Out of the Whirlwind
I have been filled with tremendous gratitude since I have been aware of the recent opening of the branch bank I was formerly responsible for designing, hiring, training, equipping and generally launching. When I think of what insanity I was living in several months ago – meeting myself coming and going with a hectic work schedule, college classes, a year long bank school project to chair, community involvement, etc…all done while absolutely ditching my husband and four children in the midst of the whirlwind, I am so grateful God stopped me in my tracks. Had I not realized the craziness and been broken by what I’d done, I would have spent the last two months working feverishly towards the branch’s Grand Opening, further damaging a marriage and family already on shaky ground. The opening would have been just the beginning of even longer work hours-including weekends and evenings over the next many months!
Instead, thanks to much support, encouragement, and my friend’s willingness to help me to get a picture of how Satan was robbing me of my true desires-I have spent the last two months letting go and trusting God completely to bring about a longtime desire to be a full-time mother and homemaker. I have resigned my position of eleven years with the bank and moved my children and myself to Knoxville, TN where God had already graciously supplied my husband with a job that would allow me the privilege of being at home, supporting him in his new career endeavors and caring for our four children, ages 2, 14, 15, and 17.
It had been my longing to devote my time and talents to the home and family since shortly after John and I married six years ago, but financially it seemed impossible. I just didn’t grasp that my desire was His desire and I could believe Him for the means to make it a reality. It took me five years to get to the point where I would boldly believe – to a point of desperation where I finally clearly saw the fallout from having two competing careers within the same house-hold, with no one dedicated to concentrating on the home and children.
I have come to realize how imperative it is to be available for all my children, having mistakenly believed that the teenagers really didn’t need me at home, but longing to care for our toddler, Kaitlyn.
As for John, it has been so good for him to know he is clearly the sole bread-winner and we are all counting on him to provide for the family. He had been dissatisfied with his former job for some time, knowing he was not being paid adequately for his talents in a company that provided no opportunity for advancement or provision for retirement.
Despite all this, he stayed with the company because it was one of the only engineering firms in our area and changing jobs would have likely meant relocation, which he felt was an impossibility because I was so entrenched in advancing within my company, and had taken on a promotion that would require a commitment of at least a year. Plus, with all the demands of my job, at least the company he was with provided him the flexibility to be available to pick up many of the responsibilities with the children that I was deferring to him because my load no longer allowed for them to be a priority. What a conflict he was in – miserable with a job that was going nowhere, but seemingly stuck because of my stubborn determination to excel at any cost. Now he says he looks forward to coming home from work for the first time in years, knowing it won’t be day after day of hectic, tailspin pace he always felt inadequate to keep.
Opportunities for Faith
The struggles and challenges are many now with such a sudden move, settling into a completely different lifestyle and adjusting to a single income after so many years. But each has provided such wonderful opportunities for faith for each of us, and stretched us to believe for God’s perfect provision. We are thrilled watching it all unfold.
He has provided a lovely home in the area where we had been told were the best schools-for precisely the amount we felt we could afford with our revised budget. He even took care of such details as supplying a home with more space and an additional bedroom, both which had become real needs for our family. The schools are nearby and on the same property, which was a wish of Deanna’s, as she attends the middle school and the boys attend the adjacent high school.
Each child has made the transition to a new school, has met friends, and become involved in new interests and activities. God has even replaced the part- time jobs the boys had with new jobs here in Knoxville.
Willingness was all He required, and once I let go of the rebelliousness of wanting to do it my way – really Satan by me – I have found much joy and satisfaction in my new life. Surprisingly so, since I was sure I would be bored and miserable without the challenges of a career.
The most difficult part has been becoming accustomed to a dramatically different pace – no longer coasting on the rush of adrenaline created from life in constant overload. After several days of feeling blue and depressed, accepting the feelings and moving out in spite of them, I realized in talking with several friends –Oh, I get it…this is normal!" Then I could laugh and relax, agree again that I am perfectly where God has me and He will walk out this new life perfectly.
The Unexpected Gifts
It’s the little things that bring me such tremendous joy now, and for these things I am tremendously grateful: – letting Kaitlyn sleep until she awakens in the mornings rather than waking her to take her to the sitter
– being home when the kids get home from school in the afternoon, having pre-pared a snack for them to enjoy as we sit and talk about their day
– being available to take Doug to work and visit about what took place on his shift; helping him plan a budget for his new income and watching his excitement in earning some money for his efforts
– going to Deanna’s school pizza party and meeting her friends and teachers, something I could rarely do when I was working full time
– going downtown with Kaitlyn to meet John for lunch, taking along a tray of cookies for his colleagues in the office – making birthday gifts for the children (a Raggedy Ann dress for Kaitlyn, a wooden display rack for Doug’s baseball hat collection, and a quilted Bible cover for Deanna)
– having a date with Doug to shop and enjoy lunch on a Saturday afternoon (Saturdays used to be dedicated to meal planning, shopping and millions of errands to catch up from the week- way too hectic to consider such a luxury!)
– being able to offer typing services to John IV as he begins to make application for colleges.
These are just a few of the gifts I have received thus far, and they mean more to me than any recognition, promotion or satisfaction I worked so feverishly for in my former career.
The Lie I Believed
I feel I must interject here that I am not suggesting there is something fundamentally wrong for a woman to have a career in addition to commitments as wife and mother. For me, I realized that my sin was in passionately desiring to be at home, but not believing for or working towards a solution that would allow that desire to be given birth. In fact, I further complicated the situation so as to make it even more difficult by taking on more job responsibilities and becoming more dependent on my income – both out of resentment that I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Satan’s lie was that God wouldn’t provide; I was stuck with having to work and could be satisfied with a successful (by the world’s standards) career. Further, I believed that the money my job provided was a real benefit to our children and that I was helping my husband in providing for our family.
The truth is I felt much more adequate to carry out my responsibilities as a bank officer and sales trainer that I did as a mother and homemaker. And a glamorous career supplied much excitement, travel, recognition and the illusion of control – all of which are often notice-ably missing from the daily tasks of full-time motherhood!
Since making the transition, I can truthfully say I have not missed working. I have missed the friends I left behind and have been curious about how the building of the branches has come along, but God has richly replaced these things with new friendships to enjoy and a home in the making here in Knoxville.
I’ve learned to recognize my desires as His desires through me and to respond in faith by agreeing with those desires, speaking the word of faith, then taking action as He leads. In Matt. 7:7,8 we are admonished to "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will open" This parallels Norman Grubb’s teaching on the progression from thought, to word, to deed, all with the recognition that it is His desires in the first place. Speaking it gives it life and it is He who will walk it out. at a glorious discovery that I can apply to every situation and every day!
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 6
- Here We Stand
- Out of the Whirlwind
- Editor’s Note
- Minnesota Fellowship Weekend
- The Letter to the Romans
- Moving Out of the Wilderness
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- British Autumn Conference
- A Look at a Book
- The Mailbox
- God’s Promises
- To Think About
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- Tape Talk
- Moments with Meryl
- Questions & Answers
- Which Side?
- Words to Live By