I struggled, too, finding purpose. When wee ones bounced on my lap, my whole world was contained in their pudgy arms and tender hearts. Now with 12-21 I hear heartaches, and my heartaches. I see choices, and at times I'm filled with concern. I find myself feeling irrelevant in a world of teenage and young adult hormones and heart renderings I can't always answer. My oldest, the only fully public schooled one in the bunch, tender, yet still a bit rebellious, sat poised on the edge of the couch cushion this past winter while home from college for a visit. He asked, "Will you get a job when they all grow up?" referring to his younger siblings. He was not meaning to be offensive, still rather naive to the rolls we hold in life, it was a reasonable question which sparked a mix of emotions. And as I look at my brood, growing and stretching and saying more and more, "Don't worry mom, I've got this." I deeply ponder purpose and what lies ahead. Add to this the resent turns in our country cause me to wonder even more... what is the future for any of us? Underground-above ground. Ministry work-secular work. Scraping for our bread-comfortably getting by.
I don't know.
I feel like life has been plundered by the secularists... by the left-wing hopefuls of a coexist world where all roads lead "home".... as long as I don't cramp anyone's style with my pathway.
How do you adjust?
Ray Comfort recently shared on social media that this plundering is actually good for the church. It is a purging of sorts, separating the goats and the sheep (Matthew 25). My mind is cast to all the reading I have done on the first century church. Of the current they swam against in a purely pagan world. Of Paul's Words time and again to run the race, and never give up. Of Isaiah, centuries before the first Christians....
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
- Isaiah 40:31
Perhaps that is simply it. In America we have been blessed to fly like eagles, to run and not grow weary. And now, in a country falling apart we have to walk... walk as children of light.... and not grow faint. We must wait for the Lord and renew our strength in Him.
What is my purpose... it is just as it was for the first century church. Will I get a job when all my little chicks grow and fly the coop? Well, as I finally explained it to my oldest, I have a job. I don't just care for my children, I care for my husband as well. He comes in every morning after Bible study and enjoys a home-cooked breakfast, when he returns home from working all day, he knows his dinner is warm and ready and made with love. He reaches into his closet and pulls out clean and pressed clothes. He calls me for encouragement during the day and he holds me close in the evenings trusting and relying on the simple fact that my time is his because I give it freely with all my heart. He encourages me to ministry pursuits, to helping those in need, and even to writing here in the hopes and prayers that other Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 hopefuls out there who need encouragement to keep doing what they are doing.... can do it knowing they are not alone.
Will society be friendly towards my efforts in the years to come? In 5 years when my youngest spreads her wings will I be welcome to invest even more time to service in the name of Christ? I don't know. But I know the first century church did it... rescuing cast away babies, caring for the sick and feeding the poor and down-trodden. They did it while meeting in secret and hiding in the catacombs. The only purpose they needed wasn't a paycheck or approval.... it was Christ alone.
Life may be plundered away but a heart rooted in Christ will stand strong against any storm.
I pray you may find this simple purpose to be more than enough to fuel your daily to-dos and your outward expressions of faith in a world with increasing oppression. No matter the age of your children and loved ones, they still look to your life, to your dedication, as an example and encouragement for their own. Remember Paul's Words:
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
And when you feel beat down by the world around, remember Jesus':
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
- John 16:33