When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time thinking about what life would be like when I was older.
I had a lot of ideas of how I wanted it to look; how I thought it should look. I had Barbie and Ken act it out for me many times and my life plan looked good on them.
Always a daydreamer, I found a lot of romance in the mystery of what the unknown details of life would turn out to be. But my basic timeline went something like this:
Graduate high school, go to college, meet man of my dreams, marry young, quickly start a family, and stay home with my children (one of whom would be named Krissy with a “K”…not a “Ch”).
Many people in my world followed this timeline, and for most of them it worked well. It was the model I saw and what I believed I’d want.
My life began to follow this timeline as I married my best friend right out of college after falling hard for his solid character and infectious sense of humor (and although we were young, it was a decision not made lightly).
Now, four years into marriage, the newlywed stage has come and gone and we’re often asked the inevitable question: “So…when are you planning to have a baby??”
I stand a little straighter and suck in a little tighter each time I’m asked.
My answer is simply… I don’t know. But probably not now.
Shortly after I got married I realized I no longer had a timeline. In fact, the thought of a timeline absolutely frightened me. I felt young, I felt uncertain, and completely unable to answer the question “What do I want?”
Big Fisch and I moved out of state the day after returning from our honeymoon and my whole world became new. Several hours away from our nearest family members and friends, we were completely on our own and for the first time in my life, I had to look myself in the mirror and ask “who are you?”
I had anticipated my career beginning in the ministry, but it became clear from the Lord that the timing was not now. I took a job in the corporate world and the day before my first day of work, I sat on the floor and sobbed as I said goodbye to who I thought I would be. My heart was changing and my life was beginning to look different and it terrified me. I no longer dreamed of being a mom right away and staying home with my kids. I wanted something else…and felt called to something else… but I had no idea what.
Not only was I at a loss for direction, my moral compass was struggling to come to terms with my changing aspirations. As a Christian woman, was it okay for me to pursue a career of sorts? Was I a bad person for not desiring children immediately? Could the Lord use me in ways I hadn’t thought possible? How did being a follower of Christ mix with being a wife and a working woman? What should that look like?
I constantly wrestled with these questions and feelings of guilt until I came to the realization that I was getting hung up on a whole lot of “shoulds” and “should nots”. Where had I pulled these notions from? The life Jesus modeled or self-constructed rules in my mind?
One day while talking with Big Fisch, I opened up about my feelings of frustration and anger over my sense of lost purpose. He looked at me with his wise eyes, tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, and said “babe…who you were created to be never changes. Sometimes the little details don’t matter as much as we think they do. Our purpose in life is like a business strategy. You have an overarching goal, and that goal drives your strategic plan. Your goal is your God-given purpose and passion. Seek Him in all you do, and He will drive the strategic plan, guiding you as you take action.”
It was then that some of the fog began to fade away. (It was also then that I knew how different I had become…seeing as a strategic plan metaphor is what made the most sense to me).
I still don’t have much of a life timeline or clear direction as to where a career might or might not take me. But I do know that the fact that my life doesn’t look like what I thought it would, is OKAY.
My authority and “guide line setter” is Jesus. Not culture, and not always the model of mainstream Christianity. (Not saying that it’s wrong, just that it’s not always right for everyone).
What I do know, is that God has a plan for me, and I’m in the beginning stages of seeing it unfold. I’m learning even more than I realize, and who He has made me has never changed. I have a purpose grounded in Him, and that purpose should drive everything I do. How that will look lived out..well, only time will tell.
Who knows…maybe shortly my life will involve baby Fisches. But there certainly won’t be any named Krissy with a “K”. Sorry, Barbie.
Disclaimer: Christianity as an overall faith does not claim that it is wrong for women to work outside the home or that women are only made for having babies. While certain individuals may hold this belief, I am not claiming all Christians embrace this ideology, nor am I belittling the worth, importance, and beauty of motherhood.