This is me, your older wiser self (who is, of course, younger than you on the inside).
As a teacher, you felt you were on the frontlines, didn’t you? Part of a vibrant community fighting for the hearts of young men. You didn’t even have to be all that intentional to make a difference. You just had to pitch up every day to be swept into the fray of Kingdom battles. You were investing in hundreds of lives. Making the world a better place.
But now you’ve been called away from the front and briefed for another mission. Mostly you’re peeling potatoes in the mess tent far back from the action. And you’re polishing shoes and starching uniforms for two little soldiers and their commanding officer, preparing them for battles all their own.
The shift in duties has probably challenged you. Do you really believe what you say you believe? That being a wife and mom are more important than any other aspirations? That these are your chief roles – you at your most significant – and that you’re still contributing to the cause – probably more than before – and that the payoff really will be magnificent and eternal?
You’re hung up about not reaching your potential. You feel that what you’re doing now just isn’t quite as valuable. And you feel guilty about that because you love your boys breathlessly and they make you rich beyond imaginings and they love-flood you into speechless wondrous gratitude. But still there’s a John-Piper-ish urgency not to waste your life.
Take it or leave it – here’s my advice:
1. The war is lost or won in the barracks.
Which means that being chief advisor and armourer is never, never a waste of time. It’s vital to conduct late night strategic talks with the commanding officer and to drill the infantry on table manners and the impact of a high protein breakfast. It’s life-or-death to make sure they leave the house each morning with lunch, a jersey, and the Sword of the Spirit.
And because every season prepares us for the next this time in the barracks is training you for something. For sure, it’s made you ask yourself some hard questions, like,
What’s my wall? Who am I, if people ask? What am I overwhelmingly passionate about? Who do I want to influence? Why?
2. Put on your big-girl army-issue undies.
Like, get on with it. Humble yourself. He must increase. You must decrease (John 3:30).
And for God’s sake enjoy it. This is a season to be relished. Taste all its fruit. If you’d stop watching the weather on the horizon you’d see that the trees all around you are laden and ripe.
Remember these lyrics you love:
I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I go from nothing to
This is what you and Murray are praying for yourselves, for Cam and Scott. What’s boring or wasteful about that?
3. ‘The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’ (Exodus 14:14)
Chill. Stop trying so hard. Don’t think your strategies are better than God’s.
And girl, you know that God knows you. Would he sew potential into soul-fibres if he didn’t plan to use it in the battle to make his glory known? He planned today before there was a universe. He sees the hours and the things he has appointed to crowd them. Do you think he can’t do with offerings of minutes and days what he did with loaves and fish?
Fight hard to stay close to God. Live fully and obediently – as he compels, in the time you have. And then trust him to accomplish his purposes.
See you in a couple decades, Deo volente.