I've been noticing more and more that we as humans are really into labels: "I'm a Republican/Democrat, Conservative/Liberal, Protestant/Catholic or Non-denominational/(insert denomination), stay-at-home mom/working mom...and the list goes on. The interesting thing about labels is that each label conjures up some sort of image or stereotype based on the majority (or at least the most outspoken) of people wearing that label.
Using the random labels I just listed, I guess I'd be a semi-conservative Republican Protestant going to a non-denominational Christian church and I'm a stay-at-home mom. But I don't really feel like I fit in with a lot of people with those same labels. When it comes to politics I am adamantly pro-life/anti-abortion--that is my primary reason for voting Republican. However, I am a bit more socially/economically liberal than probably most of the people labeling themselves as Republicans, so I don't really feel like I fit in very well there. I don't fit in with the liberal Democrats so well either because of my strong stance on abortion, as well as the fact that I disagree with some of their ideology/values/methods. But I DO appreciate their commitment to health care, helping the poor, and humanitarian leanings.
As for my "religion," I believe that God sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, and for yours. I believe that I am saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ, and that on my own I am nothing but a sinner. I believe the Bible to be the true Word of God, and I gratefully, humbly and wholeheartedly wear the label "Christian."
The funny thing is that sometimes I don't feel like I really fit in with some of the Christian culture. I'm not sold out on the Elizabeth George books (shhhh, don't tell!), and it makes me sad that the church in America right now seems to have such an inward, individualistic focus: my relationship with God, my daily quiet times, my prayer life, these are the only things that matter. At least, I always have, and I always got the impression that that was how it was supposed to be.
The reason this trend in the church (well ultimately in society I guess) makes me sad is that in order to love Jesus and love others with the love of Jesus, we have to get outside of ourselves. Ephesians 2:10 tells us:
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Okay, so when it comes to being an at-home-mom, I don't "look" like most moms either. I'm 24 with three children. Two of my children are from Ethiopia and don't look a thing like me (well my daughter doesn't look much like me either, sadly!) My sons are part of two cultures and two worlds. Now so are we. Our family is what they call a "conspicuous family": you can tell we are "different" just by looking at us.
So all of this to say that I am just plain weird. :) There is still some small part of me that is stuck in high school, wanting above all else to "fit in" somewhere. But for the first time in my life, I really don't!
There is something surprisingly freeing about not fitting into a label or stereotype perfectly. It keeps my true identity and true purpose at the forefront of my mind: my true identity being a daughter of God, and my true purpose is to follow after Christ. As Psalm 139 says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." I never have to have an identity crisis because I am loved by a sweet God who has some sweet plans for my life.