(Inside: Have you ever been anxious about change? Find hope now through the story of a mom whose unexpected life shift turned out to be a huge gift.)
Have you ever stood at the beginning of change completely overcome with fear? Me too. Many times.
We all have visions and dreams and specific ways we want our lives to unfold. And we love comfortable and stay-the-course and no surprises – that all makes us feel safe.
On mother’s day, I saw this post from a sweet friend regarding this topic that moved me deeply. I’d watched her walk through this season and her conclusion (8 years later) brought tears to my eyes.
With her permission, I’m sharing it with you:
“Amara was just a few months old in this pic, little chub. 20 years old – I was thinking my life was over for having a baby.
That makes me laugh just typing it – she ended up being the best thing to ever happen to us! Jordan and I had no idea the ride we were in for, but it’s been a good one! God puts us through experiences and challenges for good reason.
It’s funny – now almost 8 years later, I can’t imagine my life without my Lil’ Mama. She’s my purpose, my why, and the best friend I never knew I needed!”
(Then she goes on to wish everyone a happy mother’s day and includes a few final thoughts.)
Nicolle didn’t want change – she loved her life.
She’d only been out of high school for about a year and loved the throw-confetti-around season of life. Want to hang out – sure, nothing else going on! Hey, that class looks interesting – let’s take it, maybe that’ll hint at a career choice! Or that job looks fun – let’s apply, it might give us direction! So much to learn! So much self-discovery happening! She felt free and full of hope.
But then, something she wasn’t ready for happened. Nicolle just turned 20 when she found out she was pregnant.
Life shift – not her plan.
She felt a loss of freedom, being in the same season as her friends, and feelings of “approval.” Plus, her goal of setting up her career before becoming a mom felt snatched away. It was an end that she didn’t want. And yet – her daughter as she put it, “gave her the greatest job in the world and didn’t even know it.”
Funny how we can cling so tightly to the past, not realizing blessings beyond our wildest imagination are just around the corner.
Like Nicolle, I have stood at the start of unwelcome change and felt intense fear and loss instead of excitement.
For example, I lost a teaching job I adored. Student numbers were down and the lowest-tenured teacher let go – me. When the principal told me the news I felt the wind get knocked out of me. I worked part-time, so the job fits perfectly with mom life. I also taught at exactly the kind of school I wanted to work in – large, public, and diverse. Finding another position like the one I just got cut from felt like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Devastation hit hard.
But, that loss ended up being one of the biggest gains in my life.
A position opened up in that same school working as an academic and career counselor for our STEM program. This new change put me with the most inspirational team, doing interesting work, and stretching myself in the best ways. When the grant for the program ended, a teaching slot opened back up and I went back into my beloved position. However, that two-year pause in teaching became a career highlight, one I will always be grateful for.
And I could go on with more examples, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll say what I’ve learned about change, something that’s hard to do but worth pursuing…
Honor the past, enjoy the memories, and be grateful for the experiences – but then, look forward.
If things didn’t end, we’d never get these kinds of wonderful new beginnings.
Find more hope now by reading the full “Grow Your Grit” Series
When we become moms a light switch is flipped on. In juggling work, family, and household – we grow bolder; we learn to speak up. And somewhere in it all, we find our inner Mama Bear. We grow our determination, knowledge, love, patience, endurance, perspective, wisdom, and problem-solving ability – we strengthen our grit. It’s not always easy, though. Growing our grit through motherhood is most definitely a process… Read on…
GROW YOUR COURAGE
Parenting Persuades You to be a More Courageous Mom Every Day
A Mom’s Quick Prayer for Perseverance that Will Lift You Up
FIND PEACE IN THE CHAOS
One Line to Get You Through the Stressed Mom Days
HEAL YOUR HURT
I’m So Hurt: What Healing Sometimes Looks Like
When Life Knocks You Down & You’re Tired of Your Struggle
Miscarriage Grief: 5 Reasons Why a Miscarriage is so Emotionally Painful
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens
Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”
You are raising tweens and teens and college-age kids – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.
Join our community of raising big kids and get occasional email encouragements in your inbox and instant access to the freebie library. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.