without us even realizing it. Even still, isn’t it just a little bit relieving? She’s not lost! The real us (us-es?) might be cowering against a wall, but that’s not the worst thing that could happen.

It’s a much better option than the whole, “the real me will come back when the kids are grown” way of thinking. 

One morning a week I am afforded an hour and a half with just my three youngest while my three elementary kids are at school, and my middle school homeschoolers are at a class. It’s become one of my favorite times in the week. For some, being stranded in town with a 2 year-old and two 4 year-olds wouldn’t sound like much. But for me it’s a chance to remember myself. To encourage her out of the corner, and into the game of life. I’m fun, carefree, and willing to be a goofball at the expense of my little peoples’ delight. I really like myself like this. I didn’t even need to offer cupcakes or a new book or a bit of me time to coax her out. She simply decided to appear because it’s what she wanted.

Am I sounding like a crazy person here, or are you tracking with what I’m saying? Do you know who you want to be, perhaps, who you already are deep down? Who God intended?

Yes? Okay, so you get this. Then how do we present her to the world now instead of later?

I don’t have the perfect answer for you. But I do know that I plan on being much more mindful of this. I want the real me to be the one hanging out with my family, interacting with the world, and shining in the unique way only I can.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you ever feel like you’ve lost yourself? Have you found ways to coax her back?

Also, if you and your true self happen to see me out in public? High-five me. I’ll know exactly what it means. You’re back in the game. 

 

*This is Your Life by Switchfoot

Amanda Bacon
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Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!
Amanda Bacon
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About Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!

Comments

  1. Deep calls unto deep. The real me is sometimes overshadowed by financial obligations. I get it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I totally get what you are saying, and have been in that corner many times, and like you just came to the realization that the real me is always there to come to the surface. I think, for me -a young mom with a large family, most often I am needing that time with myself in the presence of my Lord. Sometimes it takes the span of a single breath to find her and bring her up, other times…more…much more. But moms need to hear this, Amanda, so thank you for saying it!

    • Yes, yes, yes, Rachel. It’s definitely a combo of the two, isn’t it? Much love to you and your big, beautiful fam!

  3. May I comment even if I am a grandpa and not a young mom? Amanda’s discussion of self-acceptance and self-awareness is a topic that impacts us all but especially young parents–dads and moms. I was 30 yrs old before I overcame self-rejection. I failed to get on a Little League team at age 8. I was a skinny kid with knees like a stork and crooked teeth. I was un-athletic in school sports. I got five letters of rejection to med schools. I did not talk about them, but I had a long list of failures that I drug around until I was 30 yrs old and attended a Christian seminar. One of the messages was about “the 10 unchangeables.” I could choose to “accept” all those things that made me ashamed. I heard for the first time that in God’s eyes I was specially created and unique, and that He had a plan for my life. It was life-changing! Thanks for sharing. This will make a great chapter in your book!

    • Are you kidding me? I always look forward to what you have to say. And I thank you for your interest. It’s a true blessing to me! Yeah, the 10 unchangeables? Wow. Yes, that acceptance. Something I could use more of myself. It’s actually been a common theme in my thought life recently. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! You’re always wise and encouraging. Thank you.

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