Once upon a time there was a mountain girl who dreamed big dreams. She dreamed of traveling the world, learning three languages, blazing a pioneer trail to some remote village to share the gospel and help those in need, living an independent life, and then returning home to get a PhD in comparative literature, settle down, and have a family. She had passion...for God, for adventure, for learning, for life. She was good at what she did, got scholarships and awards and recognition. She could have made a career of teaching literature and writing scholarly papers. And if she had chosen not to, it would have been because she was called to something even more exciting. Then she graduated college, got married, finished grad school, had a few kids, and lost herself.
What? This is your story, too?
I am feeling a bit lost right now under the pressure of caring for three kids, taking care of the household and finances, and trying to prepare for an overseas move. All of those adventures I longed for and thought I was called to are coming to fruition is some ways, but the girl that I was when I dreamed those dreams is buried...if not lost completely. Now I am going as a wife, a mother, a cook, a maid. I fear that my life overseas will look exactly like my life here. That my ministry will still be limited only to my family. I know my family is my primary work right now, but I long for there to be something more, too.
Invisible. That's how I feel. Anyone else out there ever felt this way? All of the ways I used to define myself are no longer valid. And I have not done a graceful job of accepting my current roles. I am finding myself bitter and tired and angry much more than I would like, and I am not sure how to change things.
I tried the good "Christian" way (at least in some Christian circles) of accepting my vocation as a mother and doing that job well. And it has been very good for me to think through how I run the household and how to order our family life. I am not saying that staying at home and being really good at being a mom is a bad thing. It just isn't working well for me, and the culture around me and my own inner voice tell me that it is because of some character weakness. There are plenty of weaknesses that I am aware of (and many more I am not), and I do want to work on those and become a better woman and mother.
But something tells me that no matter how much God matures and changes me and fits me for motherhood, I will always desire something more. That mountain girl who longed to do something with the brains and passion God gave her is still in here somewhere. Certainly, there are plenty of outlets for using my skills and passions in homemaking and parenting, but my heart says that I am not ever going to be satisfied staying at home. God has called me to that, but He has also called me to other things, too.
I think I am needing some wisdom from you other women out there. Is it okay to long for something more than what I have? Do I need to just learn to be content in the roles I have to play? Is it possible to learn to be content and to still yearn to do more? Will I ever find that girl again? I miss her.