One morning this amazing, little human stood at her classroom door showing bravery everywhere but on her face. She waved to me with all five fingers scrunched and said, “Bye bye, Mama!” Yet when my eyes met hers, she was starting to get tears and I saw that big ol’ bottom lip poke out. Her voice got shaky while she continued to repeat, “Bye bye, Mama!” So, of course, I grabbed her up and gave her a big hug and a pep talk.
This scene thankfully doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen and it doesn’t get any easier. She now knows and understands that I leave her under the care of others five days a week to go care for children that need love and an education too. Every family’s circumstances and priorities are different. I consider this to be one of the beauties of family units.
I know that I know that I know that I am called to teach AND I am called to motherhood. These two are not mutually exclusive. The confidence in that is what allows me to leave her for several hours most days. But it’s not easy. Through these difficult moments I am forced no longer to cling to myself, but to the cross. C.H. Spurgeon said it beautifully and with such confidence: “Therefore, be not discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position, your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that he called you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are.” I want it to be evident to everyone, but especially to my children, that I am that confident in God’s plan for my life and my calling.
God has us where He wants us until He doesn’t want us there any longer. What a gift to be able to go forth in motherhood, and in working, with the confidence in that simple truth. I believe we cannot be grounded in any particular identity, or role, apart from Christ. We might have a great job for a season, we might have children for a season; we might have all of the above and more, or none of the above. These are gifts that can be given and can be taken away. No matter where we spend our days, our call is to be faithful with what He has given us at home and at work. When we think about our time and our lives in terms of eternity, then the pressure gets taken off, our perspective shifts, and so shifts our identity.