Thursday, March 19, 2015

Big Changes In Our Family

Sometimes life goes about following the same pattern year after year until one day someone stops and asks, "Is this it?  Is this what my life is going to be like for the rest of my life?"

I asked that question a year ago.  I asked that question a month ago.  "Is this it, God?  Am I going to homeschool my kids through high school, remain a stay at home mom, living in the same old house doing the same old things day after day after day after day??  God, there seriously has to be more to my life than this."

I wrestled.  Oh boy have I wrestled over the past year.  Two years.  Possibly three.  God told me to jump, and I jumped.  I expected grand things to happen immediately.  Nothing changed.  My life went on in the exact same fashion.  I started to feel itchy and angry and cheated.  "I TOLD You I would do anything, God!  Your job is to make something exciting happen!  And nothing has changed.  I'm still in the exact same spot doing the exact same things.  God, I want more."

Every time a song came on the Christian radio station that had lyrics like, You were made for so much more than this, or You were made to fly or anything that had to do with living an extraordinary life, I got mad and shut the song off.  Because clearly God did NOT create me to do anything more than to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom.  Fine.  I can be ordinary and boring.  I don't have to change the world or doing great things.  But I am done listening and believing those stupid songs because they are a lie.  Just dumb Christian propaganda that makes people feel like they are missing out on the great, Christian life.

Two months ago Hubby and I started seriously praying about sending David to school.  And possibly sending the girls.  We became official members of our church earlier this month which made tuition prices slightly more affordable.  I didn't tell Hubby this, but I prayed and prayed and then finally threw up my hands and said, "God, if you want us to send the kids to school, then the money will be there by March 8."  I picked that day because it was the day the school opened enrollment to new students.  On March 5, we decided we would just send David because we could comfortably afford to send him.  The girls we would wait on because their tuition would stretch us financially beyond what I was comfortable with.

March 8 someone asked me if we would send the girls to school if we had help to pay for their tuition.  I said yes.  They said they would help us.  On March 8.  My arbitrary deadline.

March 9, Hubby and I were laying in bed before going to sleep and I said, "I wonder why God wants the kids to goto school.  Obviously He worked it out so there must be a reason."

In early February Hubby told me that when he was praying for me during his prayer time, he felt God tell him to support me in what would make me happy.  I just laughed at Hubby and said, "I sure wish I knew what would make me happy."

March 6 God woke me up in the middle of the night and told me that the thing that would make me happy is to become a nurse.  I prayed about it, I thought a lot about it, I looked up nursing programs online.  And then a week later I asked Hubby to pray about it.  That I wasn't sure if it really was from the Lord or just my desire.  Hubby seemed to think I would do better at writing.  So I agreed to pray about that.  I told Hubby that I felt like I was at a crossroads: writing or nursing.  And I could only pick one.

Two days ago I set nursing aside and decided writing was the way to go because nursing will be hard and expensive and take time.  Yesterday I was reading a book, All The Places To Go: How Will You Know? (God has placed before you an open door.  What will you do?) by John Ortberg.  I didn't even make it through the first chapter.  I had to shut the book and take action.

"It took me years to realize God may have good reasons to leave choices up to us rather than sending us emails telling us what to do.  I had to struggle with the decision.  I think maybe that's part of why God works through open doors.  They help us struggle with our real dreams and motives.  I got no divine direction or supernatural indicators as far as I can tell.  But I chose [the riskier option] because the adventure of yes seemed more alive than the safety of no."

I knew immediately that I needed to pursue nursing.  If I didn't, the "what if's" would hound me for the rest of my life.  I needed to pull up my big girl panties and kick fear to the curb.

I set the book down and grabbed my laptop.  I looked up the nursing program I was most interested in and submitted an application to enroll in the school.  I requested my old college transcript be sent to the new school.  And it felt right.

This afternoon Hubby texted me and said: "I think you should follow the nursing path.  At least far enough to get a clear understanding of what the costs are, in time, in money and in peace of mind.  I heard from the Lord that you need to at least explore it and I need to support you in that.  To help you settle something that's weighing on your soul.  And if the more you learn the more you desire to do it, you should go for it."

I kind of laughed and thought it was a good thing Hubby agreed with me, because I'd already taken steps in that direction.

So I am pursuing becoming a nurse.  My secret, pie in the sky dream.  The thing I've wanted to do for years but set aside because I had little kids, and I homeschooled, and it's a lot of money and time and I might fail.  I watched my mom go to nursing school when I was in junior high/high school.  I know how hard it was for her to do the nurse thing and the mom thing.

About five years ago Hubby decided he wanted to goto law school.  He took the LSAT and was awarded a full ride scholarship to the local law school based on his score.  He was all set to go, had his start date for the program, and then felt like he had gone far enough down the path.  He withdrew from the school before even starting and we both agree the entire thing was more about Hubby needing to know he had other options if he ever wanted to change careers.

I don't know if I will actually follow this path through to the end, or if I will get a few blocks down the road and decide that is far enough.  I don't even know if I will pass Biology 201!  (Do they think I remember anything I learned to earn that Bachelor's degree???)   But I am going to pursue this path until God says, Stop!

Come the end of August, our lives are going to be flipped upside down.  My kids will be going to school, and probably so will Mom.

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