Even before we married, my husband and I decided I would stay home with our children while they were young. At the time, in the early 90s, that decision was even less popular than it is now. And on a newbie pastor’s salary, it wasn’t easy to follow through with financially. But with prayer and a step of faith, we made it work.
Still, I cannot count the number of times I must have doubted that decision. Not only because we had to watch every nickel and dime, but for a long list of other reasons as well.
Some days boredom drove me to doubt my choice. Other days the voices of our culture mocked my “career” choice. Loneliness, isolation, restlessness, and discontentment raised their taunting voices as well. And more often than not, I just felt like I “wasn’t doing it right.” I felt inadequate for the creativity, energy and warmth I felt like the job called for. And being a fulltime mom and homemaker simply didn’t play out according to the script I had conjured in my mind.
But I pressed on. I prayed… a lot. I sought out the company of other stay-at-home moms. I engaged in the tasks at hand. I reminded myself that even if others did not value or understand our decision, my husband and I had carefully and prayerfully chosen this path…and it was worth staying on.
I’d like to tell you that there came a day when I woke up and knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was doing the right thing and just plain ol’ enjoyed my calling from that day on. But that didn’t happen. Quite honestly, I doubted the choice to be at home off and on throughout that phase of my life. I wrestled with my commitment all the way through.
Until it was all said and done.
Today I can look back and tell you without any hesitation that staying home with my children was the right decision. It was a blessing…for me and for them. Good things, many good things, came from that commitment. In retrospect, I wouldn’t change a single day I spent engaged with my children and taking care of my home and family.
Today’s encouragement has nothing to do with convincing you to be a stay-at-home mom. It has nothing to do with persuading you to invest more in your family. And it certainly has nothing to do with exalting my choice to stay home over others’ choice to work.
I simply want you to understand that there are some decisions we make–good, prayerful, and careful decisions–that, once made, are difficult to follow through with. Due to the very benefits and blessings these commitments guarantee in our lives, the enemy will pursue us with doubt and frustration and fears and restlessness from the moment we endeavor to keep them. He will seek to convince us that we’ve made a mistake, that the price isn’t worth it, that there’s a better and easier way, that we’re not doing it right, and that we might as well throw in the towel.
If you have made a decision–prayerfully and carefully–stay with it. If God has set you on a different course than those around you, if He has asked something from you that others are not giving, if He has planted a passion in your heart that does not grow in the hearts of others, or if He has called you to a ministry that requires great and even unusual sacrifice, press on. Follow through.
You may not feel it every day. You may not receive the affirmation you expected from others. You may not see immediate success or reward. It may not always be fun and exciting. You may have days filled with doubt and restlessness. Others may drop their batons and quit.
You hang in there.
The reward is coming. The commitment is worthy of the price. God has not left you out on a limb alone. Trust me, the day will come when you look back and know without hesitation that God has rewarded your diligence.
And those days when you didn’t feel so diligent, when you lost your vision, when you doubted and almost quit? God’s grace takes care of all those days. Don’t you worry about those. He knows we will sometimes grow weary and doubt. But He calls us to press on.
I hope these words of encouragement will help you to press on and follow through with whatever God has called you to do. And I’d love to hear about it if there is a particular calling you are struggling to follow through with. I’d be glad to pray for your perseverance and success.
Press on, sweet friend. Press on!
Today I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and other bloggers, offering you encouraging words at Holley’s Coffee for Your Heart.
You’ll find other encouraging posts in my Walk with Me Wednesdays series.