Guest post: Where is everything going and who am I without it?

September 30, 2013

Today we're featuring a guest post from Kate Washleski, who writes about the challenges she's faced recently and how God continues to use them to teach her things in unexpected ways:

Have you ever felt like piece by piece your life is changing, and not seemingly for the better? Maybe you're even thinking, “My life is falling apart.” Maybe things at work have changed and you don’t have the same responsibilities you used to, or things at home have changed in some small, but noticeable, ways. Or maybe there’s so much change that you don’t know which way is up. 

Sometimes, it's just one of "those seasons"
This has been one of “those seasons” for me; it feels like much is being taken away, especially at work. I have had some pretty extreme and unforeseeable changes that have been quite challenging, including a new role that I didn’t ask for. Parenting our little guy has been a lot harder than I expected, and we’ve had to see many specialists over the last 20 months to try and determine why his body is growing so slowly and what the impact is on his development as well. Lately, I’ve been struggling to be fully engaged with my family when I’m home and be content, find joy, and be intentional with others, especially as my husband started another term of his master’s program again this fall. I think I feel a bit lonely, if I’m honest, and I’m at my limit more often than usual. 

 I’m usually one quick to find the silver lining, but it’s been harder lately with a lot of change all at once. I wonder what God is using this season for and who I am without the responsibilities at work, for example. I’ve asked God and my husband what it looks like to parent my son well and how to support my husband as he’s in school, while a lot more things at home are my responsibility. Maybe you have asked yourself some of these types of things, too.

As I paused and brought some of these questions to the Lord in the few uninterrupted minutes I have had with him recently, he’s been teaching me quite a bit. 

He’s been showing me that this uninvited season of changes is his yellow light for me -- to slow down, re-evaluate my priorities, and consider the direction I’ve been going. And to reboot. He’s used these changes to remind me that my worth, value, and importance are not dependent, nor determined, by the volume or complexity of my work. If my job takes so much of me that I don’t have much left for my family or God, then the work isn’t worth having, no matter what. My identity needs to be in belonging to Christ, not in the work I perform; I wish this wasn’t so hard sometimes, but it can be!

God has reminded me that what is important is who I’m doing my work to please, and my focus wasn’t as much on God as it should have been. Colossians 3:23-24 is a great reminder: 

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 

I remember praying a few months ago for “something to give,” but I didn’t imagine it being the level of responsibility I had at work. I wouldn’t have asked for a break or said it was getting to be too much, but God knew better, as he always does. God’s answer came quickly; it just took me a while to see it. Has that ever happened to you? 

All of these lessons have brought me back to a humble reliance on God to do the best I can with whatever each day holds, relying on him for what I need and putting others’ needs ahead of my own, especially my husband and son. Ultimately, with these changes at work and life, I have more mental energy to learn how to be the parent my son needs, and the wife my husband needs during this season. I’m seeing more than just silver linings; I’m actually learning to enjoy this season, piece by piece. In fact, I’m becoming a happier, healthier me, who is learning to walk with God more closely with each new season of change, whether expected or not. 

What is God teaching you in your current season? I encourage you to pause and ask him; he will answer you, maybe even faster than you think.

Kate Washleski is an everyday girl trying to be intentional to follow God's leading in the opportunities she's been given. She loves connecting with people, reflecting on what she's learning and processing out loud (or even in print). Kate's thankful for friends to whom it's safe to speak her mind and wear her heart on her sleeve. Read more from Kate at her blog A Wonderful Life.

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