Friday, August 8, 2014

A New Season

If anything is true of this life it is that change is inevitable. Seasons come and go. Some bright and warm like the summer sun, others cold and bitter like this past winter. Some are as still as a placid lake in fall, others abuzz with life and beauty as spring. Ever changing, always moving.

Seasons end. Always. Even in the midst of our pain and suffering, our confusion, or even our elation, they end and a new begins. Just as summer bursts into fall, our lives are in constant flux.

This is a new season. A new beginning and a new ending. A new chance to see the world through different glasses. It is bittersweet, it is lovely, it is chaotic, it is heartbreaking, heartwarming, and it is a challenge. It is new perspectives, new roles, and new identities.

I haven't spoken about it in social media much because it has been a hard transition. At first it felt like fall meeting winter, when that first cold snap hits and the reality of what lies ahead settles into your bones. However, God has had grace on me and has been showing me, ever so subtly, that this is where he wants me and it is not a failure, it is not a flaw, and He will bring good from this season. I can already see some of it, the good that can come when we release our plans to His hands and allow Him to move.

Going back to work means much for us. It means more financial peace and stability, it means moving into a career that I have longed for since the days of "counseling" my friends at the ripe old age of 10, it means facing ideological and theological terms of motherhood and wifedom that we have wrestled with. This idea that mothers aren't "full time" mothers if they don't stay home with their kids. The image I have built up in my mind of what a good wife and mother ought to do, ought to be.

You see, I have always pictured myself as a stay at home mom. Always. In all of our conversations leading up to children we always said I would stay home with the kids until they went back to school. I was determined, come hell or high water, to stay home and be the one to raise my kids. My mother didn't have that luxury and I was bent on making it happen. So we did. We sacrificed and strained and pulled and prayed. For almost two years my husband endured the financial burden of being sole provider, for two years he did all that he could to make it work. I don't know that he fully grasps the gratitude that I have for his hard work and selflessness. He has served and sacrificed for us in ways that many men would not be willing to do.

During the course of the two years I was home, God provided for us time and time again. Literally, provided money and resources that we needed. But as we began to look at the future we had to face the reality that if something didn't change, I would need to return to work. So we prayed and wept and prayed more that God would allow me to stay home, but that if that wasn't possible that God would make a way in the wilderness.

He did and He is. His way in the wilderness was a job and childcare that I trust and a new season of life for the Smiths. As I have made this transition it has been difficult and exhausting. Yet, I feel this sort of life and purpose again. This sort of fight that I had lost along the way. We have wandered a dry and weary land for months and we are beginning to see the oasis ahead and it is a beautiful vision to behold. I have much hope for this season and a lot of nervous excitement. As much as I feared this transition, there is good to be had from it.

By the grace of God, I'm moving forward in hope and full reliance on the One who establishes my steps. For this season I pray that we can find contentment in where God has placed us and a willingness to follow His lead. My career is not who I am, neither is my role of Mother, or Wife. I am many things to many people, but ultimately I am daughter to the King and there is rest to be had knowing that my Father loves me despite my insecurities.

A new adventure awaits, a new season with new life and new purpose.