So I have this friend. I have known her since college but wouldn’t call her a friend until maybe the last 5 years or so. Our friendship has evolved in that time and I can honestly say that I like her more with each passing year.
We both have 2 kids. Her oldest and my youngest are the same age. She used to ask me all the time, “when are you going to have your 3rd baby?” At first I would literally laugh out loud and roll my eyes. But she would still keep asking. Like ALL the time. It just kept coming, the same question. You see my friend can’t wait to have baby #3 and maybe #4. She has a plan for when she wants them and her life after that. I can’t imagine managing my life with another child, let alone 2 more. Pastor Jason and I with 4 kids is the stuff sitcoms are made of. Pure chaos I’m sure. I think for a long time my friend didn’t really believe me that I wasn’t going to have another baby. And for awhile I was sure she was never going to stop asking me about it.
My friend challenged me. While I was adamant to her that there was “no way in he##” I was having a third baby, and I had a hundred reasons why, I had to ask myself “was I at peace with that decision?” You see, my friend challenged me to seriously examine what I wanted out of life, and be OK if it didn’t look like what everyone else was doing. What will probably come as no surprise to you is that we live in a world where all of us are harshly judged for being stay at home moms, for being working moms, eating GMO or non-GMO, for having too many kids, no kids, not enough kids, and everything in between. And we buy into the thinking that what everyone else is doing is what we were made to do. We are looking for that one thing that will make us just as happy as our favorite “frenemy” on social media who we imagine has a life just that much better than ours.
Identity is an interesting thing. We were all created to be and do different things. I can’t wait to see her toting around her 3 or 4 kids, serving in church, encouraging others and finding ways to show her kids what is most meaningful in life. Me, I’ve got research to do and papers to publish, podcasts to produce, medical students to educate and stuff to do at church with pastor Jason. My two kids think it’s cool that mom “does surgery and gets the babies out” and “teaches the almost doctors” and that makes me proud. I think Mother Teresa said it best. I cannot do what my friend does and she cannot do what I do. What were you created to do? I hope this post gives you permission to examine your own life and ask yourself “when are you going to…” and fill in the blank with what you were created to do. I am so thankful for my friend. She inspires me and I hope I can challenge those around me with the same question. So when are you going to…? Together we can serve God, serve others and we can change the world.