I waited two and a half years for a full-time job after college, and honestly, I’m not even mad about it.
Tomorrow, I start working full-time about 45 minutes away from our home as a Marketing Associate. We have no idea what the future will hold, which terrifies my 5-year-planning-anxiety-brain. After a few counseling sessions and arguments that got way too out of hand with my husband, I am finally prepared to lean in to God’s sovereignty and have faith in His power to work out everything for me. I do not have to decide which school district is best, at least not right now. Faith challenges me to remember his provision for our new expenses now that we have to think about student loans and credit cards.
My kids will be at home with my husband most of the day. He will be working third shift and sleeping second shift so we do not have to pay for childcare. We had no idea how quickly it added up. $800 a month is way too high right now. Maybe in the future, but not right away. It was hard for me to process missing my kids during the day and trusting somebody else to take care of the things I use to cling to for my identity.
I have always struggled to identify myself outside of my activities or profession. In school, I was a cheerleader and a dancer, and I was the church girl. In college, I was the director or producer. Eventually, I became a woman who strove after being the best in hospitality and who kept getting pregnant (twice in college became quite the subject of conversation). When my striving to get a job right out of college fell short, I was angry. I was frustrated by my own inability, thinking there was something wrong with me if I could not get a job right away. I was overwhelmed by finances. Patience was not my forte.
During my “spiritual boot camp” after college with two littles, I learned about my identity in Christ. As life changes, my roles, abilities, and responsibilities change. I cannot hold them as my identity, or I will never fully understand myself. Life quickly becomes meaningless when your meaning is found in what you do. I became a stay-at-home mom, striving after my own income and an identity outside of the exhausted mom.
Instead, Christ slowly revealed to me how loved I am. My identity is in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. While I was weary and bitter, he redeemed my heart with rest and freedom. He whispered scripture over me, with a new identity outside of my ability to produce or perform. Slowly, he continues to reveal how he made me. While fear keeps me busy and grumpy, love makes me adventurous and bold. I have discovered things I used to love doing, and I pray I can share them with others through his timing.
I had to fix everything right away, but I underestimated the power of time. Time is often the biggest catalyst for growth. To get a beautiful smile, we must brush every day for a long enough period of time for the fluoride to soak into our teeth. Time strengthens our teeth. It also helps to get rid of the weakening properties of food particles, but it does not bring strength back to our teeth.
Child development happens over time, preparing our children for walking, talking, and potty training. I know many parents, including myself, who struggled to potty train because we started before our child was ready. They needed time to grow and be ready for it. It helps to get them comfortable with the toilet and give language for what comes out of where, but they will not go until they are developmentally ready.
Sometimes, time is given to us for growth while we work on getting rid of destructive behavior, negative thoughts, and false identities. The last two years have prepared me for this new season through maturity, not skills. Yes, I used my skills and practiced my talents, but I did not have balance. I did not have good boundaries. I worried about work constantly. My youngest child also needed my time and attention. For his sake, I am glad I gave him the time and energy he needed to be secure. The whole family is ready for our new season. I am thankful for God’s perfect timing, instead of my own.