When I Grow Up…

When I was a little girl, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Despite the fact that I haven’t a single artistic bone in my body, it sounded like a good idea, and besides….painting was pretty fun. By the time I entered high school, my art class performance had proved that this was not the field for me. I needed to choose a new career path. But what? My senior year career assessment suggested that I might fair well as a fish scaler….

I entered college with a year of undergraduate credits already under my belt, thanks to the post-secondary education program. What this really meant is that I had one less year than the other freshman students to decide what to do with my life. My college major changed multiple times, and I finally settled on Psychology. The subject was fascinating to me, the coursework came easily, and I was excited to finish my degree and get to work. Little did I realize, very few job opportunities exist in that field for individuals without a graduate degree. Once again, I was faced with the age-old dilemma….what do I want to be when I grow up?

Unable to decide on a graduate program, I went to work with the goal of using that following year to narrow down my options and hopefully gain clarity into my life’s purpose. More accurately, I spent that year driving my husband crazy. I did purchase a GRE study guide book, made flashcards for myself, and began the journey of preparing for the the exam that would determine my ability to be accepted into the graduate program of my choice….and then I got pregnant with my son. Surprise! All plans for furthering my educational future were put on hold. “When I grow up” became present tense rather quickly, and it turns out I was meant to be a mother.

My husband and I made the decision that I would leave the workforce to stay home with our son full-time. I took on this new “job” without having a clue what that would really mean. In reality, being a homemaker requires a complete shift in focus, change in perspective and new level of dedication and discipline. This phase of my life has been full of blessing, challenge, joy, and pain that only a mother can understand. Some time later, and due to financial circumstances surrounding our decision to plant a new church, I began working part-time in the mental health field. I firmly believe that God specifically placed me in that job for multiple reasons, and I am so thankful for that. I remained in that position until the birth of our second child, when I returned to the role of full-time mommy. Although I enjoyed my job and sometimes long to return to my work outside the home, I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

Maybe a little prematurely, I have started thinking about how my life will change when my boys are both in school. I am starting to wonder if there is meant to be one real answer to that question, or if the end I have been seeking is more like a series of points on a journey that never does end. What I am supposed to be doing is ever-evolving, and the question, “What’s next?” may be more appropriate. It seems that each step that was meant to clarify the future has only altered my course and made me reconsider my plans. It’s pretty cool to look back on my path and see where God has led me thus far. I know that every stage has built upon the next. And I’m excited to see what is in store for me in the next several years. Not knowing or being sure is actually ok. Change is good for the soul…..and maybe I’m not ready to be “all grown up” just yet.

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