I had a moment with God today. Actually this moment has been stewing for quite some time now.
There is a restlessness inside of me, questioning where I am at and what I am doing. It was bound to happen, I am just wrapping up my 6th semester of seminary. I have been going strong for 2.5 years and am just about half way. As quickly as the last few years have gone, the road ahead still seems endless, like the finish will never come. I will be stuck in this place of waiting forever.
Have you ever been in a place of waiting? This is not my first time and it hasn't gotten any easier. Erik and I had trouble carrying a baby to term (okay, technically I was the one with trouble carrying, but Erik was right there beside me on the journey). We had two miscarriages before we had Isabella, add to that the months in between of waiting to be healthy again, trying to conceive, losing again, waiting again...you get my drift. I have been stuck in the never ending cycle of waiting before, it's not unfamiliar. And honestly I don't think it's the waiting that is getting to me this time.
I knew this journey wasn't going to be easy. Graduate school work is never easy. I knew there would be tons of reading, long papers to write, assignments I loved and assignments I didn't. I knew the school side of things would be hard. And it is. One of the most academically challenging things I have ever done. But again, that's no surprise, that is not what I'm struggling with.
And sadly, I have actually gotten kind of use to the loneliness, this process of studying is turning me into somewhat of an introvert (heaven help me!). It turns out solitude is actually not so bad. The loneliness is not what is overwhelming me, it's there, but I have learned to manage that.
The thing that I am struggling with the most, the thing that right now is the hardest for me, is what this process is costing my family. I'm okay with the sacrifices I am having to make. I made this choice and I am willing to do the work. What I am less okay is what my family is being forced to sacrifice. We made the decision when the kids were very young that I would stay at home with them. I have identified myself as a mom for 12 years now, that is who I am, that is what God has asked me to do. I gave up my career, extra money, peace of mind, and showering on a regular basis to stay at home with me kids. I have honestly never regretted that decision. I have been gotten to be there for all my kids firsts from words to waling to preschool to kindergarten and beyond. I have been someone's class room mom for 7 years now, I have been on countless field trips, volunteered in classrooms and hosted playdates.
I am no longer the mom I have always wanted to be. I am still a mom absolutely, but not in the way I want to be. I don't have time to volunteer in the classrooms any more. The last 2 years I have missed more field trips than I have made. My kids have less playdates because I am too busy to set them up. Our house is rarely clean, I don't always have time to make dinner, let alone serve a friend by making them dinner. I don't have time to hang out not the drive way with other moms or go grab lunch. I'm no longer a stay at home mom. But we don't have the luxury of two incomes either.
In fact we have less income than we did before as we juggle the expense of school. My family is being cheated out of my time, my energy and the families money. They are sacrificing heavily. And I am frustrated because I don't see this ending any time soon.
So I finally sat down and unloaded all this with God. I cried. He listened. I cried some more. And then He spoke. Do you know what he said? He told me, "I've got this." He's got my children, he's got my husband and he's got our finances. He's got this. And then He said, "Don't you trust me?"
And that is the question.
That has been the question since I started this journey. Do I trust God? Do I trust that this is plan for me and that his plan is always better than my plan? Do I trust him that the end result will be worth the journey? Do I trust him that he loves my kids more than I do and he wouldn't call me to do something that ultimately hurt them? Do I trust Him?
Yeah, I do.
I don't know what tomorrow, or next month or next year will look like. While I guess I kind of do, I'll still be in school spending all my free time studying, reading and writing papers, because that is where God wants me right now. And my kids will have a little less of me than I would choose. But they will see me being obedient. They will see me making sacrifices, and they will learn for themselves what it means to make sacrifices. They will learn that money is a limited commodity and obedience is always more important than our own selfish desires.
So maybe this isn't exactly where I want to be right now, or where I want my family to be, but I am absolutely certain that this is right where God wants us to be.