Before I had kids, I was in the financial world for eight years beginning when I was nineteen, working my way up. I received a performance review each year and was then given a raise each year. That's how the corporate world usually works. And I loooooooved my job. I worked on the customer service side of things and loved building new relationships through that; loved seeing the same customers each day and getting to know their stories. I loved it. But that was not my calling and I knew it. Everything in me wanted to be at home growing a family, investing in THOSE little souls each day.
2006 was the last year that I was working, and I was managing my own small branch. That year also brought my first two pregnancies, both of which ended in miscarriage. The emotional/ mental pain that penetrates you when that little soul leaves your body is mind-shattering. However, with pain comes growth, and with suffering comes hope, two things I've now learned to run towards rather than away from.
At the end of that year, I left and stayed home for awhile and then began working for a non-profit organization and then soon found out I was pregnant again. I stayed until my third trimester and then left to be at home hoping to get a bit prepared for the life changes that come when having a baby. Once she was here, I realized that nothing really prepared me. She was amazing in every way and completely overwhelming. The growth and hope that sprang forth from that new relationship must have looked pretty good on my "performance review" that year, because 18 months later I received my first "raise", another incredible little soul embodied in a very chubby, sparkling blue-eyed girl. And life again was amazing and overwhelming bringing more growth and springing new hope each day.
And now 22 months later, another "raise"... another little soul embodied in a round little belly and spiky hair and bearing a striking resemblance to his very handsome blue-eyed father. And again, life is overwhelmingly amazing and amazingly overwhelming at times, but it's exactly what I've always wanted... and really, what I need. I thank the One who gives generously and takes away knowingly for each of the "raises" that He's given me and not given me for each one calls me to know Him, love Him, and seek Him each passing moment.