Motherhood as God's Tool

Photo by Tim Oun on Unsplash
There was recently a conversation within my church about whether it is okay for women to work outside the home. A woman was struggling with whether she should continue working or stay at home with her children. To be clear, this was not something that was ever preached against at my church- but it is something that has been controversial within the Church (aka Christian culture) overall. While I was listening to the discussion (which thankfully said- pray about it and do what you & your spouse if you have one feel is right for your family), a thought struck.

My mom always worked, and I never felt bad about it. Most of my friends had moms that worked, and it really wasn't a big deal. Of course, I was also watched by my grandma so there was still a very close familial care provided versus a daycare/etc (obviously my kid is in daycare so I'm not against it at all, just stating my experience). But pretty much once I could drive, and even somewhat before that, I was expected to handle certain things myself. I organized rides if I needed it and my parents were busy, I paid bills either by working myself or if my parents gave me the money, I ran errands to help out around the house.

I never thought of it before, but this is exactly the life I needed to live to prepare me for being a) an Army wife, and b) a first generation college student. 

If I had a family member who stayed home with me, or drove me around (my grandma didn't drive for health reasons), it would be have been really hard for me to be thrust into independence all of a sudden at age 18. I was eased into independence gradually as a teenager, and I'm so thankful for that.

Don't get me wrong- it was still hard. 

But it would have been ever harder had I not been used to asking for help, putting those answers into action myself, and being used to not knowing things. Instead of having someone do stuff for me or know all the answers, I was expected to figure them out myself. This skill and habit was invaluable to me, and is probably why I didn't end up of flunking out, getting divorce, and/or having a nervous breakdown.

All that to say, my childhood perfectly prepared me for the life God had planned for me.

I don't think my parents knew I would get married at 18 and move halfway across the country by myself. I don't think they knew I would go to college- they hadn't. Maybe they didn't even feel like not working was a choice- lots of people don't, regardless of what some say.

Anyway, it hit me that while we often try to plan our lives and struggle with our the end, we are merely a tool of God. 

We are not God. 

We don't choose where our children end up, or who they grow to be. At best, we prepare them for the lives He has planned. It may not end up being anything we would ever choose or guess for them- but in the end, it's His will not ours, right? Thinking of these takes so much pressure off of me.

Yes, I should know it in theory already. But seeing the example in my own life was a huge lightbulb moment.

I am a Christian- I claim that title of my own free will. If it is true, if I really believe that, then I have to trust that my prayers are heard and my will is directed by the Lord. I don't have to know why things happen the way they do, I just have to trust that He is using them for His plan.

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