This has been such a long season of lessons and change... for me personally and professionally. For my husband, our marriage, and for our kids.
And I just want to share some of what I've/we've learned.
I have learned that learning to wait upon the Lord is best. His timing is always perfect.
It was crazy to walk away last year from a full-time job and a career path that I had been working so long to secure. So many unknowns. The only vision that kept me going was hovering the one foot out, dangling about the path, and the fall of the step to put one foot in front of the other and believe that this was what God wanted of us.
I had prayed, we had prayed, and discussed it all with one another. We walked into this as a family. My commute into the office used to take 45 minutes, longer in traffic. I would arrive at the office by 8 am, work through lunch, and leave at 5 pm where I would have another 45-minute commute home. I took calls night, on weekends; once I even took a phone call in the middle of the frozen foods section of Whole Foods and solved a travel crisis for a colleague and his family after a missed connection during an international trip. Too many hours away from home, too much time away from our kids, and my husband and I had become two ships passing in the night.
On one of my commutes into the office I prayed to understand how leaving the job I had, career path, salary security, everything... would fit into my understanding, our understanding of who God is. Surely, He is honored when we pay our bills and satisfy our debts. Surely being in the work environment I was in gives good witness to who God is and how He loves imperfect people... imperfect people like me. And suddenly, on this drive, I knew.
What happens when I leave all that behind is a righted relationship... One that is solely dependent on Him. My independence gone. My identity now His. A righted relationship with my husband that makes me dependent on him for the first time in nearly 20 years, one that puts him as the head of our household. Trust in a marriage that God brought together; even as I witnessed my own parents’ marriage struggle, witnessed trust and faith put into the wrong person and how far that got my mother. So, I never trusted... always made just enough, could stand on my own - just in case... Then, a relationship righted with my kids, time in the home with them - volunteering at their school, afterschool pick up and play dates. Baking... Art... Homework helping... Sports... being a mom. My relationships righted. The worldview turned upside down.
The year was painful, stressful, wonderful, and exciting.
When we made the decision as a family, we looked hard at our finances. We took an honest look at our bills, what we needed to pay off, what we needed to cut, and what we considered to be non-negotiable. Our house and our kids school was a non-negotiable. Tithing was also a non-negotiable, although we haven't been as faithful as we should have been with it. Everything else either had to go or be cut and it was.
In that span of time, we have done a great job and squeaking in every month with exactly what we needed. God always provided. In that span of time too... we have had a second house flood caused a second time by the refrigerator I had to have when we moved into this place years and years ago. A waterfall in our bathroom one night during a rainstorm, and two broken down vehicles and repair bills to go along with it. Things we didn't plan for, events such as this that have never happened in the history of our marriage so close together in back to back intervals. Things that would break any couple... things that normally would have broken us, broken my hubby --- but didn't and we persevered. We looked for the silver lining and prayed. We also thanked God it wasn't worse... we thanked God for the flood, that it was good clean filtered refrigerator water and not sewage. We thanked God that it was only about an inch deep everywhere and didn't seep into our walls. We thanked God that we have family and friends who loaned us vehicles when we needed them... and as my daughter had a bit of anxiety when my vehicle took its dive that we, as her parents, were able to notice that she needs to feel safe and secure, that things like that will give her anxiety and we can help her learn tools to help her cope. We've relied on our church for prayers. We've also relied on each other for comfort.
In this time, I have watched my husband become a leader in our home... His confidence has soared, he loves like no other, and has grown in his own relationship with God. Our relationship is also better than it has ever been before. Our kids are happier than they have ever been and look forward to mom being around. The money... extra clothes, and fancy vacations are hardly missed. Instead they look forward to my visits at lunch every other Wednesday and me sitting in art class with them. Since I no longer work weekends we spend more time together, more time talking... more time hearing their hearts and loving them for who they are.
All these things would have been missed if I did not take a leap of faith and say yes to God's plan for our life.
Some say that when God hands you a crazy-once-in-a-lifetime-can-only-happen-with-Him-plan you jump, you go all in... you do it. So, we did... and we wouldn't go back.
If God is calling you to something, He will guide you thought it and provide every step of the way.