When my oldest of three children graduated from College, I began to experience a deep, profound sadness. So many books read, prayers prayed, lunches made, carpools driven—over two decades of my life poured out like a drink offering on behalf of my husband and children.
As the finish line came into sight, sadness and fatigue began to overcome me creating landmines that triggered and fueled my fear of the future. With the precision and patience of a bomb squad, my husband (aka Mr. Wonderful) descended upon the minefield of lies I had created and gently, but firmly, helped me navigate and diffuse each lie. Here is the formula he used:
Affirmation + Truth + Challenge = HOPE
Without a hint of judgment in his eyes, he listened as I spoke the lies out loud. He began to diffuse them one at a time:
The landmine I believed: “I spent 22 years of my life making your lives happen and now there is nothing left for me to do.”
Mr. Wonderful diffused this lie with AFFIRMATION: I can understand why you feel like you made our lives happen—because you did!
You’re investment was not wasted and we’re deeply grateful.
The landmine I believed: “I spent all those years helping the kids grow, but forgot to invest in me.”
Mr. Wonderful diffused this lie with the TRUTH: You’ve been growing and learning with the kids—all the books, podcasts, Bible studies, leadership, communication, community and mentoring goes beyond mothering.
The landmine I believed: “I haven’t had a real job in 22 years. I don’t have any marketable skills.”
Mr. Wonderful diffused this lie with a CHALLENGE: Just because you didn’t get a paycheck, doesn’t mean you don’t have skills. Let’s explore opportunities in the workplace that could utilize the skills you’ve developed as a mom.
As Mr. Wonderful strategically diffused each landmine I had created, my head began to lift and my shoulders pushed back. By the end of our conversation I was leaning into the possibilities—hope was taking root. Through prayer and research and God’s leading, I discovered my calling. It was no surprise to God that the skills I’d mastered as a mom, coaching my children to adulthood, would help me launch my new dream as a leadership coach.
Are you in transition? Not sure what to do next? Be brave and seek help. Reach out to a safe and trusted friend. Ask them to help you diffuse the lies you’re believing and replace them with truth so hope has a chance to break through.
Next, email several people who know you well and ask them these questions:
- What am I good at?
- What do I love to do?
- What is important to me?
Receive and accept their affirmation. Then challenge yourself to lean into the possibilities—God has important, satisfying work for you to do in the world!
We are so excited to have Sharon as one of our camp counselors this fall at CAMP WELL! She will be talking about our identity and values so each of us can walk boldly using the gifts God has given us. We still have a few spots available and would love for you to join us!