A few years ago I was listening to my pastor preach on Mothering Sunday. He was talking about the importance of mothers. He set out a scenario of a party where people were mingling, as you do, and you meet and greet and then someone you meet asks the question “What do you do for a living?”. You pause for a moment and consider your response. You’re a mum. Fact. You’re not working. Fact. You’re a ‘homemaker’ for want of a better term. How do you make that sound interesting compared to other careers that people have? How will your new acquaintance respond to your answer? Will they admire you for your dedication and commitment to your family? Or will they think that you are lazy or a kept woman perhaps? Will they think that what you do everyday is of no significance? Or will they congratulate you for doing such a high value yet unrecognised job?
As the pastor continued, the response that came, within his imaginary scenario, was “Oh, I’m just a mum”….Just a mum? Just a mum? The pastor continued to explain that we should never think of ourselves as “just a mum” and expanded on this is his usual clear and straight to the point kind of a way, backing up his points with God’s word.
Now, for some reason, this sermon had a real impact on me and as time went on I would ponder this sermon every now and again. Perhaps this sermon struck a chord because I was at a turning point in my life, a crossroads, let’s say. It had been a challenging few years. My marriage had come to an end after 13 years, I had turned 40 (Not such a big deal really!) and I had resigned from a good teaching job within the space of three months in order to be more available to my children. I became a single mother. I had tried, on and off, to return to the workforce either to a teaching job or in another sector but to no avail.
When I tried to look ahead, to look to the future, to plan what I might do next, all I saw was a blank canvas! I had nothing! No ideas, no desire and no inspiration! None at all! This was possibly the first time in my life I had experienced this…..and it scared me! Big time! I had prayed and asked God to guide me ….still nothing! And God knows I’m an impatient person….so this was a real challenge!
I started to read a book written by John MacArthur entitled “Twelve Extraordinary Women”. The blurb on the back of the book went something like this : “How God shaped the women of the Bible and what He wants to do with you”.
“What does He want to do with me? How do I find out?” I thought. Perhaps I should look to the example of women from the Bible and see what I can learn from their amazing example and apply their lessons to my own life. I felt that it wasn’t so much about job or career but more about me coming to a deeper understanding of my own identity in Christ as a woman. Who am I in Christ? What does he want me to do?….and numerous other questions!
So to cut a long story short…..I have embarked on a personal quest with so many strands and questions to explore. I’m excited to see what God is going to teach me through it all about myself and about women of faith. I hope I discover something new and insightful to share with you!