I should be changing the world

Last time I wrote about how I wasn’t the woman I wanted my daughter to know. And how this was growing out of the false narrative I had held onto that I had to be a give-it-all mom in order to be pleasing to God. Feel free to go read more about that (and a little background story about why I am even writing about all of this).

The second thing I realized was adding to my despair and causing my heart to atrophy was the mindset that I should be changing the world. I think that this primarily came from my years in college. I went a very Charismatic university, and (for the most part) I loved it. Some of my dearest friends were made during those years, as well as some of my fondest memories. But the primary messages that were planted in my heart during those years were these:
You are called to change nations
You are chosen to do amazing things
If you are truly following God your life will be full of wonderful adventures and never-ceasing opportunities where you will rarely be bored or have to do anything mundane.

And well, umm, that sure isn’t the life a stay-at-home mom is faced with every day. It is mundane. It can be incredibly boring. And while I truly do believe that I will have an impact on all sorts of people through my daughter’s life, that isn’t happening quite yet (and I honestly may never see it).

All of this was compounded by things like Facebook, blogs and Pinterest. Everyone else I know is doing amazing things. I have friends who are my age (note: most without kids or with older kids) that are traveling the world, or ministering and speaking to women or running their own businesses. Others (who do have kids) are writing books, blogging consistently, or being crafty & creative with their houses.
I was struggling to find energy to get myself dressed in the morning. My daughter’s sleep schedule made social events a near-impossibility. My depression & despair made the desire to even try to change a pipe dream.

When I realized the path I was making me a bitter & angry woman, and I began to dig deep into my heart to discover why, I found feelings of complete inadequacy. And not only that, I found that in some ways I was mad at what life had given me because it meant I couldn’t be doing all the amazing things I was supposed to be doing.

I had been soaked in messages of greatness, calling, adventure…destiny. And those messages were woefully incomplete (some of them even wrong). No one ever talked about the fact that most of us would end up holding very “normal” jobs, or doing very ordinary things (like being moms). No one ever explored the simpleness of following Christ, the ordinariness of walking out our lives in obedience.
As a complete aside, if you want to be challenged in your thoughts about the myth of destiny, check this out. It made a huge impact on me.

The funny thing is, when you look at my life, I do (and have) done quite a bit of traveling. My passport has all sorts of fun stamps, and my husband & I are called to spend our lives outside of America. But those are the very occasional highs. The real living, where Joel goes to work & I stay home and try to get my daughter’s diapers not to smell like fish-butt, or try and figure out what is for dinner again – that is what makes up 90% of my life.
To top it all off, I am married to a doctor. Which is (in many people’s eyes) like being married to a demi-god. Joel spends much of his life being told how amazing he is. How needed. How important. How smart. (Please understand, he definitely has his own cross to bear with this calling). He has a chance to impact people’s life daily. He is there when people are born, when they die, when they are sick & tired and needy.
I, on the other hand, was spending my day trying to figure out why my 10-month old was crying. Changing poopy diapers. Seeing other people’s lives of wonder on Facebook. Slowly losing touch with everything and everyone that brought a sense of purpose.

I had grown weary. This wasn’t the life I had signed up for.
I wanted to be important! I wanted to be in front of people! I wanted to travel, speak, write books, change nations

I was wrong. So very, very wrong. I had incorrect ideas that had taken root in my heart and were causing death. And I realized how much I needed to change in order to see “life more abundant” where I am now.

Next time I was write about a few more things that brought me both to despair & subsequent realization, and then I will share how I am chasing down the dawn. Because, thank God, I am.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jennifer Goodin on April 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Ironically, most of us working moms who do travel and impact people, just want to be home with our kids changing poopy diapers and wondering what to cook for dinner. I have spent years and years in the workforce…questioning my purpose… and wondering why I did not make the decision to stay home all those years ago. I am now 41, with one grown son (21) and another nearly grown (15 in May). I would trade all the meetings, titles, positions, offices with a view, and professional status in a heart beat, if it meant I could get back all the missed baseball games, practices, and warm meals for my family. Stay strong. You have the absolute best job in the world!

    Reply

  2. …and trying to figure out what’s for dinner again! Love it! As I read this post, I thought of another post I had read a few months ago that helped me put into perspective the mundane: http://wehaveroom.blogspot.com/2012/01/jesus-doesnt-call-us-to-be-radical-how.html

    Reply

  3. Posted by Angie Chavangi on April 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I am with Jennifer…i miss my baby everyday i walk out of the door to go to work. when i come home i find that she’s grown a few more inches than i left her or she’s doing something new that i hadnt seen the previous night. it breaks my heart to think when she cries during the day and i am at work i am not there to wipe her tears away or change her diaper…all the while my baby sitter enjoys these precious moments with my sweet little baby…now that is gut wrenching to me…but i am at work. would love to get a great business i can run from home so i can be both mom and bring in some income. on the flip side, i hear you Melisa…and I want to hear some more…keep sharing

    Reply

  4. thanks so much for sharing this, melissa. i needed to hear it and it encouraged me so much.

    Reply

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