I have really struggled to decide. What to do for the next decade or so? Policing was what I did, who I was, for such a long time. Then the tag of 'Mum' took over. Which is a role that has been a privilege. But there have been many moments when I longed to be working again. Arriving home with a stimulated mind, having engaged adults and worked through challenging problems. Being sure I was doing a fantastic job.
Yes, I know, I shouldn't be seeking such affirmations anyway. Yes, absolutely, I should be satisfied and fulfilled in my role as a Mum. And there are many days when I am. I could tell you it was about adding income to our family to help pay for my boys' education. And that is a huge part of it. But now that all four boys are at school, I also just want to be involved in something outside of these walls, beyond unpaid work.
Why not go back to policing? When we move back to Australia, I will have one, nearly two teenagers, with another two boys following closely behind. I want to be available to them. As much as possible. They say boys don't talk often, so you need to be around enough that when they do, you are there. Not many occupations offer that option.
I would love to decide what to do for the next ten or fifteen years based purely on what I would like to do. But that isn't realistic. I need to consider the needs of my family, and under pinning it all of course is the reality that I have been placed on this earth to fulfil a purpose. I don't want to go off in my own direction, achieving only what is temporary. I want to choose something lasting.
And so I examine my life, work, experiences, and ponder what is to come. What do I have to give in the future, that doesn't waste my past? Counselling leapt out at me. It seemed to fit within my past, both paid and unpaid work, suit my family's needs in terms of potential flexibility. And amazingly, was also an option I felt excited about. Something meaningful. With the potential to have impact on people's lives.
Since then doubts have filled every crevice. The Masters is too expensive when I am the secondary income earner. I will be a terrible counsellor. Am I employable? If I start my own practice, will someone want to be my client? Confidence lost in the abyss of motherhood. And is it work that is significant enough? When I talk to people about my plans, they look at me with vague interest, but not the animated response I see offered to those embarking on an MBA or Masters of International Relations/Policy/Development. I'm surrounded by those.
Mr Chambers, Oswald to some, has been challenging me through all of my wanderings.
Never ask another person's advice about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will almost always side with Satan. 'My Utmost for His Highest', Oswald Chambers
He's never been one to hold back. And Paul. He always challenges me.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
So I look to Him. Every time I feel at peace about this, I falter again. With every confirmation, I doubt. I think perhaps I just need to start and gain some momentum, and stop thinking about the 'after'. I was encouraged a little by Paul this week when I saw that when he
...found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind... 2 Corinthians 2: 12b-13aI'm confident the peace will come. Only from Him.
What about you? Have you changed direction? Would you like to? What influences you?
- Monsoon trampoline jumping.
- My boys coming home with flowers for me, placing them behind my ear.
- One of the boys exclaiming, about the 'White Box Foundation', "The Sinn family are changing the world!"
- The smell of rain.
- Soccer in the pouring rain, boys grinning.
- A farewell party for friends' children.
- Pink nail polish on little nails.
- One of my boys writing on his exam, that he did well because I helped him study.
- On a written page, hearing my boy talk.
- A spontaneous meeting with a new arrival.