Every message I’ve heard in the last year and a half has been like a knife to the heart.
For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)
He (Jesus) replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26 NIV)
It’s not conviction so much as it’s felt like doubt. Each and every one of the messages I have heard since at least January of 2014 has caused me to question myself so much, and ushered in quite a bit of grief to my heart.
Let me explain why.
Around that time, the Lord began to work in my heart so much about what my role as a woman of God really is; more specifically, how I walk out this role as a wife and a mother. And in short, the Lord laid it pretty heavily on my heart that I need to be home with my babies. This scripture in particular has weighed the heaviest:
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)
I’ve really been given a heart for my own home that started with the discovery of this scripture. The responsibility that I’ve realized since this is a heavy one, but one that I long for and desire to fulfill. I yearn for it, because I really believe wholeheartedly that it’s where the Lord has called me to be.
I’ve been given a wonderful husband who works so hard to provide for his family. I want to be home, preparing and building a stress-free and joyful place for him to return home, a place he can enjoy the fruits of his labors and the family he supports.
I’ve been blessed with one amazing daughter (and a yet-to-be known child due January 2016). I want to be home, training them up in their most formative years, letting them know that they mean more to me than my career and selfish desires. Once they’re old enough for school, I want to be home creating a safe and loving environment for them to come home to.
I want to build up my family, and it starts in our home.
But currently, I work a full-time, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm job.
So how does that make sense, right? Well, that’s why I’ve struggled to listen to messages about faith since this longing has been given to me.
I work because of where our family is right now. Based on our current financial needs, my husband and I have agreed that it is not feasible to be without my income. This will not be the permanent state of our needs, as we are going to be making some drastic changes our living arrangements and lifestyle, but until then, we are where we are.
But is that really walking by faith, and not by sight?
I ask myself every time I’m confronted with this if I doubt God’s ability to provide for my family’s needs by continuing to work despite knowing I need to be elsewhere. I don’t feel as if I doubt God regarding this, and I don’t believe that my husband does either, but I question it every time. And this pains me deeply. It’s been rough business.
I’ve kept this to myself until just recently, mostly because I don’t want to be a nagging wife to my husband, and I don’t want to sound like I just don’t want to work anymore (which definitely isn’t the case because it’s likely that even once I’m able to leave a full-time position, I will definitely still do photography and other things to generate income) but we just do not have a sense or an answer, aside from the desire in our hearts for this, that we’ve really received permission for me to release this job.
So I ask myself all the time: what if the desire is the permission?
Well, it’s not.
And I know this is true because my husband hasn’t received that permission. This is something both my husband and I have to decide together, and while it is his heart for me to be home raising our children and building our home also, he has continuously held to a time frame given to him in prayer. And that time isn’t right now. Soon, but not yet.
As I stated earlier, I finally shared this information with a close friend and confidant whose wisdom I cannot help but admire and share.
After confessing this struggle, wrestling back and forth with whether or not this is a lack of faith or unbelief, she asked me a very simple question. “If Ryan told you tonight to quit your job tomorrow, would you?”
Of course, I said, “In a heartbeat.”
The truth of her response planted itself in my brain and it’s been slowly setting off little explosions in my understanding ever since. To summarize, she explained that this is then not a matter of faith at all; this is a matter of submission and obedience. If I am willing to leave my job without question in order to pursue my family more fully, despite the financial risks it poses, then I don’t really have a faith problem, do I? I’d leap without second thought (and that’s the honest truth).
But because I’m still working, trying to wait patiently for the time that my husband shared with me and the official “go” from Him, is me walking in submission to my husband, and in that, it is how I ultimately walk in obedience to God.
I’m only increasingly more grateful for the act of confession to fellow believers because it really is where healing in so many areas has started for me in the last year (James 5:16). I was so stuck on the matter of faith that I completely missed that I was acting in obedience, which the Lord still requires of us.
If there’s anything I hope you might glean from reading this, I hope that it’s to have faith, walk in obedience to God (if you’re a wife, but submitting to your husband), and to confess your sins and the things that trouble you.
Also, to my sisters in Christ who are navigating wifehood and motherhood at the same time, and might be in a position like me – where your heart is at home but your body is at work: I am with you and would love to pray with you and for you, as well as your husband. Please feel free to see my [Contact Sam] page for my email.