Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Say What?!

Have you ever had that feeling? You know. The one that MUST BE from God because you feel it SO strongly.  For me, that feeling is the role of stay-at-home mom.

I’m not talking “wouldn’t it be nice” or “if it’s possible, I want to…”.  No, I was SURE deep inside that I was meant to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.  Yep, my role models were Donna Reed, Jane Wyatt and Barbara Billingsley.  (Yes, some of you youngsters will have to Google those names.)

Picture it: shirt dress, pearls, low heels, perfectly applied makeup, spotless home and a happy husband. I wanted to keep a clean home, have freshly baked cookies waiting for the kids when they returned from school, help with homework, spend quality time with them and teach them life lessons as well as always having dinner ready when my husband walked in the door. (Yes, I am laughing now.)

My yearning to be a housewife, domestic diva, matriarch of the mansion, etc has been with me for as long as I can remember. Although I started working full-time the day after I graduated high school, I was able to live part of my dream for a few short years right before my middle child was born until 3 years later when my youngest was 10 months old. The spotless home never happened. The shirt dress, heels and pearls? Uh, no. But you get the picture. Then, shortly after my third child was born, my husband left, so I did not have a choice but to start working again. Over the years, that feeling has never gone away; if anything it has only intensified. I kept thinking I would again be a stay-at-home mom, someday.  I just needed to wait for God’s perfect timing. Over 6 years ago I remarried, and I remember thinking it would happen then; after all, someone else could provide for my children and I.

Is it not funny how we replace God’s will in our lives with what WE want in our lives? I wanted this so much, I was certain it was God’s desire for me as well. In general, I am pretty discerning. Except, it seems, when it deals directly with me. Others? Definitely. Probably because I am a third party and not directly vested. However, when it comes to myself… Not so much.

Earlier this year I decided it was time for a heart-to-heart talk with God. Not just ‘prayer time’, this was going to be a serious conversation. I wanted answers. . It went something like this:

Me: Lord, um, I think you forgot something.
Lord: Really? What?
Me: Hello? Me. I am still working. Not just a little, I have a full-time and a part-time job. I can’t get much further ahead at work since I do not have a college degree. I think maybe this is a sign to go ahead with the plans.
Lord: A sign? What sign? Plans?
Me: laughing Yes, remember? More than half a lifetime ago, You put a desire in my heart tobe a stay-at-home mom. I’ve waited and I’ve trusted you. Now it’s Your turn.  So… Go ahead.
Lord: My turn?
Me: confused, not laughing anymore  Um, yes? Please?
Lord: My child, listen to Me. You accepted Me decades ago, including My will for you. I have been with you every step of the way, even those times you turned away and thought I left. If being a stay-at-home wife/mom had been My plan for you, it would have happened. Look at your life: your children are almost all grown up, you have grandchildren now.  laughing You spend more money than your husband can afford, but that is ok, it is one of the reasons you work too. I have other plans for your life. Plans like finally attending college and the blog you write to share My work in your life.
Me: But… I thought… I felt…. Are you sure?
Lord: My precious, precious daughter. As you have trusted Me with the things in your life; your husband, your children, your home, your friends – trust Me also with your life. I promise you, I know what I am doing.

It was not the conversation I had envisioned. Not even a little. It did not go at all as I had planned. I felt bitter towards God for a while, a long while.  Then I forgave. Not God, nothing to forgive, (He is God after all) but I forgave myself. It was necessary for me to let go of the fact I had been putting my hopes, dreams and desires in place of God’s will. If I had actually asked God, I’m sure He would have let me know earlier! Instead, I took what I felt to be from God because of how strongly I felt them. Feelings are no replacement for seeking Him. I may not be living the life I intended, but I am living the life God intends. That alone makes my stressed life, my blessed life.

Blessings to you.