Here’s the thing: I’ve been battling comparison. I see other people my age who are married, with children, living on their own, living far away, holding down big jobs, and it all looks so glamourous. So much bigger than my little life at home with my parents. It reminds me of a quote from my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail:
Could I be off faraway somewhere, doing something seemingly more important? Yes! The issue isn’t capability. I often fear I am not brave enough to have the adventures I want. I worry for my safety, I worry I will be homesick if I move away..I worry about all sorts of things, but in the end, I know it’s not fear that keeps me here at home in Thomasville.
I am so blessed to be able to work for my mom and serve her business. Our culture shouts deafeningly loudly in our ears “YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR FAMILY TO BE SUCCESSFUL!” You must separate, isolate, alienate, say goodbye. Staying, especially for women, feels weak. Like I don’t have goals or aspirations. Like i’m just sitting on the couch waiting for Prince Charming to knock on the door.
I’m not doing that. But it doesn’t mean the nagging feelings don’t crop up. You aren’t brave. You’re never going to leave this town. No one will ever find you here. Your life is passing you by. These harsh words pound into my skull every day as I drive to work and back home–to my parents.
Can any of you relate? It’s positively the worst. I remind myself I am not forced to be here. I chose this. I want to be home. I feel God has me here. But the lies of the Enemy will always encourage you to move away from family, from home.
I heard something the other day which dramatically altered my perspective:
A woman was visiting Israel and she found herself in a bakery. She was picking out a few items when she noticed a bride. Sure enough, there was a bride, in a bridal gown, in the bakery picking out loaves of bread. Suddenly, as she was going about her day, seemingly unaware she was dressed for a wedding, a limousine pulled up outside the bakery. A torrent of groomsmen descended upon the little shop. Mayhem abounded as they scooped up the surprised bride and shouted triumphantly they had found her. And off to the wedding they went.
In ancient Jewish tradition, the bride does not know what time the wedding will begin. She knows it will be within a three day period, so she readies herself and goes about her day as a daughter, dressed to be a bride…and as she is out and about, living life, he comes for her. But she must be ready!!
Are you seeing this? Are you hearing this?
In a a western culture, we are encouraged to live recklessly and independently and then one day, whenever we feel like it, we settle down and decide we will be adults. But this is not the norm. Around the world, it’s extremely common to live at home well into adulthood. You don’t cease to be responsible to your family when you turn eighteen. You continue to play an active part in the family and even once you are married, it’s very common to live very close to your parents.
Here in the USA, we love to go faraway, but in other places, they stay. I feel God has given me a great privilege in allowing me to be a young woman who is at home. Am I wasting away? Heavens no! I’m very busy, seeking to live a life of readiness, like a bride waiting for her groom. It appear to others that I am leading a small life, but I know God is building something. He is rooting me and grounding me so I can soar.
Living counter culturally is not easy or always fun, but as the days go by, I’m more and more convinced that as I surrender my life each day to the Lord and to my family, He will build something far more beautiful and rich than anything I could have fashioned in my feigned independence.
So, to the girl who feels lost and left behind and lonely, consider your post an honor. Serve your family, serve God, love well, and let him ready you for something grand. Brave isn’t always leaving. Sometimes bravery is staying.
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.–Matthew 25