There I was. Thinking back on all my accomplishments in life. I graduated high school and quit college (and started back and quit, and started back and quit…), no job (current employment: homemaker?) and no real qualifications. We (husband and I) had more debt than I’m comfortable sharing with you and after 6 1/2 years of marriage still rented a place.
When I looked at all the things I feel like I should have done with my life, I get a little discouraged. If I’m honest, it’s almost depressing. I cannot say I took a leave from my lucrative job at a law firm to stay home temporarily. Any time the “education” question is asked, I say I have a high school diploma. Sad, considering I have enough credits for a degree. I feel like I have nothing to show for the 30 years of my life, and start to feel a little down about my lack of contribution.
Have you ever heard that still, small, voice? You know, the one not booming over the sound of the tv, or injecting itself into your conversations? That voice gently whispering in your spirit, confirming what you already know deep down but sometimes need affirmation of. I heard that voice. A voice gently whispered and affirmed my life is more than a list of accomplishments. My life is about more than what certificates I can hang on a wall, or how much money I made last year. If I am really honest with myself, I want my life to be more than fleeting, trivial things. I want my life to mean something more than how many dollars I can leave to someone.
The truth is we live in a society where we do measure ourselves by accomplishments of things that do not matter. As Christians, our goals first and foremost should reflect the will of God and in what pleases Him. I myself am learning this is easier said than done, so what I hope to convey to you is not a message that I have mastered myself. Rather, I would like to share what I am currently experiencing and hope someone can learn and grow with me. Then again, I could be the only one who feels this way and it could only be for me…
I know I have to stop focusing on what people around me consider success. I have to give up maintaining an illusion I am something I am not. What I need to keep in mind I need to fulfill the role I was created for by The Creator, not the role I want to fill because I think that might be what is best for my life. What I have come to realize is this means something different than the norm, or societal standards. Taking that a step further, I have to gracefully accept this calling as a wife and mother. I have to learn what serving and loving others is all about, and I have to learn about something called grace.
I am not where I want to be, nor do I even really know where I am going. What I know is my life has changed in so many ways and is so very different from what I had imagined. I hope, in time, I learn exactly what God wants me to do but have a good feeling He will never reveal the specifics. I hope, most of all, I do not fail.
While I feel like I’ve failed already in this thing called life, I am learning what I consider failure is not failure at all. I feel like the job I have now is harder than any job I have worked in the past, and ten times as important. My hope is to accomplish the things God laid out for me to do and burn the list I made myself. Recognizing that how my children are raised is of utmost importance to me. I see how much effort has to go into a marriage to make it work.
I want to stop viewing my life as a failure, and see what lies ahead as an opportunity to make a difference.
If you feel like what you accomplished is not enough, this is a lie. Being a wife is an important job. Your husband needs your encouragement and support. He needs your prayers. Some days you feel like you have nothing but each other, and there is no better support system than a husband and wife. The relationship is important and should model that of Christ and the church.
Being a mother is so important. Our children need us to raise them right, especially in a society where sin abounds and the truth is no longer prevalent. We have to be diligent in seeking God’s face for His will in the lives of our children. We have to raise them right. The job of the school is not to raise responsible adults, that job belongs to the parents.
A good job is a good thing. A good career looks good on paper. Good educations make good resumes. A lot of income makes life easier. Two incomes buy nicer things.
A great mom is a great thing. A great marriage is a great thing. Children raised right are an amazing thing. One income teaches life with meaning.
Working or a homemaker, one no more important than the other. Stop comparing yourself to someone else. Stop worrying about another’s accomplishments. See the good in the season of life God gave you. Focus on the difference you make, not your regrets.
You are important, what you do is important. You cannot buy into the lie that what you do is insignificant or does not matter too much. Be content where you are, and know God has a plan for you. His plan might not be a prestigious job or a fancy title behind your name. But when your children grow up and call you blessed, it will all be worth it.
Pray and ask God for contentment. Ask Him to show you His plan and His will. Know you need Him to guide you.