This word entered my vocabulary Wednesday when a friend and I were discussing what it meant for us now to be parents of adult children, wanting a balance of mentoring, being available and nurturing while fostering independence and appropriate “letting go.”  She brought up the concept of redefining the mother/child relationship as our children grow older.

I love this idea of redefining, not just in motherhood, but in life. Many times we feel stuck in places,  that we can’t move forward from the past, or grieve the loss of something or someone, or wrestle with changes happening around us.  Changes we may or may not have control of.

As a woman, I’ve struggled with these things.  I recently made a career change from teaching to working on a Masters in Counseling.   Am I a student?  Am I still a teacher?  Am I a counselor?  I feel called to ministry, but what does that look like?  What if I don’t fit in any one category?

I’m learning to be comfortable saying I’m not classroom teacher, that I’m training to be a counselor, but don’t have to give up my passion for education and teaching biblical truths to others.

I’m learning to redefine. Currently working with women from abusive relationships, redefining boundaries and thought processes becomes significantly important. For people grieving losses, redefining because a new way of life.  In my own faith journey, being comfortable where I am means redefining expectations and feeling comfortable in my own skin.

I was talking with a friend today who was hurting because of choices her child was making.  She was grieving over the rejection of values by her adult child.

And we talked about redefining.  What it means to  love while not take responsibility and guilt for this child’s actions.  Redefining what it means to love in pain, being available while not condoning, re-imaging the truths of motherhood when the definition of “good mom” is shattered by choices we don’t have control over.

Truthfully, doesn’t the Lord redefine us?

                      Sinner to Saved
                      Guilty to Not Guilty
                      Unforgivable to Forgiven
                      Unworthy to Great Worth
                      Condemned to Redeemed
                      Misunderstood to Known
God is continually redefining us, and I like the reminder of redefining ourselves and our roles as we journey through life.  Who I am now as a mid-life wife and mother is different than I was as young wife and mom.  Experiences shape who we are, but it’s healthy to adjust and change when the description doesn’t quite match any more.  It’s easy to get comfortable with definitions we’ve had for a while, even when they don’t fit.

As Christian women, one definition that won’t change is Woman of God, unless, in rebellion, we define it in a way not reflecting the Lord. What a privilege it is to allow Him to mold us where He wants us to be when redefining is appropriate.  I don’t want to be stuck like the woman in the song “1985”, physically or spiritually.  I want to be the woman who grows through seasons of life and womanhood with God, allowing Him to redefine my character as he sees fit.  It’s not always easy, but I think it’s the healthiest place to be.

Ecclesiastes says

 There is a time for everything, 
       and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
       a time to plant and a time to uproot,

 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
       a time to tear down and a time to build,

 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
       a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
       a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
       a time to keep and a time to throw away,

 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
       a time to be silent and a time to speak,

 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
       a time for war and a time for peace.

Praise God, He is the definer of our character and soul, the author of time and seasons.

Where is God calling you to be redefined?.

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