On December 14, 1986, God called me to be the mother to Jillian Nicole Vincent. I had gotten used to my call as Mason's wife, a professional in the accounting world, as well as various little roles of daughter, sister, neighbor... But this call was huge. It was clearly a call that I was not qualified for, yet here I was holding this beautiful baby; completely terrified and completely joy filled! God had challenged me and pushed and carried me through things that scared me before, but never anything that required such a personal responsibility and investment. Mason and I had no idea what we were doing, in fact the early videos are a bit painful to watch! Miraculously, she somehow survived.
There were many ups and downs, but I remember laughter and such a feeling of finally knowing who I was and what I was called to do. Bad theology!
Soon came the crazy emotions of reality, as the time came to let my children go. It came in small steps; "No, Mommy, I do it myself." Preschool was quickly followed by school all day. For me, there was never a time that they were all gone all day since we homeschooled through most of their pre-college years. Being a mom completely filled my days. But God held me close as He told me my call was changing. High school, driving, youth trips, college, weddings... yikes!!!
In August we dropped our youngest one off at college; driving away I thought, "Wow, now what do I do?" Mason knows what he does, he's been doing it! The nature of our family choices have been such that the role of dad was not as singular as my role of mom. He still has the same job that he still goes to on a regular basis. He loves that when he is home he has my undivided attention, I love that too! We both love the freedom of being empty-nesters (that still seems crazy to me!) but a big part of who I am is gone, or so I thought.
I told Jillian when I took her to college that it felt like I was being fired. She said "Not fired, Mama, just reassigned!" She was right. I have loved every minute of being a mom. I loved the chaos, the laughter, all of the games and recitals. I loved the Nutcracker and the craziness of Christmas. I have loved every tear shed and wiped away because of all that God did through them. I loved the privilege of getting to know their friends and the imprint all of them have had in our home and our hearts. I loved watching Mason be a dad, I love how our love grew so deeply as we raised our family together. I love how God has revealed Himself to me so beautifully through this deep love I have for Mason and the kids. I loved my call to build God's Kingdom through raising our children.
So, moving on is bittersweet. I am still a mom, but that role is changing as God makes room for more and different. Sometimes our call to service is hard but He is always in the middle of hard. Cancer is hard but God is faithful. Wayward children, financial crisis, difficult family dynamics, marriage struggles. These are all difficult calls that we learn to be thankful for the lessons and even the blessings through, but very thankful when they pass. Sometimes, however, we are called to move on from something we love. God is still good and He will faithfully lead and equip us for whatever is ahead.
Change is usually hard, it is how God pushes us as He grows us and uses us in so many wonderful ways to build His Kingdom. Change is good. It reminds us of how completely dependent on God we are. A friend once told me that "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called". How very true. If you knew the mess that both Mason and I came from, you would understand that as well as we do! God has carried me through much, always teaching, always merciful, always graciously equipping for whatever lies before. I'm not clear what He is calling me to in this next season, but I know He will stretch me and equip me for whatever it is. As I seek His face, He will reveal, one step at a time; just as He will to each of us in this ever changing world. One thing is sure, we are His servants called to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. That is who I am, who we are, what defines us. We are His, bought by His blood, thankfully!!! Our call for service in this world will change. Count on it. But God never changes.
"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20,21)
I would love to hear your stories of change as God perfects you...