About 2.5 years ago, just after the celebration and excitement of finding out we were pregnant with our second wore off, we got down to business of how this new family of four would operate. We had a lot of important decisions that needed addressed in the coming months; specifically the fate of my professional career.
When our first was born less than a year prior, it had made sense for me to cut back from working full-time to a part-time schedule. Now with the news of our second on the way, we very quickly realized that having two young children in childcare, and me on a part-time work schedule would no longer be an option for us. Financially, it wouldn’t make sense any more (we would have paid for daycare close to what I was earning). Which meant the decision would be: I’d need to return to work on a full-time basis after our second arrived, OR I would come home full-time and be a stay-at home parent with both children.
Once we concluded that part-time would become a thing of the past, I went to talk to my employer, who happened to be (and still is) a very dear friend of mine. I let her know we were expecting again and I laid all my cards on the table. I asked if there would be a position available for me full-time, if that’s what we decided as a family. She let me know there would be a spot for me somewhere. She and the other owner would discuss what that position and salary would be, and they’d get back to me with an offer.
This was at the end of my first trimester. My husband and I were feeling immensely grateful for all the options we had available. To even be contemplating whether we should have a parent at home was a blessing we felt fortunate to face. Best of all, we knew we had a lot of time to make a well-calculated decision.
The weeks and months trickled by, the pregnancy moved along uneventfully. Work was good and life was busy. I casually touched base with my boss a couple times about our earlier conversation, but no verdict had been reached. I was not worried or fazed by this though. I worked for fantastic people who ran a top-notch local business. And I knew their lives’ as business owners were 24/7 in an unrelenting field. I was more than confident that as soon as they came to a conclusion, they’d share the information with me. Plus, I was still months away from my due date. We had plenty of time to make a decision.
All the while, I was wrestling with some personal worries of my own. I had a lot of fear about the idea of being home full-time. I didn’t know if I was cut out for it. I didn’t know if I’d feel fulfilled childrearing day-in & day-out. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be a mom with every fiber of my being. But I also LOVED working. I was good at it. I loved sales. I loved people. I loved networking. I loved that my schedule was my own. I loved business lunches & coffee meetings. My entire social life was wrapped up in my career. I was afraid of being lonely at home; there is so much anonymity in being a stay-at-home parent. I was afraid I’d lose my edge. I was afraid my husband wouldn’t find me interesting. While I desperately wanted the option to be able to stay home, I had a lot of reservations about it.
Nevertheless I prayed constantly for the right decision to be made. I prayed my husband and I would both have profound peace -mentally, emotionally, & financially, in whatever that outcome looked like.
Somewhere between “We have plenty of time!” and “Holy smokes! I need to pack a hospital bag!” the weeks and months of pregnancy disappeared. For nearly nine months we’d been praying for a decision that was closing in on us, and we were no closer to deciding. I was less than a week away from my due date and was telling clients & coworkers that I’d be back after maternity leave. The truth was, I wasn’t sure if I would be or not. So far no job offer had yet been made.
In the eleventh hour, I remember pleading with God for an answer. I felt impatient. I was feeling stressed by the unknown. I wanted to feel settled and at peace. I wanted the offer to come so we could make this HUGE LIFE DECISION. I felt like EVERYTHING was hinging on this ONE thing.
I remember the week I gave birth, driving to work and talking out loud to God about it: “We have been so patient. We have prayed. And we have waited. We need to know what to do and we can’t make a decision without this offer. WHEN is it coming?”
In that moment I finally heard God speak to me. Clear as day, He simply said: “No answer is my answer.”
Whoa. I did not see that coming.
Wow. Just wow.
There I had it, just like that. I’d had His answer all along.
To this day writing those words, I’m in awe of how simple it really was. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. I know now, I never would have seen in the midst of everything just how perfectly God was working behind the scenes. What I took to be my employers’ as being occupied by other things and unhurried to respond; was Him answering the very thing I was praying about. All along this huge life decision had been under control. His plan for me was to be home raising babies. While I dutifully prayed, He dutifully provided the answer. I just didn’t hear it.
I’ve been home now for nearly two and a half years, and can confidently say that I am right where I am supposed to be. I am exactly where God wants me and right where my family needs me. There are definitely days that are trying. But knowing that I’m where I was called to be helps erase doubt and questioning that I was certain I’d always wrestle with in this chapter of life.