4 Hats: Roles, Calling, and Life Seasons

Where am I, really, at this time in my life? 

I'm learning that we can label ourselves according to the things that we do (like what I'm trying to do in this post) When it comes to goal-setting, having these labels of what we do can help, but who we are is much wider and deeper. In other words, we are more than the sum of our daily tasks and responsibilities. The things we do are certainly part of who we are but they do not define us. Our core, our center of who we are is just that--the source from which everything else springs.

1. Ana Patricia, the Disciple
Having said that, I identify first as a follower of Jesus and he is my center. He is that core. I live by grace according to the word of God, by his Spirit, in Christ. Ana Patricia the Disciple is not simply the more spiritual side of myself but it is the foundation of the other "roles" I fulfill. Being in Christ does not mean faith and spirituality is relegated to another category in my life; rather, Jesus is my starting point and my all in all.

All that I am and thus all that I do--how I live--is a response to what God has first done for me through Christ. It is a glorious thing that words fail to fully capture. Suffice it to say that the following roles or "hats" I wear during this season arise from God's purpose.

2. Ana Patricia, the Wife
I'm still my parents' daughter, my brother's sister, and what have you. But because of marriage, in the eyes of God I am one with my husband. Our marriage is my primary earthly relationship. I am my husband's ezer kenegdo--a helper corresponding to him. I am his biggest fan. As his wife, it is my privilege to love and serve him in a myriad of ways.

I am imperfect as he is but our covenant is a place of love, growth, and acceptance beyond mere tolerance. Being a wife sanctifies both ways--my husband and I are conduits to each other's sanctification. Not that we're the ones sanctifying each other, but rather, we become vehicles of God's sanctifying work so that Christ is produced in us. (On this note, I'm grateful for Ruth Chou Simons' hashtag #marriageissanctifying for reminding me of this). I love this hat.

3. Mrs. Victa, the Domestic Manager
A few months down the road of matrimonial bliss, I've come to embrace the mess. My uptight, keep-the-apartment-immaculate mentality met with Carlo's more relaxed attitude towards tidiness. A clear and clutter-free space equals a clutter-free mind for me.

But you know what? The (dirty) clothes on the floor, the (clean) clothes hanging out on the couch for a few days before being kept, the piles of books, paper of all sizes, and the unwashed dishes--these are signs of life. I cook, I clean, I manage the living space but what makes this beautiful is that I'm doing it with my husband. Our imperfect (there's that word again!) little apartment is alive and I don't pull my hair out as I try to keep it together. This hat has been teaching me a lot about grace and freedom.

4. Pat, the Student
I'm a student in seminary and I'm also a student of many things. Currently master of none because of my voracious desire to learn anything that piques my interest. I am a learner and I see this as an advantage for life. This hat will soon be removed or at least temporarily set aside. But this is a sacred season where I get to cultivate spiritual disciplines for life.

These roles will shift but looking at this list drives me towards gratitude. My life is rich, it is full, it is never boring no matter how mundane things get. Suddenly, my questions about specific calling (e.g., am I called to be a missionary? a teacher? am I called to be [insert job title here]?) seem insignificant in light of the larger calling I have in God: to be reconciled to God and be like Jesus.


A photo posted by Yellow Co. (@yellowconference) on

Last year, I had several lonely episodes from an identity crisis. I was afraid that I didn't know where I was going. My husband is clearly "husband/writer/preacher/drummer/teacher" but what about me? I feared not doing what God maybe wanted me to become but I was just slow in figuring it out. To my chagrin, he showed me that as I fulfill my roles in this season, he is equipping me with skills and developing my character. This is so that I'm propelled to what stage he has next, and not so that I can fight my way to my ideal career and living situation. The story of Joseph in Genesis comes to mind.

No matter what hat I wear or what season I'm currently in, it's not like the present is limbo while I wait for the real thing. This is it. I no longer have to struggle about what it is God wants me to do specifically--it's simply to be and to do where I am, right now, and not be afraid that I'm missing out on what he really means for me.

He's the one who wrote my story. Yes, past tense because he already established the good works that I may walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). In Christ, I already know what my life's ending is like. As long as I live, there will always be tension, denouement, and perhaps many high points. But while the climax is in his hands, I can still enjoy the ride chapter by chapter.

Like I said, the student and blogger roles may shift, and Lord willing one day, "mother" will be added. An impending role or label is that of "expat." But right now I am genuinely contented and grateful being disciple, wife, student, and heck, even blogger.

I am Patricia Victa, beloved of God, and that is enough for me. You, dear reader, are also beloved of God. In Ephesians 2:10, we are also told that we are God's workmanship. Other translations render it "masterpiece." Wherever you are right now and no matter how many hats you're struggling to wear, I pray that you "may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:18-19)

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