“So where will you be attending college?”
“What are your plans for this fall?”
“Have you enrolled in classes yet?”
“When are you moving out on your own?”
Do these questions sound familiar? I used to be bothered by these questions all throughout my senior year of high school. I would scream inside, “Stop asking me that! I can’t stand the idea of going off to college and when you ask me that it makes me feel horrible.”
I had little to no hope. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I didn’t know where to picture myself even one year in the future. What was I supposed to do? What would happen to me? I was so scared; I desperately needed vision and I had none.
I grew up in a small town in Texas the youngest of my parent’s six children. We attended a Southern Baptist church nearly every Sunday morning. I love my parents greatly and I know it was and is important to them that their children know the Lord; however, I was not raised with the same Biblical mindset that I believe God has recently, in His grace, taught me and caused me to embrace.
I attended public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Even so, I absolutely could not stand the thought of going off to college after graduation, but I felt pressure coming from everywhere. I often got the message that I needed to “do something with my life and make something successful of myself,” so I tried to think of “noble” things I could do besides go to college. I wanted to be used as God’s vessel; I wanted to bring Him glory, but how?
After a few short-term mission trips, and prayer, I truly felt God giving me a burden for orphans and to become a mother to the motherless. I looked into doing long-term mission work after high school, however, the Lord did not allow me to go down this path. I didn’t understand why at the time, I just knew He was Sovereign and I needed to trust Him.
Confused about what God wanted with my life, I moved in with my great-grandmother and got a job as a teller at a local bank. After working there for ten months, the pressure that I felt was coming from family, friends, co-workers, and even acquaintances to “go to college, become successful, and make money,” was too much for me to bear. I felt worthless, like I would never be anything great without a college degree and a successful career. I felt like I would die a poor homeless woman if I didn’t have the “security” of a college degree.
So, I went to college. I thought I would become a registered nurse. “At least then I could help people and it would be of great use if the Lord ever did allow me to be a missionary,” I would think. I was glad, at least, that the people in my life seemed pleased with my decision. However, I can honestly say that the four months (one semester) I attended college were, by far, the most miserable four months of my life.
I do believe God used this period to get me to where I am now (“all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”- Romans 8:28), but at the time I had no peace whatsoever; I was so anxious and worried. I would cry out to God, “Please help me; I’m desperate, I’m scared, I don’t know what to do Father! I need you to rescue me; there must be some other way!”
I began to confide in my older sisters. They shared with me all that the Holy Spirit had been revealing to them. We spent hours upon hours discussing what the Word of God had to say about God’s calling for women versus what our culture, and even many churches, say is wisest. I felt like the million pound brick I had been pulling around was lifted off of me. Indeed, His “yoke is easy,” and His “burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Over the Christmas holiday my sister, Tess, gave me several of Doug Phillips’ sermons on CD and the book, So Much More, by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. This was such a refreshing time that just confirmed everything the Lord had been teaching me. I was so thankful that God used His children to show me, at such a crucial time in my life, that it was okay not to chase after the world’s standards for success. I had never been told this before.
I knew in my mind that the Word of God said “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2), however, before I was told not going to college was okay, it was very hard to put behind me what I had always been taught was “true success.” What freedom truth brings!
So now what? I wanted out of college and I desired greatly to live with family, like-minded family, where I could help and learn. Proverbs 31:12 says, speaking of how a wife can bless her husband, “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Living with a family who had the same vision as mine would help me to learn how to be a Proverbs 31 woman now, to be better prepared to help my husband, God willing, in the future. It makes more sense for a young lady to invest her time into learning this instead of investing time into a college degree.
Even though I had this vision in mind (by the grace of God, nothing from myself), I still needed to bring my heart and concerns to my parents. God has taught me the importance of honoring them (Exodus 20:12) and, as a result, I desired the blessing of my wonderful father. However, being the shy and quiet person that I have a tendency to be, I thought I would be able to explain everything the Lord had been teaching me best if I wrote him a letter.
I was up until the wee-hours of the morning on New Year’s Eve (2006) writing my Dad a several page letter pouring everything out before him, explaining to him my burdens, my heart, and my God-given desire to be a Titus 2 woman and simply follow what Christ has called me to as a young woman and not what my culture says I must be. I asked him if he would give me his blessing not to return to college and instead move in with my like-minded sister and her family. She was homeschooling her two boys and due to have a little girl in just a few short months. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to help and learn.
