Friday, October 25, 2013

What Happened To That Sarah?

Sometimes I look at my life now and can scarcely believe how things have changed in the past 18 months.  In late 2011 and early 2012 I was passionate about meeting up with the elderly in the local nursing home and had started to think about how to better support those involved in overseas mission.  I was asking God those daring, hard questions about how He would have Duncan and I serve Him.  I operated the church powerpoint most weeks.  I loved doing the mission convenor role.

But this year, I've hardly given any of the above a fleeting thought.  I surrendered the mission convenor role when Rory was four weeks old as it was plainly obvious I was sinking fast.  I haven't done the powerpoint all year as I'm usually feeding in the cry room.  Often the only time I'm thinking about older people is when I'm seething about how an outspoken old lady has said something judgemental or just plain dumb about parenting.

My main goal this year is to get well, keep my family alive and just get through the day.

A few months ago, I tried to join the Bible study group that meets before church, the main reason being that it consists mostly of older people and I wanted to meet with and encourage them.  But it just didn't happen - trying to get to church earlier was stressful, it created a dilemma of how Duncan was going to entertain Rory at church for an hour while the group was just too hard!  I was terribly disappointed.  Not long after that, I had my relapse.

Some people say that God closes doors and others say you need to kick down those doors.  I tried to kick it down, but I honestly feel that God DID close that door, at least for now.

In the last few weeks some of that old passion has come back; a small spark has been ignited.  Duncan and I talked and came to the agreement that now is the right time to become mission convenors again and we will start again at the beginning of next year.  I've started to think of small things I can do to support mission such as praying whenever missionaries enter my thoughts (thanks Meredith for the brilliant post Why Didn't I Pray?), making things to sell at our church stall etc.

It's not the right season for the nursing home and powerpoint, but I'm hopeful that one day it will be.

I've learnt that it's not about what I do.  Any pride I had in my church involvement has been stripped away.  God's love for me is not based on how many rosters I go on.  There are a million ways to serve that are unofficial - a kind, encouraging word, bringing a packet of biscuits for morning tea, sharing with other mums in the cry room.  God has given me a son to raise in this season of life.

So where is that Sarah?  She's still there somewhere.  Maybe this is just a hope deferred and one day I'll see her again.  If not, I know God loves me and there is always work for us to do - even if it's the work we didn't expect at the time.


Betty Luckhurst said...

You're so right, Sarah. He will bring you things to do when you least expect it. Just raising Rory is a priority now and, some time when you least expect it, He will give you something more to do for Him. Until then, enjoy your role as mommy and wife. :)

Wendy said...

When you have babies, the work you have definitely becomes more home focused. I had children at home all day every day for 10 years, before they all went to school. Those 10 years I did less outside the home than I've ever done before, but that doesn't mean they were lost years. The work you do at home with your kids is so important, don't discount it, even though it feels like drudgery and is so easily undone. Please note, I'm not a "I love to stay at home and look after children" mum, but I still see it as such an important role!

And they don't stay that dependent and time-intensive forever. Even if your days seem long and endless, one day they will be shorter and you'll get a modified version of that pre-baby Sarah back!

Deb said...

That was one of the most humbling aspects of motherhood for me. I went from a "doing" kind of person to a "almost always saying no" kind of person. And it was hard. It was good for me to go through a season where managing life was almost the only thing I could manage (and sometimes not even that!). It has helped me to understand other people's limitations much more and be less judgmental than my naïve younger self (but no doubt I still have a loooooong way to grow in this area). Be confident that God is using this very limitation to grow your ability to serve him better. :)