Monday, February 5, 2018

Dreaming Beyond Motherhood

Growing up, I was taught that there is no higher calling on a Christian girl's life than to be a godly wife and mother. My own mom homeschooled me and my sisters all the way through high school. We read books like "Beautiful Girlhood," learned culinary and babysitting skills, and were secured a home with our parents until we transferred to the protection of our husband's.

It didn't work out like that. Not for me or for any of my sisters, actually.

The other day, I was thinking about how funny it is that sometimes I still feel uncomfortable.  That despite traveling across states by myself, buying a brand-new car on my own, and becoming fairly successful in my career, I still sometimes feel like I'm doing something "wrong" by having my own life. I still feel uncomfortable because I wasn't brought up on the idea that girls can follow God by being independent, too.

A crazy thing happened this summer. Out of nowhere, God gave me this huge green light and told me to move back to a different city in my home state. It's crazy because moving back wasn't supposed to be medically possible for me -- ever.  But God asked me to go and to pursue two things: writing and ministry.

From the moment I said "okay," everything I prayed for was taken care of. From towels to sheets to jobs and a roommate. I prayed for money, for a new car, for safety and God covered everything. Each time I started to question my new "independent" decision, He would drop something in my lap that unquestionably said, "You did the right thing. I called you here. Go and serve."

And there's nothing in my entire life I'm more convinced of than how I'm supposed to be exactly here exactly right now. 

My dream isn't the dream I expected it to be.

I was supposed to be a great cook, but I eat way more frozen dinners than I should.
I was supposed to be a great mom, but I'm actually a pretty good working girl.
I was supposed to be married, but instead I'm independent, chasing some writing dreams, and working for a ministry that I really believe in.

As I got older and started reading less "Beautiful Girlhood" books, my relationship with God started to change-- to grow and mature. I learned to discern a lot of spiritually uncomfortable situations, and I've come to look to the Bible for my answers, and not to other people. My independence in body has come from an independence in spirit, learned by God Himself leading me to do crazy things. I recognize that God has gifted me with the Holy Spirit to discern and decide for myself. I also recognize that He has given me the confidence and the resources to be independent.

 I started seriously considering working in ministry a couple of years ago. It was a time in the midst of so many different voices, God made one thing very clear. He told me that instead of motherhood, the highest calling on a girl's life is the great commission. When I started chasing writing, it was because I decided that as a Christian, saving souls is the most important thing to me.

Does that mean it's wrong to be a mom? No, I'm not saying that. Being a mom is a great honor. I'll probably be a mom one day.

But what I am saying, is that I believe in letting our girls dream beyond motherhood. I believe in challenging the idea that motherhood is the "end that meets all" for Christian girls. I believe in recognizing that motherhood and marriage can be a tool, but they aren't the goal.

So instead of spending our entire lives training our girl's hearts for a tool, why don't we train them for the end goal? Why are we only preparing girls for marriage when we should be preparing them for the ends of the earth? Why aren't we teaching them to be independent, to be bold, and excited about sharing the gospel? Even God's nature is independent. Becoming a Christian requires an independent decision. Something you choose based on the Holy Spirit prompting your heart. Culinary skills are important, but so are other skills that can be used to share the gospel.

I honestly think the idea that we can "only be mothers" is a lie that the devil uses to keep us from being productive in the Kingdom of God. My dream is that one day our girls will be able to grow up prepared to embrace every crazy, independent, life threatening, and life fulfilling thing that God calls them to. Not only motherhood.



  1. This <3 My parents didn't necessarily raise me to entirely believe marriage was all there was for me, but it definitely was something they hoped I'd be swept into.

    I'm at a point where I wonder if I want to be married, if I can pursue what God has called me to do while being married, or even if I'd be ready for marriage anytime soon because it might hinder me from discovering my calling. Honestly sometimes I feel terrible for wondering that.

    I have a friend whose family believes that a woman's calling is marriage and motherhood and not work. But now she's in her mid-twenties and she is working at a job she isn't cut out for because no one told her growing up that you can have a purpose other than marriage. And it makes me sad.

    1. I don't think that's a terrible thing, Meaghan! Go for the calling. :) If God wants you married or unmarried, He'll let you know. <3

      Aww that is super sad. Those are the kinds of situations where I wish we could remember freedom.

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