By the hand of God, and my father being the understanding and loving person that he is, I received his blessing. After I went and stayed with him for a few days to talk with him in person, he helped move me to Tennessee to live with my sister, Charisa, at the beginning of February 2007. I have been here, filled with peace and totally content, ever since. I feel so blessed, oh so blessed! Jesus has done exceedingly abundantly above all that I asked or thought (Ephesians 3:20).
God has been teaching me so much about homeschooling, adoption, children, homemaking, waiting patiently on His best for a husband; and the best part is that it is all for His glory! He has shown me how corrupt and godless our public schools are and how much He has been involved in the homeschooling of His children. I do believe it is ideal for children to be home educated. It is God’s heart for parents to walk with their children, invest time into their children, and constantly be speaking the Word of God to their children all day long (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). This is hard to do when mothers have the choice to stay home with their children, but instead drop them off at school so they can spend eight hours a day investing their time into a career and not their family.
Nor can we be the helpmeets to our husbands for whom God created us (Genesis 2:18) if we do not focus our time and energy on helping him and serving him as Proverbs 31 women. God has already revealed to us, as women, what is pleasing to Him to consume our time. We are called to bear children, raise children, serve and help our husbands in whatever God has called him to, and make our home a welcoming place for all who enter it. This, if done on the behalf on God, blesses His heart. And as His children, it is our blessing, pleasure and joy to please Christ!
Along with learning new homemaking skills by helping my sister, I enjoy greatly the blessing of being able to invest time into my precious niece and nephews. There are constantly opportunities at my house to swing a little boy, jump on a trampoline, make up a fairy-tale, read a story, throw a baseball, hit a golf ball, or rock a lovely little girl and sing her a song. I even find it hard at times to get away to have some time to read but I’m not complaining; I’m richly blessed! I wouldn’t trade this season of life God has me in right now for anything. I value every moment, I cherish every second! These children are valuable, their lives are eternal; it is my pleasure to invest time into them each day. Besides that, it helps prepare me for motherhood.
One Bible verse that I find so encouraging is Genesis 24:60, which says, “And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.” I know this was spoken to a woman who actually did become “the mother of thousands of millions”, by God birthing the great nation and people of Israel through her descendants. However, I think it is still very significant to us today (even if a nation isn’t birthed through our descendants) to see that they blessed Rebekah by declaring motherhood over her; it is, indeed, a blessing.
I hope that God would bless us, today, to become mothers of many, for His glory. I find much encouragement through this verse; it thrills me actually. Even if we don’t literally become the mother’s of thousands of millions, we still see a glimpse of the heart of God through this scripture; my prayer is that until the return of Christ we, His children, would have descendants in every generation that would stand up for righteousness! Who knows how many descendants this would be, possibly several thousands.
My prayer is that the Bride of Christ would begin to think generationall and not, out of selfishness, of just their own short life on earth. Children/people are eternal, and any present struggle is only temporary. God is the creator of life. May the Lord be the Lord over our wombs, and our minds, for His glory. If everything is not for His glory, everything is in vain (Ecclesiastes).
So now I ask, sisters, what is our vision? God’s vision for His people is much greater than us blindly walking down the path our culture has laid out before us. We don’t have to conform! “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise …” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
By the grace of God I have been blessed with vision, vision from the Scriptures, vision of older women admonishing the younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5).
For the glory of His name, Jesus has given me this vision for family, children, homemaking, and being a helpmeet to my future husband so “he will have no lack of gain” (Proverbs 31:11).
“Where there is no vision, the people perish …” Proverbs 29:18.
(This article was originally published in Volume1 Number1/Spring 2008. You can request the entire issue in PDF on this page.)
Possibly sharing at: The Modest Mom, Mama Moments, The Art of Home-Making Monday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sdays, Roses Of Inspiration, So Much At Home, A Wise Woman, Raising Homemakers, A Little R&R, Coffee and Conversation, Hearts for Home, Growing in Grace, Imparting Grace, SHINE Blog Hop, Grace and Truth, Fellowship Fridays.