The term “crisis of confidence” has been swirling around in my head lately. It seems that I’m kind of old for that. I mean, at 62, shouldn’t I know who I am, feel secure in my decisions, know that the important thing is that God loves me? But somehow, I seem to be second guessing myself more than ever.
Maybe it is because I am in this stage where who I am is not clearly defined. You’re a child, then a teenager, then a college student, then you are defined by your work perhaps or maybe your role as wife and mother. I got married at 25, had four sons over the course of the next 10 years and then spent the next 18 raising them until William went to college. I liked being a mom and I think I was pretty good at it. I even extended my mothering for four more years when our niece, Olivia, came to live with us. That is 32 years of feeling totally secure in my role and confident that I was doing a good job. Sure, I am still a mother, but we all know that once they are out of the nest, it is different – as it should be!
So why now? While it is fun being a grandmother, it is not a day-in, day-out role for me. My sons need me as a phone buddy when they are on the way somewhere. I am working hard at being an awesome mother-in-law but that is fraught with peril (ok, a little exaggeration) – no offense to my incredible, delightful, smart and thoughtful daughters-in-law. A good friend, who is the mother of one son, told me to get used to being on the B Team as a mother-in-law. I’m not the best at being on the B Team – I feel like Jay and I were Co-Captains of the A Team for so long – so much testosterone – this new placement is kind of hard!
I need to stop whining and see that this is one great life I have and although it is changing every day and my role changes daily as well, that every stage is interesting and different and good. And the self-confidence thing? Well, I am just going to have to do my best and decide that that is good enough. And maybe not take everything so personally. I am reading Wild and Free (again), by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan with a group of ladies and that is their message. Be Wild and Free as God’s daughter. Let go of your defense mechanisms, unfurl your heart to Him, allow Him to calm your fears and anxieties and in fact, just give them over to Him and let Him handle it.
As we approach the wild and wonderful holiday season, I encourage you to take time for yourself. Get a cup of tea, find a quiet corner, silence your phone and just BE for a little while each day.