When I entered the world of motherhood,
I felt a lot like a brand new can of soup.
Filled to the top and overflowing, my label quickly began to define me.
I loved all these names.
I was proud.
I was thankful.
I felt secure, wrapped in a lining that announced to the world exactly who I was and why I was here.
Day in and day out,
my soup-can life pressed forward…………………
And just like God had attended to the widow’s jar of oil, He faithfully kept my supply of soup replenished year after year.
Along the way, though, I realized my can was becoming dented by life.
My label was beginning to peel away.
The security of the metal surrounding me was punctured time and time again as I found myself hurt by words, by actions, and by the reality of living in a broken world.
One day, I woke up and realized my label was so mangled and my can was so banged up that I no longer knew who I was.
I began searching for meaning in a pantry full of cans that didn’t seem to match me.
Not that I wasn’t a mom or that I loved my kids any less, but something had changed.
My purpose was different.
Being a soup holder was no longer my role.
No one needed me to tie their shoes or kiss their boo-boos or plan their birthday parties.
Sure, they still needed food cooked and laundry washed from time to time,
but even those types of needs were becoming favors rather than necessities.
At first, it was hard to sit on the shelf of life and feel anything other than expired, out-dated, and used up.
I watched newer soup cans, labels bright and metal sturdy, and my heart ached for what use to be.
As I focused on all they were, I became more and more aware of all I wasn’t.
Faded pictures and a few Rubbermaid containers had replaced the hugs and laughter that once filled every corner of our home.
The more I focused on all that was gone, the more I noticed new holes appearing in my already deeply-punctured lining of tin.
What was I to do with my label-less life?
Where could I turn for help?
As I searched for meaning, I began to notice more and more labels around me that had also been shredded.
I saw more cans with dents and holes.
I began talking to them ; and as I listened, I realized that maybe, just maybe,
this peeling away of the outer covering,
this puncturing of the tin,.
was a necessary stage in the life of a can.
Labels, if clung to too tightly, limit potential.
Metal, if depended upon for security, leaves no room for trust in something stronger.
My soup can is almost empty.
My label is nearly worn away.
Who I am can no longer be defined by what I once was.
I have a decision to make.
Do I stay on the shelf and hide from a world that seems to move along just fine without me,
or do I move to a table and allow light to shine from all my broken places?
Deep inside, I know what I need to do.
how to get there…………..
that’s the question.