I return to work after a four month long maternity (unpaid…but that’s a whole other soap box) leave from my full-time Police Dispatching job. Dreading the return would be an understatement.
If I could call them tomorrow and say “Screw you guys I’m not coming back,” I would in a heartbeat.
But we have bills to pay, and we just can’t cut it on my husband’s salary alone.
Stupid student debt!
That would also be a bit rude.
I won’t go too much into my feelings about my job. But I will say
It’s a good job, and it pays very well. I just kinda got stuck there due to the good pay and because I’m good at what I do.
God has also encouraging me to stay there during some rough patches and by closing doors that may have led to a career change.
But it’s not what my heart has ever longed for. It’s not all that fulfilling, although it really should be since I’m helping people with their immediate crises.
So as I’m now a week away from leaving my little munchkin to return work, I’m left feeling like I’m really not supposed to be there. I’m supposed to be home with said little munchkin to be with her and watch her grow.
I’m supposed to be there when she first rolls over on her own; when she takes that first motion toward crawling; when she attempts to say “doggy” and it comes out something like “woggy”.
I’m supposed to be there when she has her meltdowns because she’s teething and even though it hurts her to nurse, mommy’s boob provides comfort unlike anyone or anything can provide.
I’m sure that a lot of working mothers probably come to this point. Many make a decision whether to go back or not. Many have that decision made for them due to the financial burden. Most adapt or embrace the working mom lifestyle. Some may even plot a way out… like maybe start a blog? (Yes, my motivation is showing).
With all these feelings I can’t help but wonder if I’m feeling this way for a reason.
Is this desire to stay home a “want” based on my emotions and strong attachment to my child? Or is this a higher calling?
Could God be whispering to my heart to make the leap of faith to be a stay at home mom?
Now contradictory to popular culture I believe that the heart is biased toward sin and can’t be trusted. I read an article recently that discussed this very thing.
The Bible has many passages that speak to the deception that the heart likes to weave.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
So if this is truly a want, how could I trust it.
I can’t and shouldn’t.
Often we Christians can hear our hearts desires and believe they are from God.
Yep, I can feel God calling me to sit on my ass, watch reruns of The X-Files and eat ice cream all day… I feeel it in my bones!!!
Kidding aside, these are typically difficult desires that have much weight and consequences to consider.
So how does one truly hear God’s calling when the desires of your heart scream so loud?
The above scripture is part of a larger passage that shows the juxtaposition between following your sinful heart and what happens when you put your trust in the Lord.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
In other words, when you are firmly trusting in the Lord as your provider, you don’t need to fear whatever is going to come at you.
The short answer I’ve found to the question of ‘calling’ is if you are following and trusting God, then you are following God’s will for your life.
What a simple answer.
But how that unfolds in a person’s life can be so complex.
Often you can’t simply flip a switch in your brain that’s labeled “trust.” If you’re anything like me anyway you know that it takes many prayerful moments and a lot of reflection to find trust in God’s path.
For me and my current situation, for instance, I’m trying to reflect on a few points and figure out how to put them in God’s hands.
The first thing that has come to mind is the fact that staying at home with my child and letting my husband take on the financial burden of our home would take a LOT of faith.
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus speaks of trusting God to provide instead of worrying about where your provisions will come from. He reassures the audience that God cares for you and that if you “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added to you.”
This is a hard leap for me as I’m uber controlling over money. It’s right there in black and white, but every fiber of my heart (remember, its untrustworthy) tells me to not trust God with this.
Then there is this fact… staying at home with my child will actually be harder than working full time.
My job can be very stressful at times. Multiple phone lines blaring at you while attempting to hear an officer give you a long name phonetically over the radio… all while you have to pee with no relief in sight.
It can raise your cortisol levels just a wee bit.
But it truly doesn’t compare one bit to being “on” 24/7 and consistently sacrificing my needs for my child.
So getting regular breaks from all of the self-sacrificing and allowing another (trusted) person to handle that load for a while will be refreshing.
I’ll feel like an adult again.
Have conversations in an adult voice. Be able to eat meals in a relaxed environment… well maybe at my desk while talking on the radio with cold food pushed into my cheek… but the adult thing, that still stands.
Staying home to shepherd my child would be harder.
It’s days spent where routine often flies out the window. Where I spend hours on the couch, so my daughter doesn’t keep waking up crying from her naps. It’s continually sacrificing my desires to ensure her needs are met.
It’s the epitome of the kind of love and sacrifice noted in the Bible.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
So will I call up my job four days before returning and tell them I won’t be returning?
Although I do feel the gentle tugs God is putting on my heart about all of this.
My heart is still misleading, and until I know for sure this is God’s will for me, I must learn to trust Him with all of this.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov3.5-6
I know I’ll be ok and more so, my daughter will be ok and in great hands in my absence.
But every day I will long to be with her, and I want that to be my motivation to move forward.
So I will pray. Daily. To align myself with God’s will for me to seek Him and his kingdom.
I’m definitely not the best daughter to the Almighty. He knows where I falter. But I know He loves me and wants me to love Him the same way. He asks everything of me, and I will work on not holding back.
May your paths be made straight, and May God bless your journey