New Deal

“Well you’re working on a new deal now.”  This quote from Family Man is what comes to mind when I consider this stage of my life.  For 18 years I have served in one capacity or another in our church’s Mother’s Day Out/Preschool program.  For the last five years I have been the director.  I love my job.  It is a job that I felt God calling me to for a long time before His timing made it available to me.  It is a great job.  I love the people I work with, the people I work for, and the people I do my job for.  I love the kids, the families, all of it.
    
However, for the past several months, God has been dealing with me.  {I say “dealing” rather than “speaking”, because sometimes I don’t hear the quiet, still voice so He has to deal with me. – anybody else?}  God has been pulling me home.  For years I have prayed to find joy in the mundane tasks of wife and mother, but instead He has given me a desire for it.  I want to take care of my husband, kids, and home in a way that I haven’t done before.  See, as I said, I have been working part time for 18 years, that means I started before my oldest was born.  The only time was the time I was off for maternity leave.  So, maybe you understand why this decision was difficult for me.   

Here are some journal entries from the past months that I wanted to share because I really think there are some people out there that can relate.  I have been having many conversations with friends that are going through similar things and feelings.

Money is a source of major stress for me…add it to the list these days.  Today I began to think that maybe God is really wanting me to “trust and obey”.  I don’t need to work to help provide for my family, He will do that.  I’m not a quitter, so it is very hard for me to do that.  I worry how people will respond to my decision.    But, there again lies another source of stress – my need for other people’s approval.  When in fact the only approval I need is The Lord’s.

This time has been very stressful for me.  As I have wrestled with The Lord over this decision (literally wrestling some days), I have experienced some serious stress.  Do you have any idea what kind of physical effects stress can have on your body?  Because of the stress that I have been dealing with the past few weeks, I have not had much of an appetite, haven’t gotten much sleep, I have trouble swallowing, headaches, tunnel vision, dizziness, nauseousness, chest pain, stomach pain, short temper, depression, exhaustion, do I need to go on?  I don’t like the person I have become.  I worry about everything.  I don’t want to do that anymore, I want to cast my cares on Jesus.  Praying for wisdom, guidance, peace, and courage.  Wisdom to know what to do when.  Guidance on priorities.  Peace for my heart and mind.  Courage to “trust and obey”. 

I just read a biography for the writer of the Bible study I’m currently working through – Priscilla Shirer – it said “Priscilla Shirer is a wife and a mom first…”.  What would people say about me?  I don’t think they would say that.  We are so driven these days by being defined by what we do, not who we are, and God has shown me that this is wrong.  God judges the heart of a person not the position of a person.  

Over the past month, I have announced my decision to close friends, co-workers, and this week to the families in our program.  And I want you to know I have met nothing but encouragement.  I was so concerned there would be judgement.  I don’t know why, I just seem to always envision the worst possible scenario.  But, there has been nothing but encouragement.  Words like “good for you”, “you won’t regret a single minute”, “I’m so happy for you”, “we will miss you, but I totally get it.”  I love that.  I love that God has brought my sisters to me to confirm what I knew to be from Him.  If you were one of these – Thank you.  Your words have meant everything to me.  

It is bittersweet to make this change, but I am anxiously anticipating the goodness that God has for me.  I know that there may be challenges, but I know that as I am walking with Him in His will for my life, all things will work together for His good.  Mostly, I am thrilled that I will have more time for these faces 🙂

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