by Patricia R. Chadwick
I became a Christian when I was a young woman of 22 years. I had recently given birth to my first son and had just returned to work. It was at that time in my life that I heard the Gospel plainly preached and opened up my heart to receive Jesus as my Savior. With that decision came a whole new outlook on life and a change of priorities and values.
I had always been somewhat of a feminist. I had firmly believed that I would be a "career woman" and never be a stay-at-home mom. While I appreciated that my mother was always there for me when I was growing up, I didn't want to be a "mere" mother. I wanted to forge out my "own place" in society and didn't desire to be known only as someone's wife or mother. But the birth of my son and my conversion to Christ changed all that.
It was very hard for me to leave my son when returning to work. I was very fortunate with my child care arrangements. My Grandmother came to my house to babysit, but it dawned on me quickly that she was raising my son. She was with him all day while I was at work. She was the one seeing his first smile, the first time he sat up, the first time he crawled. I was seeing all his milestones second hand. I would come home for lunch and it would be so hard for me to tear myself away from him and go back to the office.
As I grew in the Lord, the awesome responsibility of being a parent became crystal clear to me. I came to realize that there was much more to being a parent than giving birth. Taking care of my son's physical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs was my responsibility; not someone else's. I felt God's hand on me, encouraging me to give up my job and become a "keeper at home".
This became a major struggle in my life. Not only did I love my job, but my family could NEVER afford to live on my husband's income. While we didn't live an extravagant lifestyle, my husband's wage was low, and his work was seasonal. In my mind there was no way I could quit my job. Over and over again I would feel the Lord's prompting for me to become a homemaker. I would hear Him speak to me when I read the Bible. I would hear His voice when I heard a sermon. In my time of prayer and devotions, I would feel Him prompting me to trust Him to take care of me. I would cry out to Him, "But Lord, you don't understand! Give my husband a better job and I will gladly quit!", but He would gently respond, "Quit, and I will give your husband a better job!". This on-going struggle went on for over a year. It then became clear to me that there was a lesson I needed to learn. I had to learn to "live by faith".
In the midst of this spiritual battle, I became pregnant with my second child. After my daughter was born, I finally knew that I could not struggle anymore against God. I discussed it with my husband and the decision was made. I would give up my job and I would trust God to supply for our needs. Once it was decided, a peace flooded my soul. Somehow I knew God would be faithful and honor His promises to me because of my choice to follow His will for my life.
As I look back, I have never regretted taking that step of faith and trusting God to supply my family's needs. I cannot say it has always been an easy road to travel. My husband could not find a better job at first, finances became very tight and I had to learn how to live very frugally. I was tempted more than a few times to turn back, but God always assured me He would provide. And provide He did. My family never went without. God always supplied for all our needs. It wasn't long after that God kept his promise to me by giving my husband a better job that was year-round with benefits and He showed Himself faithful to me in numerous ways.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years now, and not a day has gone by that I regret that decision. Oh, there were times that I longed to do "great things" for God. In my mind I entertained thoughts of some great work I could be doing for the Kingdom, like teaching a large Bible class or becoming a missionary. But even as those illusions of grandeur played in my mind, God showed me that He had already given me a job to do. A job of utmost importance.
He brought to my attention a poem by William Ross
Wallace that changed my perspective on the significance of motherhood forever:
That man is mighty:
He governs land and sea.
He wields a mighty scepter
O'er lesser powers that be.
But mightier power and stronger
Man from his throne has hurled.
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules
There is no doubt in my mind that God has blessed me with the opportunity to make a vital difference in this world. There is no other task that is more noteworthy, meaningful, or fulfilling than that of being a mother. He has given me the chance to raise some of the future leaders of the next generation, instilling in them values, godly principles, and leading each one of them in my care to Christ. No other vocation or ministry could be any more fulfilling than the one God has called me to.
Patricia Chadwick is a freelance writer and creator of Parents & Teens. Visit her at www.parentsandteens.com and sign up for her FREE newsletter. She is also the author of MISSION POSSIBLE: RAISING GREAT TEENS! and HISTORY'S WOMEN - THE UNSUNG HEROINES both available at:
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