Discerning God’s Call
Sara: Once upon a time, I thought that once Justin and I discerned we were called to marriage with each other, I thought our discerning days would be over. We may not exactly live “happily ever after” but our hard decisions would be behind us.
Now I laugh at the thought of no more hard decisions! Since we’ve gotten married, we have had to discern if and when to buy a house, how to spend funds to repair/fix up the house, and if we should be parishioners at the parish closest to our house. And, most recently, we’ve been discerning what our family life should look like now that we have Gus.
One of the hardest decisions for me personally to make has been whether or not I should continue to work full-time. Even before we were married, Justin and I tried to set ourselves up financially so we’d have the option of not having both of us work full-time outside the home. Basically, we’ve really lived below our means the past several years. Instead of using my income to help pay living expenses, we used it for one-time expenses like the down payment on our house, retiring debt, and helping to pay for medical expenses associated with Gus’ birth. It hasn’t always been easy to see friends driving newer vehicles, going to expensive concerts, and taking nice vacations. However, we felt the sacrifices would be outweighed by the increased options once we had children. Now, I’m very thankful for that choice, as it has given us more options after Gus’ birth.
I’ve always truly enjoyed my job and the people I work with. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to spread the Gospel message through our parish’s communications and have a very flexible schedule. However, it was very difficult for me to go back to work after Gus was born. I constantly felt when I was at work that I ought to be at home with Gus. When I was at home with Gus, I felt like I ought to be at work. I became very weary of trying to be “Supermom” and effectively balancing both work,Gus, and Justin, especially with night meetings and an hour commute each way to work.
After a lot of prayer and discernment, Justin and I decided it was best for me to stay home with Gus right now. January 11 will be my last day of work.
This decision is very bittersweet. On one hand, I’m so excited to be able to be home full-time with Gus. A friend was asking me the other day when Gus usually napped, and I realized I didn’t know the answer without asking my babysitter! I look forward to seeing Gus’ first steps, knowing when his first tooth comes in, and having play dates with friends. Since going back to work a month and a half ago, I feel like I’ve simply been in “survival mode” and asking what’s the least I need to do to take care of my family.
On the other hand, I’ve worked at this parish for the past five years. I’ve been very blessed to witness baptisms, weddings, and funerals of some beloved parishioners. Many of these parishioners have taught me so much about life and our Catholic faith. When I arrived five years ago, I was fresh out of college and had so many wonderful ideas of how I was going to change the world – or at least our parish. Looking back, I feel our parishioners and the staff have taught me so much more than I ever could have imagined or express! As I have begun to tell people of Justin’s and my decision, many have told me how lucky they were to have me on staff. Personally, I think I am the lucky one for all the wisdom and life lessons they have taught me!
Justin and I realize we are so blessed to have this opportunity for me to stay at home with Gus. We’re still discerning what life will look like. If the right opportunity presents itself, I may begin to work part-time again or even go back to work full-time in a year or two. However, at the moment I’m content simply to know we’re answering God’s call right now.