Let’s continue with my story. After graduating from college in 2005, I became a full-time stay-at-home mom. But in early 2008, my oldest son was a few months away from beginning kindergarten, and I was getting restless. I knew I wanted to go back to school for a master’s degree, so I took the GRE and applied to two programs that interested me– one in counseling and the other in social work. I was accepted into both programs. But during the time between applying and being accepted, something happened to change my plans: I found out I was pregnant with our second child.
We hadn’t been planning to have more children. Our oldest had
experienced some special needs, and we were afraid of having the same
challenges with any future children. But in March of 2008, there I was
with another life-altering positive pregnancy test– and not just one
test this time, but three. I wanted to be absolutely sure!
Upon discovering I was pregnant, I knew I would not be going back to
school just yet. As much as I wanted to pursue my education, I felt
sure that what I was supposed to do at that point was continue being a
full-time mom. So my back-to-school plans were put on hold.
Let’s skip ahead to January of this year. My younger son had
recently turned two, and I was becoming restless again. As I began
dreaming about finally starting a master’s program this fall, my plans
came to an abrupt halt– this time in the form of a few lightly positive
pregnancy tests followed by what appears to have been a very early
miscarriage.* By my calculations, I was only around 5 weeks pregnant.
It rocked my world; my focus shifted away from my education plans as I
came to terms with the unexpected pregnancy and loss. After that, I
decided to change my birth control methods in hopes of never having to
experience something like that again. I began faithfully taking a birth
control pill and we started serious discussions about more permanent
measures. And again I began dreaming of school, only by then it was too
late to apply for the fall, so I set my sights on the spring of 2012.
You already know what’s coming, I’m sure. A positive pregnancy test–
and on April Fools Day, of all days! I just had to laugh at that
point. It seemed to be clear that my path for the time being was
supposed to involve mothering. Once again, my other plans were put on
hold. (You may wonder why I wouldn’t just go ahead with my
education plans while also welcoming a new baby into our lives; after
all, I did it when I was eighteen. Why not do it again? I’ll get to
that, but in a later post.)
It’s easy to understand why God would have changed my plans when I
was seventeen. The things I wanted to do then were clearly not what I
should have been doing. But time and time again, it feels as though
he’s changed my much more innocuous plans as well. The truth is, I have had a dream
since I became a mother at the age of eighteen, a desire I truly
believe was placed there by God– to work with young and/or new moms,
educating them about things like pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, child
development, and so on. And the graduate programs that have gotten my
attention are ones that would help prepare me for that very thing. Yet
each time I move in that direction, God very clearly says, “No, not
right now,” and reaffirms my current role as a mom. Many times I have
wondered if perhaps working with young moms is something I am called to
do later in my life, but right now I am simply called to motherhood.
I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this idea that perhaps my
calling for right now is to be “just” a mom. And that is what I’ll talk
about next time.
* For clarification, no, I am absolutely not saying that I think God
“caused” my miscarriage. I don’t think that at all. Some things just
happen. It is part of my story, however, so I included it here.