Two and a half years ago, I was a restless stay-at-home mom. My four kids, self-sufficient, and in school full time, my role as a full-time mom was evolving. College catalogs, SATs, and drivers’ licenses pointed to the impending beginnings of the nest emptying.
Rewind twenty years. I was a fresh-faced college student ready to take on the world. I filled my schedule with literature and theater classes to prepare me to teach high school English and Drama. I was mentored by the best professors, studied endlessly, and even taught and volunteered in Africa between my junior and senior years.
My whimsical life continued unfolding in my favor. I was offered a teaching job as a traveling English teacher in a poor, underserved area of Los Angeles. Rubbermaid cart of supplies in tow, I trounced from class to class like a hybrid of Mary Poppins and Jodi Foster in Dangerous Minds. Needless to say, I was thriving.
Then, as any magical gypsy teacher would, I met my husband. We married, and I had to let go of my dream job to move with him to his first Army station. I had plans to finish my Master’s in Education and continue teaching- but I was young, in love, and excited for adventure, so I chose this path without a second thought.
Early on, being a stay-at-home mom made sense. But my husband’s career was extremely demanding, and we lived far from any family support. I poured myself out for my family’s sake, ignoring the stir I felt to get back into writing and teaching.
After eighteen years, I decided to take the leap, finish my Master’s degree, get back into teaching, and begin writing.
My husband and I prayed together that the Lord would open up doors and provide direction, asking Him to remind me that it is stepping out in faith; being courageous enough to dream God-sized dreams is what mattered most. Even if not a single soul read my work, and I didn’t receive a teaching position, the process of obedience, taking that leap of faith, is what needed changing.
With fresh enthusiasm as I held my Grad school acceptance letter, I decided to substitute teach. A nearby school was in need, and I nervously scheduled an interview. Hired on the spot, I had no idea that the Lord was preparing me for a more prominent role at the school. Six months into substitute teaching, I was asked to take over as an emergency sub for junior high English. The current teacher was leaving, and they needed me to fill in until they hired someone permanently. Within a month, I was asked to apply and received the position! It was a crazy time, full-time teaching while juggling grad school and home life, but my family rallied around me, prayed for me, and cheered me on.
After eighteen years of dreaming, praying, and waiting- the Lord provided His perfect best. Who would have thought that at 45 years, I would be jumping into a new career! This whirlwind of new beginnings renewed my heart to believe that until we are called home to heaven He still can work and move in our lives to do big things in His name.
Yes, I am a mom, wife, and now a teacher, but I am also a disciple of Christ.
He commissioned me to step out in faith to use my small offerings and give Him glory. I was tempted out of fear to think I had nothing left to offer this world. I was afraid I wouldn’t be hired, and that my dreams weren’t really in alignment with His plan for my life. But those desires of my heart, submitted to the Lord in prayer, were from the Lord! In His perfect timing, I have found a renewed sense of purpose for my life as an empty nester wife and mom.
God is active in all of our stories, and I encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit’s gentle prodding and say yes to His big dreams for your life. I don’t know what your gifts and talents are, friend, but please don’t sit back and believe the lie that you are no longer valuable for kingdom work. Like me, you’re called to share your heart with the world through the gifts and talents He’s given you.