As working Christian women, we’re so often pulled in multiple worthy directions. If you focus on the dissonance, life can get overwhelming, fast!
Remember instead that God binds all things together.
I had a kind of physical reminder of this last week. I started the week in New York City, settling my daughter in to an apartment for the summer (she’s going to be teaching in the Bronx for the next five weeks). I left Annie at her temporary home in the “big city” to fly cross-country to my parent’s family farm in Oregon. There, with much of my extended family, we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the family first settling as farmers in Oregon (In honor of the occasion, my parents were asked to marshal the local 4th of July Parade!).
And yet, for me, the two trips were about the very same things: faith and family. As a parent, it’s exciting to see your children take on “grown-up” responsibilities and adventures, but it can also be a real test of faith. It was hard to leave Annie in New York, knowing that she’ll be living alone and working in some tough areas. It was important for me to be there and help her settle in to her summer “home,” but just as important that I manage to then be present (mentally and physically) for my parents and family in Oregon, celebrating a very different kind of home.
To do both, it helped to focus on the commonalities, rather than the differences. Seeing how God has watched over generations of family in Oregon reminded me that He is faithfully watching over my Annie as well. This helped me to be a better in both situations: more encouraging and less fearful with Annie, and more supportive and joyful with my parents.
The forces weighing on you may look and feel totally at odds, but God sees so much more than we do. That means even the most disparate situations and forces may have more in common than you think. Looking for God’s common threads won’t eliminate the pressures in your life, but as you see how those pressures work together in His plan, you’re likely to feel less “torn.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)