“Be Brave- Be You.”
Well if that isn’t a statement directed at me I don’t know what is. I have already said that my motto for this year was “Be Brave” and that the scripture that the Lord gave me was “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go “ Joshua 1:9 NLT . The “Be you” component of the statement was a ‘secret of adulthood’ that I gleaned from reading “The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin” . “Be Gretchen” was one of her secrets that resonated, personally with me and whilst I was still reading the book I had began to implement, “Being B.” I have used this measure in regards making sure that the things that I am doing, the choices that I am making are me, that they are not measured against anyone else, and what anyone else would be doing or should be doing, but measured against myself and what I should be doing for me and my family. You and I are not made to fit into anyone else’s mould, we have our own mould, we are God’s masterpiece ( Ephesians2:11), uniquely created to be, individually ourselves.
And so here I am in the cusp of needing to make a very brave decision, a decision where my reasoning about what others do with their children as a normal part of life, is still not combating the fear that has crept into my heart. The indecisiveness I feel, as I weigh this decision is becoming quite a big dilemma for me. I don’t know what is the right or wrong answer here and I don’t want my kids to become pawns as I test the waters. Negative sounding I know, but that’s life, we all face them, whether we are positive or not, happy or sad, rich or poor, we all have dilemmas. They only way to fix them is to solve them, and the best way for me to do that is to get it out of my head and onto paper where I can rationalise and analyse the pros, cons and God’s leading.
Since our relocation 7 weeks ago, I have been on long service leave, which was such an incredible blessing as it has given me time to settle the kids into our new life, but and there is always a but, its time for me to go back to work. I have never doubted that God took me from my previous job and re positioned me here, with a purpose in mind. I have always known that the job would present itself and so I have tried not to have any pre conceived ideas of what that is going to look like. I just continue to thank him in advance that He has prepares a place for me, and that His timing is perfect. So when I received a call offering me a job at a local entertainment complex doing waitressing, bar work and gaming, I had felt instantly relieved that I had something lined up to start, a job that I could do in the evenings and where I would be at home with the kids for school holidays and pick ups etc.
It all sounded great but I really wasn’t quite sold, on this being the job that the Lord has moved us all the way here for. But, I was trying not to rely on my own understanding; because I may be here for a customer of that workplace, or another staff member. I know that things are not always clear cut and so I had figured that I would just let it play out.
That being said, although I got the job, I have been unable to start because my husband has been working away back in our old region and has been staying away, sometimes for the whole week. The complex understood and gave me a period of four weeks to try and see if his employment settles. That four weeks grace period is up next week and I need to call them about commencing, yet I know that I am not in a position to accept the job yet. Dilemma number 1, which I suppose could easily be solved with a phone call explaining the situation, but at the same time I don’t know when he will stabilise and neither does his employer, and with a second income required to start coming in, I am really in a pickle and do not know what to do.
So I began looking online for jobs in the area, I wasn’t specific and I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, something to fit in with our life perhaps, but then there it was, a job in the same industry as where I have come from, a job that I know would be ‘Being B’. The pay is good, it has long annual leave through school holidays, its also part time so that I can still run our charity and I don’t need to rely on my husband being in this region to take it. It sounds like a win- win doesn’t it? Except for one thing, my kids.
I’m not good with letting go of the apron strings and look everybody parents differently, but for me personally, I have always taken been an overprotective parent, and that’s deeply rooted in my past. I have always worked around childcare with both my husband and myself doing a lot of shift work so that one of us could always be home with the kids, and we have always driven our kids to school.
But here I am, I have no family here to help, and my husband is working away for now, this job, if I got it, would mean a walk to the school bus on her own for Baize, and I know in the world that its not that big of a deal, (I had moved out by the time I was 15) but it’s a big deal for me who really doesn’t want her walking on her own in this new location. I have such a fear of predators, that has mainly stemmed from when I was 15, I was accosted by a drunk old man whilst waiting to be picked up outside of a doctors surgery, that memory compounded with all of my other abuse memories and as a result I have never been comfortable with my girls out on their own.
I also have Monty, this would mean that she would be in child care three days a week and her current kindergarten program for the other two. I know, plenty of kids are in full time care, but again it pulls upon my heartstrings, she is so little and she will be at school next year and this is the last little bit of time that I have with her, and I guess I feel guilty. It’s a tough gig as a working mum trying to make these decisions from this messy and unclear side of the tapestry. I need to work there is no doubt about that, but what is the right job choice for my family in this season and how do I determine that when fear has such an iron clasp on my heart?
As much as we think that we are stronger, it can just creep on in there, FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real….. taunting me with the worst case scenarios that something may happen to Baize, guilting me into thinking I am doing an injustice to Monty. But it’s not real. These fears have not happened. Yes, they can be real concerns, I know they can because my heart is in knots over them, but am I going to let fear hold me back from applying for a job that will help to pay to keep them in the school we have enrolled them in, put food on the table and petrol in the car and even pay for the essential swimming lessons required for Monty (now that we live at the beach)?
I have to work; it’s just a conundrum as to which job I should be pursuing. So whilst listening to worship music and praying that the Lord would slam closed any doors that were not of him, and believing that He would lead me, I placed my cup of coffee on the shelf next to my computer and there it was a candle with the words, “Be Brave, Be you.” The combat to fear is being Brave, its about being brave enough to try, to step out, to step up, to step into all that you being called to do. Being brave doesn’t mean that you are without fear; it means that you don’t let fear stop you, it means doing something, even if you have to do it scared.
Be Brave, was the word God had given me for this year, even before all the radical changes in our lives, and Be you- well I just love finance, I truly love it! Even when I was working the bar and the gaming floor, I would get so excited every time that my supervisor may require a spreadsheet made, I would always eagerly volunteer my services, why? Because its my thing. Finance is my niche and whilst I love the social aspect of the sports bar, where I can talk footy, and the gaming aspect has many people who need support and understanding, its finance that I love to do for work. Its part of being true to me.
I guess this post has been about trying to work it out in my own heart and mind, I need to be brave enough to pursue what is uniquely me, and trust that if this is not what God has planned for me then He will indeed slam shut the door like He has in the past.
And I need to gain a greater trust of Him with my children. This is not about being naïve and placing them in harms way, but I think that it’s about learning to let go a little, and stop being held back and in turn holding them back by the fear, that I have of the world in which we live. Even as I type this I know that this is going to be easier said than done, because my children are precious to me and I don’t know how, not to be, so fiercely protective. But I think that God is calling me to be brave enough to trust Him with them.
This whole move has pushed me out of my comfort zone on so many levels, but this is the new life that He has given us. We have been in prayerful pursuit of a better life, a leaving behind of old traumas, old mindsets, and old footholds and the Lord is slowly breaking them off. I know that this is the year of Brave faith for me and so with that being said, I bravely hit send on the finance job application. Whether I get it, well that’s now in Gods hands, but pushing send was me saying “Here I am God, send me.” Hitting send was saying “I’m still scared about leaving the kids, I’m still scared about Baize walking on her own, but I want to be where you need me and if this is where you need me, doing a job that I will love, that provides well for my family then my fear is not going to stand in your way, let your will be done.”