All I have seen teaches me
to trust the Creator
for all I have not seen.
~ R. W. Emerson
For the past few months, I've been struggling with the idea that perhaps I have a skewed view of what needs to happen before I can leave the workforce. Perhaps my list of must-haves that must be attained before we cross that bridge is blatantly wrong. I've spent so much time and energy being frustrated that we're not there yet....trying to figure out why, and what I can do to get us to that point ASAP: Did we do something wrong? Did I take out too many student loans? Should we have just eloped and saved all that money? Should we have waited to get married? Why would God give me this burning desire to be a stay-at-home-mom, and give Mike a deep conviction that he doesn't want his wife to work outside the home, then make it so hard for us to make that happen?
Quietly, a completely different set of "what ifs" has crept into my heart. They won't go away. I ponder them, turning them over and over in my mind, examining from every angle, just as I've done with the freaked-out-stressed-out-oh-my-goodness-why-is-this-so-hard questions listed above. But these questions are different. They're quiet, for one thing: not high-pitched and shrill, hysterically clamoring for an answer RIGHT NOW. They're content to be prayed over, not demanding instant remedy.
What if God is ok with me leaving the workforce even if Mike doesn't have a permanent position at his company?
What if God wants us to trust His provision through Mike's six-month contract, even though there is no guarantee of renewal?
What if me demanding a more long-term source of income is my sin--fear, lack of trust--and not a legitimate reason to extend my career?
What if God is already providing all that we need, and I am simply holding on to my job because I'm afraid it won't be enough--or because His provision is not what I expected or envisioned?
What if I'm holding on to the known and the comfortable, at the expense of trusting God and taking a leap of faith, even though I know in my head that underneath are His everlasting arms?
What if the Lord is already making provision for this transition, swinging this door wide open for us, and I'm still desperately clinging to the doorframe, petrified to go outside because what I see through the door isn't exactly what I imagined? More dangerous, perhaps; more unknown, maybe less of what I call "security" but more opportunities for faith, trust, humility, and selflessness.