The blogsphere is hot over this recent interview with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto who left her husband and children in order to "find" herself. It happened after she was sent overseas for a six month period to study in Japan (which no one seems to question as a wise choice in the first place.) She commented that she feels like she if she hadn't left she said. . .
"I don’t think so…I probably would have never looked up and said, ‘Whoa…I did that thing that I didn’t want to do which was give up my life for someone else’ "I have been reading alot of blogs recently that have brought this story to forefront. It truly is sad that she left. I fear that the media has lifted her up as a model and many more will begin to follow.
The following blogs have had so great things to say:
Disposable Motherhood - Generation Cedar
Redefining Motherhood - True Woman Blog
"Why I Walked Away from Being a Mom" - Your Sacred Calling
While I have appreciated these articles, I can't seem to get something off my mind. Without Christ, I would do the same thing. My sinful heart craves ME time. My sinful heart sometimes resents this calling. I have often heard the siren call to send my kids to school and have more time to pursue what interests me.
I used to be the type of person that needed to "find" myself. I was a Christian sitting in one of those preschool mother's support groups. . .you know the kind that tell you that mom needs to take care of herself in order to take better care of her family. I now understand the futility of that message. At one point, though, I swallowed it whole. This is the Christian version of woman finding herself. It exists and no one seems to want to own it.
The realization in my life that I desperately needed Jesus in my life is what saved me from that life. I finally came to recognize just how bad my sin really was before God. Without Jesus, I really would be this woman in Christian form. But Jesus gripped my heart and began to stit in me to the need to re-evaluate this path. It was hard at first. I had my 2 oldest in a mother's day out program. I enjoyed those days to myself. I felt like a new woman when I picked them up. It didn't last. It seemed that the more time I got to myself, the more I needed to be a "new" woman. They just irritated me. But the conviction to have them home was growing stronger. I felt convicted to bring them home. But I didn't obey it. God used unemployment to force my hand. I might add that this all occurred while I was being treated for post-partum depression. Unfortunatley, I found other ways to "find" myself. I spent alot of time on the computer. But I didn't spend that time with my kids. I was "finding" myself so I could be a better mom. I have grown alot since then but I still have my moments.
I mention all this to say that we, as moms at home (or what have you), can sit and critique what this woman did. We ALL have the compacity to walk away though. We are not immune to the desire to "find" ourselves and seek our own. It's the sin of Eve all over again. She wanted her own way. She wanted to "find" herself in the midst of the garden without God. She questioned His best and sought to "find" herself. The enemy hasn't stopped enticing women in this way. It can show up in many different scenerios. The temptation are forever before us. But for the grace of God go I.
Yes, our society has become one that loves their pets more than they love children. Birth control is not something people even thinking about or (for the Christian) are prayful over. They automatically assume they will use birth control with little regard the ramifications of what they are doing. They must have their career first (as if motherhood is not a legitimate career choice.) There is little thought as to whether children are even of any value, or morese, blessings from the Lord. In the secular world, it's even worse. Many women are willing to kill their babies so that they can continue to "find" themselves. But I can see so many ways where the Bride of Christ has bought the message of the secular world and seek to find themselves. We can sugar coat this all we want. We can deny the reality. But it's out there. Just search in some of the latest "Christian" bookstores and you'll these message everywhere.
Mothering requires tons of sacrifice. It often does mean losing yourself. But isn't that the message of the cross?
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:23-25)The Christian life, whether you are a man or woman, is about losing yourself in order to bring utmost glory to the Father. There is no ME TIME in motherhood. There is only time to serve the Lord.
And lest we judge, it would be so easy for us to wake up one day and walk away. We can physically walk away but we're more likely to emotional walk away. Let's be very cautious as we look at the life of this woman not to be too quick to jump in and criticize her decisions. Was she wrong? I think so. She has denied her children the beauty of a mother and denied herself the beauty of loving sacrificially. If she knows Jesus and claims Christ, she's denied her calling as a Christian mom. If she doesn't know Jesus, then in reality, she's only acting according to her nature. We shouldn't be so surprised by it. As Christian mom's, however, we need to be vigilant not to fall prey to the different ways the enemy can entice us to seek to "find" ourselvs. We must guard our hearts lest we fall.
Christian moms, eam your hearts. Are you seeking ways to "find" yourself? You are looking for that ever tempting ME TIME? Are you resentful when more is required of you, such as in nursing a sick child, getting up with a baby at time to nurse, or perhaps having to take care of the children more than it seems you husband might be? These should a red flag that we are seeking to "find" ourselves. We don't have to leave as Rahna did. She just acted on the sin in her heart. We must guard against doing this ourselves.