By Nicole Kelp, Resonate Pullman
Who am I? I’m a working mother. A Christian. A college instructor. A wife. A Resonate staff member. A village leader. I’m a lot of things.
How did I get into these roles? The “good” answer: God called me to do all these things. The “bad” answer: I’m trying to prove that I can do it all — make disciples, be a mom, and have a meaningful career that impacts society. Which is the honest answer? The good one? Or the bad one? Probably a bit of both.
Being a mother with limited childcare while working two jobs — that makes me busy. I am doing so many things but never seem to hit perfection in any of them, let alone all of them. It was beginning to make me wonder: Should I quit something? Or should I seek a higher-paying job so I can afford childcare and focus on my career? Should I adjust something for the sake of my comfort and personal fulfillment?
God has shown me that the issue is not the list of responsibilities on my plate. The issue is my heart. I could have one job and still fail to accomplish what God is calling me to if I am relying on my own strength instead of trusting God. I could define myself by one thing or by a hundred things and feel just as scattered if I wasn’t defining myself by my identity in Christ.
So who am I? Inadequate. I can’t do anything well on my own. But I am made new by Jesus. I am empowered by Jesus. And I am called to be Jesus’ ambassador in the different roles in which He has placed me.
That’s the crux of the issue. Often Christians think about our identity and tell ourselves: “Stop defining yourself by your appearance or your wealth or your job or whatever! You are a child of the King! Define yourself by that and you will be less stressed out!” And while that is true, it’s still very self-seeking. Our identity in Christ is not for our sake. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 tells us that “Christ’s love compels us” because “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” It goes on to say that God “reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us… be reconciled to God!”
What is an ambassador? An ambassador is a representative of one country sent to live a foreign country. We are ambassadors of the Kingdom of God who live in the kingdom of this world. Being an ambassador means that our opinions and our goals aren’t the focus. What matters is being a representative of our Kingdom. We should no longer live for ourselves. We should live for our King. The beautiful thing is because we are made new in Christ, God begins to change our desires and opinions to match those of our King. We no longer have to fight for our own way, because our heart begins to align with the heart of God. Our identity in Christ is not ultimately for our sake, but in God’s sovereign love for us, He designed us to find our greatest joy in being His ambassador.
What does this mean for me? It means I need to think of my various “callings” or “identities” or “personas” not as a list of to-do’s that stress me out or as a list of accomplishments that set me apart. I need to think of them as places where I am an ambassador; domains of this world where God has set up His embassy via my presence in those domains.
I am a working mother. Praise the Lord. Because of that, I am able to understand what other working moms are going through and show them God’s love. I have had spiritual conversations with women that would have never happened if I did not have a career. On the other hand, I have limited childcare, so I work from home with my baby a lot. Praise the Lord. Because of that, I can also connect with stay-at-home moms in my neighborhood and show them God’s love as well.
I could go on: being a mother enables me to show God’s love to my child. Being a wife enables me to show God’s love to my husband. Being a village leader enables me to make disciples who can become more ambassadors of God’s love.
For each thing on my plate, I must realize how they are blessings instead of stressors, and embassy assignments rather than identities that define me. God empowers me to accomplish things well — not for me and my comfort but for Him and His mission. Romans 6:4 tells us that our old selves are buried with Christ and we are raised to life for the purpose of glorifying God. We are given a new identity in Christ, not for our sake but for God’s. The more I rest in my identity in Christ, the less I strive and the more I can share His love with those I interact with. Because it’s not about me and who I am. It’s about bringing glory to Him and who He is.
What does this mean for you? Think about who you are. How do you define yourself? What are the roles you play in society, in your family, in your church? For each of these positions, think of why God has given you that role and how you can use these unique callings to be an ambassador of His love in each space. Choose to live into your ultimate identity and calling as a citizen of God’s Kingdom, for you will find your greatest joy and fulfillment as an ambassador for Christ.