Welcome to Rooted Session 1 – we are so excited that you are here!
Identity is such a focal point in our society today. We only need look at the Instagram and Facebook culture to realise that there is such pressure to carve out our individualism. We’re constantly told to “find ourselves” and to “look inside ourselves”. We find our validity in what we perceive our identity to be and also around what others think about us. We hear of girls and young women tragically taking their lives because of social media bullying, or developing eating disorders, mental health issues, and so on.
But the problem of identity isn’t just an issue for the social media generation. Our identity changes throughout our lives, and as women, we have an extremely complex and emotional relationship with this.
To use an analogy, we might want to think of the seasonal cycle of a tree.
You might think of the springtime as the transition from childhood to adulthood – your branches are fresh and young, you are learning and growing, and starting to bloom into adulthood. Life is exciting and new and you have so much potential. Maybe you’re at school, at Uni, beginning your career, carving out friendships.
Then you reach summer and you start to mature. You bear fruit, whether that’s becoming a mother, having a career, realising your hobbies and ambitions. You might be strong, bright, productive, purposeful.
And then autumn comes and you might slow down. Perhaps your children grow up and leave to start homes themselves, your promotions at work begin to become less frequent, your focus shifts away from climbing ladders, to finding a more comfortable place in life. The leaves you were holding have now had their time, and you are able to release them back into the earth.
And finally, moving into winter, perhaps retirement, old age, your children now have children, and maybe even they have children. Your roots go deep into the earth. Life is much quieter but there is strength and wisdom there.
Now these are just examples, but at each of these stages, the treelooks different, has different purposes, different intentions, and different tendencies. But throughout these seasons of life, there is one thing that is constant. The tree is always a tree.
So throughout the stages of our lives, what is the one thing that is constant for us as Christian women?
Who we are in Christ.