I’m looking at this tree across the street from me. The sky is overcast and gray. Sometimes, the sun tries to peek through and tease us with a hint of light, fooling us into believing it’s not as cold as it really is. The tree is tall, with the beautiful autumn leaves, gold and russet and yellow-green. Death can be pretty. It can also leave one feeling off balance.
It seems the death of my brother ushered in something that should have been obvious to me: I’m changing. Just like the leaves on the tree across the street. I know these are good changes, changes to shape and mold my being, part of the Jeremiah 29:11 plan. They are for my good, to give me hope and a future. Just as that verse alludes these aren’t my plans.
Somewhere along the way, my ambition for corporate success died. It hurts to write this, oddly enough. I always wanted to be successful in a big way. I was determined to have this goal met at any cost. About this time last year, I was fighting for this. Determined to forge a path to the world in which I would be esteemed, valued and even adored in some aspects. Then, the good Lord decided that Six was more important than my career ambitions and placed me squarely at the intersection of Sacrifice Drive and Obedience Lane.
Up until yesterday, I grappled with the choice set before me: begin the journey that leads to being a part-time stay at home mom/wife or grab for the brass ring with lotsa zeros behind prime numbers.
I wavered between two opinions, nearly incapacitated by regret, resistance, and anger. Not to mention I had a lot of noise around me. Literally. Noise. Noise in the commute to work, noise when I got to work, noisy appliances at home, noise everywhere. Subtle distraction kept me in the middle of the fork until the wee hours of early Monday morning. Six had been coughing and vomiting for two days, and unease teased the corners of my mind. This child, who is never still, who even fidgets in his sleep, had curled up next to me, head resting on my thigh. It really occurred to me he depended on me to have answers and to make whatever was ailing him to flee. He believed my prayers worked, and he made me pray for him. After his dad put him to bed, we took turns staying up until my eyes gave way. When I woke up, it was dark and silent. I didn’t hear anything or anyone. For a split moment, I relished the silence and the dark. And then, I kinda spazzed out. I was alone in the dark. And in that moment, I realized what I was reaching for with so much determination, and for years, would have left me exactly as I was at that moment. Alone and in the dark.
The next day after we took the boy to the doctor and got settled in, I looked at my child. As much as I wanted to pursue ‘success’ on my terms, I wanted what God defined as success more. It is even more solidified in my heart as I type in the quiet at home, with a less than optimal four year old napping away pneumonia and double ear infection. The sun is shining on the tree across the street, and the sky is still overcast and grayish. But it’s only for a season. And this is the appropriate season for this type of display. I notice the Lord is removing me from positions that demand a lot of time, effort and attention away from my child and husband. Honestly, I don’t know what to do with that. I was used to serving others, found sublime pleasure in doing so. Now, it isn’t as fun or as pleasurable, and I find the grace and patience required to sustain responsibilities and expectations is no longer available to me. However, I am abounding in grace toward this little person and all of the efforts it takes to raise him.
Don’t get me twisted. I am not giving up volunteering at church. Nor am I leaving church. I am, however, reevaluating how my time is spent. The Lord and I are restructuring my life to serve in a ministry called family first, then to devote my time and attention to other areas where I am called. I am recovering from being a ‘doer’. And I’m allowing the Lord to reveal my identity in Christ.
We cannot be all things to all people, and certainly not in the same position for all time. I believe my pastor said that your misery is your ministry. This home thing was a misery, a thorn in my side for awhile. And it was because I fought it SO very hard. Because the stock I come from are movers and shakers and doers…or so I thought. The Lord reminds me of my grandmother. She wasn’t a corporate powerhouse. She was, however, irreplaceable and touched every life so it was no longer the same. What better purpose than to invest in another human being? I think it is so necessary these days…but more on this another time.
Yes, I’m still employed. I know that this is for a limited time, and likely until we get our finances tighter. However, my tolerance for the games and such is at an all time low. And in true Adrienne fashion, people have been served notice that I will not be playing those games.