Friday, August 7, 2009

Confession... at the well

Reader Alert! This is a lengthy, honest story about me and a long wrestling match with God. Enjoy.
I've been waiting to share this message for a while now and finally have the guts to do it! So, I hope you find some understanding and contentment in where God has placed you as I've learned the hard way but have come up out of it... and am moving forward to new adventures!

It's been almost three years now since I was let go from the financial office due to lack of work (in my particular area of expertise) or so I was told. I was also working part time there and the schedule was fabulous (9 - 3), can it get any better? Everything seemed perfect. The pay was excellent, our bills paid on time, flexibility was outstanding too. I could even treat myself and the kids to some luxuries more often too! When that "dreadful day" arrived, I questioned everything I had worked for as a business professional. What happened??? What did I do wrong? Could I have changed the outcome somehow? Am I horrible at administrative work really? Did I say something that may have been out of line? Did I not give it my best in being a personal assistant to everyone in the office? I have beat myself up over this many times since then, and, at times, I still find myself seeking "outside" fulfillment and affirmation from others, not exactly sure what "it" is exactly that I feel I "need" or possibly crave - and as you can guess, if you've ever been in a similar situation, I've been tumbling back and forth, up until very recently that is, bouncing my thoughts off the walls of my house, driving those around me including myself absolutely CRAZY with discontentment in my place here on earth. Wondering what my role really is, why did I train in this field only to be let go on numerous occasions (in the past too) from these specific jobs? It's what I know, its what I do... at least, I thought so! Feeling angry and very unsettled about the whole situation and not knowing what to do with myself now?! I pondered often, "I HAVE to make money to help out around here, don't I?" How am I going to help my husband and stay afloat of our finances now? How will we pay for our bills without "my help"??

I even questioned and later yelled at the top of my lungs at God a couple of times, frantically pleading... what do you want with me? What do I do next? We will fall behind, again Lord! I hate this place of uncertainty! My husband was obviously my "whipping post" at times and I regret a lot of those explosive moments toward him...though, through a lot of forgiving and time, he understood and understands, he just couldn't help me. My boys see me struggle through it at times, though, I do try to hide it as best as I can, but we all know "its" still there, blatantly obvious when I lock myself in the bathroom upstairs or go for a drive without the family just so I can vent it out of my system :)

When you're used to working outside the home (and as a woman) and have been instilled from a young age with gaining independence, the need for control comes naturally to us (women), you know controlling our circumstances and those surrounding us - all to just to have or gain financial stability, especially having children, there's a certain "security"in this belief system and its quite difficult to be pulled out of it so abruptly without prior notice to properly plan ahead, you can imagine my protest and dismay!

Some may be selfish of her or maybe you've been in this place?! Yes, I went through that same thought process. And then it hit me like a smack on the face, God HAS used me in those other office areas to fulfill my destiny or my calling within my homelife as well, (crickets chirping) As a manager of my home now! WHAT? I thought to've got to be kidding! Administrative work has nothing to do with housework, laundry, dishes, dirty diapers etc...Office life, is easier to me. I didn't understand at first but I found out the truth that had its hold on me for a long time... It's "easy" to go to work, stay focused without distraction on your specific talent/skills and accomplish day to day activities for another person all the while getting your self esteem built up with thanks sometimes from the boss or co-workers, the promise of promotions, getting that promotion, bonuses, people praising "You" for a job well done and feeling a bit satisfied with the work of your hands as a "VIP"because you think your holding the office together and even those fun invites to dinners outside of work, basically being involved with the world and all of its charms! I was one of those people who fell hard for this belief and didn't want it to end! Who wouldn't? Ugh...that was hard for me to confess to you. I honestly did not want it to end. Besides, my family was always there for me when I got home from being everyone's favorite assistant, it was the perfect life in a sense. that I'm reading this through writing it out, I can't believe I really feel this way! But what the Lord has taught me through these three years of working out my selfish desires in isolation and coming to solitude with my Savior now, is that *Home* truly is where the heart is and should stay there! Being transparent enough to tell you that I didn't like it at home and at times still don't and that I do want that "old life" back, I wouldn't be nearly as close to the Lord as I am right this very minute and I thank God for putting me through this "dying to myself" period in my life and patiently awaiting to see God's plan revealed through not just me anymore, but through my children as being their first teacher, as I am here for them now without the mental distractions of the workload from being "out there" the next day.

Also, being readily available for my husband and his needs, without carrying around my selfish desires (as often) from when I was "important" to others in the office, I have time for God, to my hubs, my kids, and even more ministry possibilities!!! How foolish I was to fall for the world's trap. It's like an escape from reality. You can't run from it, God will always call you home no matter how far you get to the top of that ladder! Money should not be our primary focus for living just to gain or have. Work is important, but the lesson I've learned is that it is only the Lord who directs the steps of a man/woman doesn't He? I suppose, only if we let Him do it. It's where God's first ministry was meant to be with family, relational opportunities first... some of us, just take the long road home.

