But Joy Comes in the Morning

Had you told me five years ago that I would one day be a mother who works outside the home, I would’ve laughed and laughed and laughed in your face.

Okay, that may have been a bit harsh, but before we can move on, I need you to understand my very strong, albeit naive, opinion on the matter.

Before my husband and I got married, one of the subjects we discussed was having children and whether or not I would be a stay-at-home mom when littles came along. Before we knew whether we could even have children, we decided that if God did give us that opportunity, I will definitely, without question not work outside the home. Our stance on the matter was so strong, in fact, that if being a stay at home mom wasn’t an option, we considered not having children at all.

Well, if I’ve learned anything in my 28 years of existence, it’s that life has a funny (hilarious, really!) way of taking your grand plans and laughing, laughing, laughing at them in your face.

Very long and complicated story shortened and simplified: Today was my first day back at work after Mila’s birth. I’ve spent the latter half of my maternity leave swinging between mourning what literally felt like an impending death and denying the fact altogether. So much guilt, anxiety, frustration and total absence of peace plagued my mind and heart for months. This was a sacrifice that had to be made, and mentally, I understood that. My heart, however, didn’t – and neither did my tear ducts, which shed a ridiculous amount of tears over the matter.

Fast-forward to yesterday, my last day of maternity leave…my last official day at home with Mila. It was an insanely busy morning, with several blog collaborations due in the next two days and, unfortunately, just so, so much to do and, of course, never enough time to do it all.

In the midst of the chaos I decided to put aside everything else and venture out to our favorite park for one last rendezvous with Mila in the middle of a weekday. We made our usual rounds, making stops for coffee, all the while attempting to soak in every last second of our time together but never truly being able to shake the saddness either. After a while, Mila dozed off, and I found a bench to catch up on some of those before-mentioned blog posts and finish my coffee.

Distractedly typing away on my phone, I suddenly noticed someone approaching and looked up to see a young, college-age girl. She was dressed in workout clothes, and judging from the earphones dangling around her neck and her flushed cheeks, I assumed she had been running. But what really stood out about her appearance was her sweet and honest face and kind eyes.

“I am so sorry,” she said very timidly yet at the same time somehow boldly, like she was on some sort of mission.

“My name is Caroline. I’ve never done this in my life, but I was running nearby, and God told me to come over here and tell you to have peace in your heart and that everything will work out.”

I was stunned.

She then proceeded to remind me of Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning” and asked to pray for me. But before she could even finish speaking I was, indeed, weeping uncontrollably – but these were tears of joy and total awe. I was so humbled by God’s presence and His mysterious ways of using a complete stranger to comfort and encourage me.

You see, up to this point of my life, I’ve been very skeptical of the “God told me” phenomenon. Chalk it up to my lack of faith or what have you. I’ve always believed that people set their mind on something they desired and would inevitably convince themselves that God was the mastermind behind the plan, when, in reality, it was simple self-fulfillment.

I was a total skeptic – until it happened to me.

I lack words to describe the emotions I felt in the moment when Caroline – this beautiful, perfect stranger – spoke those words to me. I’ve casually tossed around the phrase “divine intervention” – especially in Christian circles – but if there truly is such a thing then I know I felt it that day.

Some time has passed since I last shared something personal here on the blog, and if that’s not your cup of tea then by all means click the “x” in the corner and come back tomorrow for more design-related posts. But I felt in my heart the need to share this story, and hopefully someone out there – even if it’s just one person – can be encouraged by it.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

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Posted in MOTHERHOOD, PERSONAL.

5 Comments

  1. THANK YOU for sharing. I had a very similar incident happen to me about three months ago. Once again, a total stranger, who couldn’t have known what she did unless God revealed it to her.
    I was so overwhelmed with God’s complete love for me. AND that the lady who spoke to me stepped out and was obedient knowing she could be rejected or misunderstood.
    I am praising God for this miracle for you! He is at work at all times and what a great reminder that He cares and loves us so much!

  2. Dang…Now I’m crying, too! Somehow, the jogger’s words were what I needed to hear today. Because, indeed, that’s how God rolls.

    My mom was a schoolteacher when all my peers’ moms stayed home. So I always assumed I’d be a work-outside-the-home mom, which is how it played out for the first 10 years of my momhood. I also swore I’d never be self-employed (long story). Eight years into being a mom, my husband lost his graphic design job. That set in motion an inconceivable amount of occurrences that resulted in me being a partner in our graphic design business.

    God has a sense of humor. He loves us with infinite tenderness. He brought me to your blog months ago to give me this story of your today—precisely when I needed it. You’ll likely be sad, frustrated and missing sweet Mila as you meet deadlines and make clients happy. And somehow He’ll make it all work out with a rippled effect that reminds many souls of His Grace.

    Now I need to get back to work…May you have a (another) blessed day!

    • Oh Lucy, your comment made me cry. Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to share your personal experiences! I’m so glad you found this story encouraging at a time when you needed encouragement. So amazing to see God working in our day-to-day lives and such peace in knowing He has everything in His hands and understands our hearts like none other.

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