29 April 2009

I Remember Lord

In a few days I will again celebrate the anniversary of God granting me one of the true desires of my heart. On that day I will take time to remember His loving kindness and grace to me--as I do quite often these days.

Two years ago, I was employed at a job that was challenging, rewarding and fun (at times) but also very stressful. Over time it became apparent that the challenges, rewards, money and benefits of this job were outweighed by the very real and negative affect the stress was having on me--emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Also, the true desire of my heart was to be a full-time homemaker again even though all my children were grown and had moved away from home by this time.

Yet, despite the increasing negative affects and obvious conflict between the desire of my heart to return home, and what I was actually doing, I could not bring myself to leave for two main reasons: the first was the security my job provided me (and us) in terms of wages and benefits; if something unforeseen happened (God forbid) to my husband, we or I could live on my wages--not something one can do everywhere these days (we already knew that we could survive easily on my husband's income alone ). Also, it was a job that I was well suited for, could physically do until retirement age and if I did leave, there was a big chance I could not return there to work.

Secondly, my husband was not in agreement about this. Sometimes he would say it was OK to quit and at other times he’d say it wasn’t a good idea because of the benefits I had there. So time passed, the stress increased, things changed--negatively--in some ways at work and my heart’s desire to be home grew as I continued to pray.

After some time had passed--I realized the first reason -- security -- had more to do with fear and a lack of trust in God to provide for me should the unforeseen happen. Did I truly believe HE would take care of me or was I placing my trust instead in a job and mankind? Hum, the answer was obvious here--God had a perfect track record of keeping His promises; man did not. Still I had to come to the place where I took my trust and placed it in HIM instead of looking at the world to meet my needs for future security (this doesn’t mean I am not advocating being a good steward of the money you've been given. It is wise, and I believe Biblically mandated, to stay as debt free as possible and to save for the future--we do both of these things).When I truly realized what the real issue was and the answer to the fear that was holding me there -- the first reason against leaving my job left and I had peace about it. But there was still reason #2...

At some point, my husband changed his mind about this matter and he agreed with me that it was OK for me to quit my job AND become a full-time homemaker again (I wanted us to be in full agreement on this important, family affecting decision as I feel this is right in God’s sight to do this when you are married). Both reasons against leaving were now gone

Then a few events happened at work and it became clear it was definitely the time to leave there so I turned in my 2-week notice and the burden I had been carrying lifted from my shoulders. On the day I left--almost two years ago now--I walked out that door and walked into the freedom God had given me!!! To this day I don't regret it and my gratitude to God for answered prayer is immeasureable :)

Thank you Abba Father for showing me, Your child, grace and mercy though I've sometimes doubted and not trusted You. Thank you God for answered prayer and for this precious gift of my heart’s true desire. Forgive me Lord for the times since then that I’ve wasted or misused what You’ve given me and help me to treat it always as the true treasure I know it is.

Blessings always,

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalms 37:4, 5 KJV
This post was not meant to make women employed outside the home feel bad about their decision to work. For some women I realize this is necessary to meet family needs or there are other important factors to work--I’ve known women where this is definitely the case. Please understand that I do not walk in your shoes and am not judging you or saying that working is sinful or wrong for you to do; this is between you, your family and God only not me. Since my children were born I’ve -- at times--been a full time homemaker (especially when the kids were young), worked part time at jobs that had little impact on time spent with family (like at their private, Christian school and babysitting), returned to college when they were older and also worked at jobs that did have an impact on our home life.

Looking back--I would say that it is important to weigh this choice carefully--determine whether you are truly working for needs or just wants (can you honestly live on one income only -- if you are married; are you living beyond your means?). I urge you to consider the affect this has on you and your family.(in ours there were some very real negative affects --family wise and for me healthwise). Consider whether there night be another way to meet the financial strain your family may be under.

If you are torn between home and work or have the desire to be home full time with your family, as I did, I would encourage you to pray about it and make it a matter of family discussion--sometimes the answer is choosing work that can be done at home or when your kids are at school; sometimes it's a matter of looking at your priorities and sometimes--as in my case--it’s a matter of trust.

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