Monday, August 9, 2010

How to help a friend making a life-changing decision

Another guest post! Beth blogs at Not a Bow in Sight. She's mom to three boys, a great singer, and one of my dearest friends. And her son Will and my daughter Maggie are very sweet on each other. I have talked about her here. Please welcome Beth, who discussing what she was going through when we first became friends.


It was January of 2006 and my maternity leave was over. I got up at 5:30 am to nurse my baby and then got ready for my first day back at work. I carefully packed all my supplies to pump at work, sterilizing everything. My mom arrived promptly at 6:15 to stay with my two children (ages 2 yrs and 3 months) and I made my one hour commute to my job, sobbing all the way.

It was the second time in three years that I’d had to leave my new baby and go back to work. But this time something was different. Something was off. I remember that day so vividly. My friends took me out to a “welcome back lunch” and I couldn’t even eat. I was so sad I had no appetite. I cried every time I went to the little closet where I had a place to pump. I wanted to be home with my children.

I knew in that moment that being home with my children was what I was being called to do. I didn’t know how or when but I knew that God was calling me to stay home and raise my children.

It didn’t make any sense logically. I mean, wouldn’t my BA and MS in accounting be wasted if I stayed at home? Why would I want to give up a well-paying job that I enjoyed (and was pretty good at) and had great benefits? How would we afford it? Would I be bored to death being at home with two children all day long?

The worst part of it all was how isolated I felt. I couldn’t tell anyone at work. I had to pretend I wanted to be there. I didn’t know anyone who’d had a successful career like mine with a lot of earning potential and decided to change diapers and fold laundry instead.

I poured out my heart to God over it and left it safely in his hands. I knew that with Him all things were possible…even the million things that needed to happen before I could come home.

Eighteen months later I gave my two-week notice. And three months after that I found out I was expecting my third child. I was finally able to be home with my new baby. And my journey had just begun.


In this world where everything is about convenience, personal achievement, and the pursuit of more stuff, it’s difficult to make a decision like I did. My husband and family were very supportive, but in the day-to-day I was mostly alone. I lost touch with my work friends and had to press on with very little outside encouragement. But that’s where God changed me. In the day-to-day of mothering three small children He provided. I had no idea what I was doing (and still don’t at times) but He has been faithful every step of the way.

Maybe you know someone who is making a crucial life changing decision. Perhaps they are making a decision that’s potentially isolating and goes against the grain of expectations in our society. If so, there are a few things you can do to help:

1. Pray for them. Pray that God will continue to guide them as they step out in faith.

2. Encourage them. A person who is doing something difficult needs a lot of encouraging words. The enemy will try to discourage them so they need extra encouragement from those who love them. Even if you don’t understand what they are doing you can still speak words of love over them and to them.

3. Introduce them to others who are making that same decision. It will really help to get connected to others (in my case other moms) who are in their same shoes.

4. Be there when it gets tough. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have so many family members (and friends now) that I can call upon for advice as I walk this new life out. I am so blessed that I don’t have to do this alone.


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