"Have you ever stared up in the starry sky? Lying on your back, you're asking 'Why? What's the purpose? Tell me, who am I?'" - Brandie Carlile, Have You Ever (song)
"Do you ever want to be more than a wife and mother?" I asked her over a lunch of leftovers as the kids fought over the baby's blanket.
"Yes." she said, and it felt good to not be alone.
It started when I read a blog post about finding your "element" rather than wishing for someone else's talent. Your element being "where your passions and skills collide."
And I thought about it that night, yearning to know what my special "element" is, and drawing a blank. I knew it really wasn't good timing to hone out some genius, but I desired to know what it is God intends for me. What are my talents that He wants me to invest in this life and reap benefits from - for His glory? I asked Him that, and prayed He would show me or give me patience until He decides to.
It grew stronger when I heard the line from above as I set out to jog a whole half mile. Yes, isn't there more to me? Yes, I am wife and mother... but aren't I more? I am not saying that I am disappointed with my life or positions. I love being a wife and the man I am wife to. I love being a mother and the children I am a mother too. I do not at all want to change that. I simply feel an aspect of my life is missing. That there is more to me than I know. Like John Mayer says, "There's more to me than my body gives me credit for."
I was running these thoughts through my head as I was running on the track, trying to sort it out. Okay, most importantly, I am a child of God. Secondly, I am a wife and mother. Why do I feel it is not enough to be the best at these things as I can be? Well, because everyone is a child of God. And most women are wives and mothers. I want to be unique. I want to be good at something only I am good at. I want to have an original idea. To have something that stands me out. But is this really a good thing?
It is true we are all created different. We all have our unique gifts and talents. Is it necessary we know what these are? I suppose so if we are to develop them to the glory of God. But not to the glory of ourselves. Or perhaps by simply seeking after Christ in all we do, we will develop our talents without even realizing it.
I feel as if I am a pie - there are several pieces to me. All of them are vital and important, but one is blank. That would be my "element". My creative outlet that is more than "fun" and is something I am actually good at. I have a lot of interests, but I'm not really good at any of them.
I wonder if my mother or grandmothers felt this way. How many women before me have felt this way? Many, or just the ones who did stand out? Do I feel a desire to do something big and grand because I am in some way extraordinary, or just because I'm human? Do all humans feel this way? A desire to breakout, to grow, to stretch beyond one's small frame?
I think any human who is truly striving to live must feel this way. When we slow down enough to recognize our heart beating and lower the noise to actually hear it, I think it would only be natural long for something beyond this life and beyond ourselves. I'm often reminded that this earth and life are not really "home." That should long and strive for the Kingdom of Heaven. But I wonder how much I really believe it.
And if I want to be more than who I am now, I have plenty of opportunities to do that. To not scream when my toddler ignores me, to not get frustrated when the baby cries, to not judge, to say hi to the stranger, to deny myself over and over and over and over. That matters more than playing the piano or painting a materpiece. That is being bigger than this sinful, fallen body my soul is contained in. That is what God will notice and what will glorify Him. That is what matters for eternity.
The arts, hobbies, and all other things we label as talents are still important. They bring beauty and joy to our world. They reflect the beauty of God. But there are skills and talents that are not included in our (or at least my) usual list. Maybe I don't have any on that list. Maybe I do. But discovering that should not be my focus. Seeking to deny myself and serve God will lead me to whatever else He chooses for me to do. And for this time in my life, I know that is exactly where I'm at. Serving the husband and children He's given me with love, patience, and joy. He will make time for me to take care of myself too. To explore my interests. And maybe someday one of them will grow into what I'm longing for. But for now, I will try to grow bigger in my soul through service and discipline. Lord knows there are plenty of opportunities for that!