It seems like the whole country watches the new hit NBC series This Is Us. I too am a fan and have latched onto the storyline and the characters with the deepest endearment. Their stories have stretched my emotions and captured my heart. It’s true that most episodes require some tissues (…or maybe the whole box). And last night’s episode was nothing short of all the emotional punches. I won’t go into all the details (no spoilers here), but I’d like to highlight one line that struck out to me…
First a little content:
Rebecca was expressing her feelings of wanting to do something for herself, namely tour as a singer in a band. She always had the dream of performing on stage and finally had an opportunity to seize this dream. She had given her life to raising children and being a homemaker and now was her time to do something for herself (her words not mine).
During a heated argument, she said, “I feel like a frickin’ ghost.”
Ghost– a strong word to express a deep feeling of insignificance . Ghosts are dead, invisible, a faint shadowy trace. The writers of the show chose this word, I’m sure, because it is relatable and profound. They are trying to convey that Rebecca has felt that her life, in many ways, lacks the recognition she desires.
But is this true? Is this what it feels like to be a mom and a homemaker? And the answer is both ‘no’ and ‘yes.’ Let me clarify. This is NOT true. But it can feel this way at times.
It is essential to not only the health of our families but to the good of our soul that we set aside our feelings and pursue truth. Our feelings lie. They deceive us because they are often centered in our fleshly nature. We may look at the ways we care for our family and find that we serve without thanks. We may feel that what we do doesn’t really matter. We may give and give with nothing given in return. We may not even feel needed. Yet, these feelings of insignificance have no weight when placed on the scales of truth. We can change how we feel by rightly believing God’s word. And God tells us that mothers are not ghosts.
Your Life Is Christ
Mothers, who God has chosen to bring life into the world, also are called to breathe life into their families. We basically strive to keep everyone alive and thriving! And though our job may seem trivial, unimportant, mundane, and unappreciated we do it anyways. Not to receive praise. Not to pat ourselves on the back. Not to find our sense of worth. But for the Lord. We care for our children and our home because it glorifies God. Still, we are tempted to feel like ghosts. So how do we overcome this feeling?
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4 [emphasis mine]
First, we need to saturate our minds with God’s word. In Colossians, Paul beseeches us to seek the things above, not things on the earth. And this is a day to day discipline. Our culture is known to speak the lie that moms are just moms. We hear: Why not pursue something where you can really be fulfilled or use your talents? Why give your life to wiping snotty noses and mopping floors? Certainly there are more important matters you could invest your time in. But God says, I created that little human for my glory and you caring for him honors Me (Isaiah 43:7). Mopping that floor so your child has a clean place to play brings Me glory (1 Peter 4:11). We must fight to renew our minds with the things above. And we do that by trusting in God’s word.
But not only that, we also need to remember that we are not ghosts because through Jesus we have been made alive. We are not dead, insignificant beings. But rather as verse 3 says, “Christ is our life!” And consequently, because Christ is our life, He sees every aspect of it. We are not invisible to Him. His presence lives in us. The great Savior of the world sees our work as mothers, values it, and helps us to accomplish it. But what’s more is that not only does He really truly see us, but He sees us as righteous. In Christ, we are a new creation. We are no longer seen as sinners. Instead when God looks at us He sees the imputed righteousness of Christ.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing the from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-25
And unlike, the lies the world feeds us, we don’t work for ourselves or for praise or to satisfy some internal craving. As we read on through Colossians we see that whatever we do is for Jesus. Feeding our children is for Jesus. Cooking dinner is for Jesus. Cleaning bathrooms is for Jesus. Pouring ourselves into our families is life giving work that is done because of Jesus and for Jesus. Motherhood pulsates to the heartbeat of the gospel as we seek to serve and not be served. And when we see motherhood as a means to bring glory to God, we also find an eternal significance the world could never offer.
Let us remind ourselves that even if no one else in the entire world sees our deeds, our Father in heaven does. Even if we never receive thanks or praise, we labor on for the glory of Christ, knowing that we will receive a heavenly reward. Being a mom does not make us a ghost. On the contrary, in Christ we are more alive and seen than we ever could be.