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I sat on the top row of metal bleachers, squinting to see my right fielder. I’d officially joined the ranks of little league parents, and let me tell ya. This was definitely the place to be.
Everyone from town was there, and I mean everyone. There I was among them, an official baseball mom. But it felt like something was missing.
As I looked out from that top bench, I caught a perfect view of the backs of all the other moms in the stands. And there before me, I found it. The coveted prize.
The mom t-shirt, and I wanted one.
From my vantage point it was like a sea of brightly-colored jerseys adorned with the names of their respective kids.
…and on and on…
I needed to get one of those. After all, how great would it be to have his name printed across my back when he hit that game-winning home run? Everyone would point my way, knowing full-well who he belonged to.
But who does he belong to?
With that one question, God’s sweet Spirit gave me a much-needed heart check. I took a pause from thinking about the mom shirt and asked God to examine my motives. His Word gives me the freedom to do that in Psalm 51:10.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (ESV)
I sensed my prideful nature taking over. Would I flaunt the mom t-shirt when he scored a 100 on his math test and then tuck it away in the bottom drawer when the principal called home with a bad report? Would he think making me proud gave him worth?
Because honestly, I had moments when I attached my value to my role as a mom. I sometimes fell into the trap of letting his actions define me, and that put a heaping load of pressure on my child to perform.
But when God calls us to motherhood, He doesn’t intend for that role to define who we are. One of the most well-known moms in history knew that, which is what made her the right person for the job.
Her name was….well, we don’t even know her name. And that’s OK. When our identity is grounded in Christ, our name isn’t all that important.
A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son… He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Judges 13:2-5 NIV
The Bible describes her as Manoah’s wife. God sent an angel to her with incredible news. At a time when the Israelites had been oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years, she would give birth to a son who would lead the charge toward freedom for God’s people.
The angel gave her a pretty detailed list of instructions to follow too. No doubt God knew her heart. He knew she could be trusted to take care of it. God rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and He exalts those who humble themselves.
She had every reason to get caught up in her role as a mother. Her son Sampson would have an important job to do.
But even though we know her as Samson’s mom, God knew her as obedient and trustworthy. And from her example, we can learn this valuable truth.
When we know where our identity rests, we find peace in the role we’ve been given.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 NIV
Manoah’s wife knew her Lord, and because of her great faith she was able to fulfill the task before her.
Whatever role we are in today, we can have confidence in our identity as children of God. When we do, we will find immeasurable joy in the roles we’ve been given.
Many years have passed since that first day on the metal bleachers. Our time in little league didn’t last long, but other adventures and activities followed. Now, as we enjoy his final year as a senior in high school, guess what I finally purchased? My very own mom shirt.
Now I can wear my mom shirt with a spirit of encouragement instead of pride, cheering him on as he steps out into adulthood.
Knowing our worth is in Christ brings freedom to enjoy the roles he so graciously gives us.