If you’ve been with me on this journey for awhile, you know I’ve been on the struggle bus trying to figure out my “purpose” and what I should be doing with my life. About a year ago, I wrote about it here. As my 40th birthday approaches (rapidly), it has been weighing on me even more heavily. So I am happy to report that this week I finally figured it out!
It’s gonna take a minute to get there, so bear with me…
When I was sixteen, I was told by a doctor that I would probably never have children (please note that I now have 4 healthy boys so doctors do not know everything). I was diagnosed at this time with endometriosis and was told that my uterus was about half the size of a “normal” uterus, which would mean even if I were to get pregnant, I would not be able to carry the baby full term. At 16, I obviously wasn’t thinking about having a baby, but I was devastated. I wept. I KNEW I wanted to be a mom.
I had resigned myself to the idea that I would adopt or my sister would be my surrogate (she didn’t know that I was volunteering her uterus so good thing I didn’t need it!) Anyway, time went on and I was off to college.
As a first year college student, my major was premed. I wanted to be a pediatrician. I knew I wanted to use my brain and I knew I wanted to help kids. So pre-med it was! By this point I was seeing a specialist for my endometriosis. As I was having a biopsy done, we were discussing my classes and major and my “plan”. He asked me then if I planned on having a family. “Well of course” I said. He pointed out how little time he spent with his kids, often going days without seeing them or his wife because his schedule was so crazy. I changed my major the next week. (I realize women can be doctors and good mothers and many are and I am not judging anyone for their choices…I just knew that wasn’t what I envisioned for ME.)
I changed my major to Education basically for the hours involved. I knew I could still spend a lot of time with my kids and be on their schedule. While still being able to “help” other kids. It is one of the noblest careers in my opinion, so that is what I decided to do.
I became a teacher. I have a Masters in Education. But I do not LOVE teaching. Let me correct that…I LOVE being in a classroom with kids who are engaged in the learning process. I love to see their eyes light up when they “get it”. I love to see students who are enjoying learning. I do not like all of the politics. I do not like being told what to teach and when to teach it because of standards and testing. I know these things are necessary, but I’m not good at that stuff.
I had a baby and was able to stay home. Then I had another, and another, and ANOTHER! We have had to make sacrifices along the way so that I can stay home. My husband has been blessed with his career, but it hasn’t always been easy. I did go back to work part time a couple of times, just to get my toes wet again. And to make a little extra money. But, for the most part, my heart was at home.
So over the past week, I have been reading Love Lives Here by Maria Goff. I was up late one evening reading and all of a sudden it struck me.
I can’t figure out what I want to be when I grow up, because I’m already being it!
“…we try to cope with our insecurities by trying to be someone else rather than who God intended us to be.” I wasn’t even supposed to be able to HAVE KIDS, yet I’m a mother of four of them! Maybe being a mother was what God intended me to be. Maria also reminded me of this, “We all don’t need to do big things, but we can do equally important small things.” Like loving my family. Volunteering for my kids’ classes. Helping with PTO. Bringing dinner to a neighbor. Small things, but still important things.
The funny thing is, I hadn’t even told the husband about this revelation. But last night he noticed that I have been “lighter”. I’ve been baking with the kids again. More patient. Not stressing out and yelling about little things. I told him it’s because I’ve FINALLY figured out what I’m supposed to be when I grow up. I’m supposed to Love and Take care of my Family. That is all. And that is Enough.
My tombstone isn’t going to say teacher, doctor, lawyer, whatever….But I certainly want it to say Wife. Mother. She Loved Jesus and She Loved People. And that is all that really matters.
So I’m off to fold all of the clothes and scrub mud stains off of baseball pants and pack golf clubs and baseball bags for after school activities and iron work clothes and All.Of.The.Things. But I will be doing them with a much better attitude because this is exactly what I’ve always wanted to be when I grew up.