Looking back, I wouldn't change the outcome of how and why it happened, I don't question it anymore. He opens new doors for us everyday if we're paying close attention. As a matter of fact, the Lord left me with a peace about it and has reminded me of the impression I left on the staff I used to work with. Basically, it was just a job. And that is so satisfying to me now! I understand the "why". It was God's plan from the beginning, another lesson along the journey with Him. I just fought it, trying it out in my own strength and fell flat on my face, which is precisely right where the Lord used me to complete His work in me at that time. We can't run from our first priorities, God, Spouse, Children... family and work is LAST, folks! You get the picture - Oh, you can try, you can put as many distractions in your life as necessary, but ultimately, that longing or void we all sometimes feel, is really the need to get closer to God and seeing Him for who He is, not who you are. He made us to satisfy His purposes, not ours. Honestly, the truth hurts and it hurt me. How else do we ever get humbled? Think about it... we were made to worship the Lord of heaven, Jesus, not ourselves - (which is what satan will have you believe, that is the lure of our culture today, the pride of life... vanity.)

"So what" if I thought I had a great job, pats on the back from superiors, dinners out, good pay...they were all from God to begin with, and looking back, I never truly thanked Him or even gave to those in need at the end of the day. I took it for granted! I never worked hard enough to gain them on my own! The Lord decided when I was finished in that area, why fight it? He's truly my provider, Jehovah Jireh today and always and I happily give Him props for it now!!! That was such a revelation to me, I can't even begin to tell you! What is the lure? Why isn't family, home-life, enough for us?? Really? Have you ever thought about that?

I am such a child of His now...before, I was the "prodigal daughter"boy, have I taken many other roads and come to a dead end so often and at times I still fight it because of habits I've built along the way. How truly funny we must look to Him sometimes. It's all His to begin with! Our gifts, our talents, our personalities, our bodies, our money, our children, even our spouses. Are we working toward Him really? Or our need to provide on our own?

We will work ourselves to death, literally if we could - sadly, some have already! All for what? Temporary satisfaction? Vain glories? Security..what is "Real" security anyway? Is money really our driving force? The Lord owns all of it! Proven experience: I've had money, even been "poverish"at one point, on welfare as a single mother back in the day and then had money again and then lost it comes, it goes. The Lord wants us to call on him even when we have it, quite frankly, especially when we have it... thats when its most difficult to be close to the Savior, when we have "everything" we think we need. That's where I was and still angry at heart?

At the end of the day, if I seek Him with my whole being, He reveals so much more to me and will and has given me more opportunities and I can SEE now! It's a privilege and honor to be at home as a servant to my husband and children because its the Lord who finds delight in me when I'm doing it to honor Him ultimately and it is not necessarily a "luxury" like some might think it to be... more often than not, its the most "thankless, pride swallowing" position to be in. Though, it can also be a special freedom even when I really look closely at it and for all those moms out there who understand, I do still "work", its a job without a paycheck, without affirmations, promotions, or encouragement, its tiring, and emotionally and physically draining, but its one position in the world, that matters the most in this life and can build the Lord's kingdom right before our eyes in the comforts of our homes!

It's also the most humble position to be in and I don't feel bad about not being a corporate mom anymore. Though, others can do that, they have another journey to fulfill. Mine, is where it is and I must find contentment about it and be joyful along the way. When times get tough and they will, I'll be clinging to the Savior this time.

The pull of the culture is enormous and so tempting (it was and still is for me) especially in areas of keeping up with others in having the good stuff, the clothes, the jewels, the cars, the smart kids, the good schools, the house, financial "stability".... that job and then actually living toward God's standards and leaning on Him ALONE is a difficult one because like it or not, we are all flesh driven, no matter how Christian we think we are. But we can only overcome this nature with Jesus, the one who made us for Himself! We all get tired of this battle or the race, but I'd like to ask you if you would make a promise to grow stronger with me and pray and lean on Him, because none of us can do it alone, I can't... Moral of my story today is that I've really learned to be Grateful in all things, even when the storms of life hit hard - because of the long road (though, I don't recommend the long way :)

"The Lord has to break you to remake you" - Not sure where this came from, but it certainly reigns true for me.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. kjv

"The enemy of harmony and unity is selfish ambition. It quickly divides us."

Paul is not saying that we should have an inferiority complex or belittle our own abilities. Rather, Christian love puts others above selfish ambition.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, to hear you talk like that reminds me of just how blessed I really am. I love you so much and cant tell you how much you have helped in my battle with pride and vanity. I know that you in my life is one of the reasons I am yearning and learning for an eternity with the Lord, and with you. Love, Tony