A New Year, Another Leap of Faith

Photo by savit keawtavee

(Photo by Savit Keawtavee)

There’s something poetic about starting a new adventure with the beginning of a new year. Four years ago tomorrow was my first day at IJM. God moved us away from our comfortable lives in Nashville for my “dream job” here. (His hand was very evident in the entire process.) One year ago this week, after a long journey through infertility and 4 agonizing rounds of IVF, we learned we were having twins (if that’s not a new adventure, I don’t know what is!). And yesterday, the email went out to the organization that I’m officially leaving IJM.
Seriously, check out these dates. There’s something very poetic about it:
1/8/09 – I printed off a marketing job description at IJM that became my inspiration for wanting to work there (I wrote about this fun detail here)
1/9/12 – my first day at my “dream job” at IJM
1/2/15 – after our journey through infertility, we learn God has blessed us with twins (what?!)
1/7/16 – the email goes out to the organization that I’m leaving IJM
It is with many bittersweet feelings that I am saying goodbye to an organization and team that I have been so honored to be a part of. It’s quite surreal. I could have stayed at IJM for many, many more years. I leave there forever changed in so many ways, and grateful to have been a small part of the life-changing work being done.
One big lesson I will carry with me is how we, at IJM, pray so earnestly and specifically for details of the people’s lives that we are trying to serve. For a rescue mission at 10pm tomorrow to find the one girl. For the court hearing to proceed as scheduled. For the missing file to be found so the case doesn’t get delayed. For the $10,000 gift to come in on time. So often, in our own lives, we pray very generically. Why do we feel we can pray so boldly for other people’s lives but not our own? I need constant reminding of this, that I can (& should) pray boldly for the details in my own life. I was able to walk that lesson out in our very personal journey the last 2 years.
Anyway, I do walk away from IJM with every intention of staying connected, and, God willing, of returning some day. Another thing I have learned over the last 5 years is that we really have no idea the plans God has for us. He sure does hold so many surprises. But, we can be assured that He has it all figured out and His ways are definitely best.
A little snippet from our journey is that because God moved us to this area for my season with IJM, we are also back closer to a lot of family. I honestly don’t know how we could have survived the first few months with twins in Nashville, without the family support. God knew…
So for this next leap of faith, I have embarked on what is truly the most challenging job of my life, being a stay-at-home mom to two precious baby girls. And for this season, my job is here with them.
After marrying a teacher, I never thought I could ever be a stay-at-home mom. Of course I’d have to work. Well, when twins come along, and you factor in childcare for two (especially how expensive it is in this area), while working at a nonprofit job, it just doesn’t add up. I would barely bring home a couple hundred dollars a month, in order to have someone else take care of my children.
I struggled through making the decision to work or not work, even full-time or part-time. Fear was evident on all sides of the equation.
We are taking a leap of faith in many ways, including figuring out to afford this life as a family of four. The funny thing was, the finances were essentially the same either way, whether I worked (and had childcare) or didn’t. So the decision became clear, though still quite scary.
During nap times and other sparse moments of free hands, I will pursue contract marketing work here and there and I will put more effort into my role as a Noonday Ambassador, which I love doing. Noonday allows me to pursue my passion of helping be a part of dignified poverty alleviation, making a difference in the lives of families around the world, while building relationships here in my community, and helping provide a little income for my family as well. It will also give me opportunities to get out of the house. Hello cabin fever!
There’s a whole other blog post to be written about the leap of faith in trying to figure out how to be a parent, and especially to raising twins. But that’s for another day.
Speaking of twins, one is waking up from their nap. Gotta go…

4 thoughts on “A New Year, Another Leap of Faith

  1. Dear, dear Karen! Thanks for continuing to share in such an authentic way with all of us. I know God will bless you and your family abundantly as you go forward on this journey of life and mothering.

  2. Karen – A beautiful testimony above of what has been happening in your family’s lives. I
    hope that you may think about writing a book, or whatever God may lead you to that could be published since you are gifted with the writing skills.

  3. I read your article about “I’m Not a Mother” and it brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I are older and I am no longer able to have children. I don’t think I ever was. My (current) husband and I had been married for 2 years and decided it was time to move forward with adoption. Before that time, every Mother’s Day I would cry and my heart would be broken again for the child I did not have. In 2014 we started the adoption process and Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day too) passed. In 2015 Mother’s Day passed again (and Father’s Day too) and I was about ready to give up. My husband encouraged me that we needed to give it one more year. Our home study was to renew in August. Long story short…in July we matched with a birth mother who was due in August and ended up bringing our daughter into the world in July, a month early! God has blessed us so greatly as she is so beautiful, so healthy, and so very perfect. I will, for the first time in my 52 years of life, celebrate Mother’s Day as a mom! God is so very good.

    • Martha – thank you so much for sharing that with me! Your story and your joy bring tears to my eyes as I read this. God is so very good. All the time. Despite, and through, our circumstances. I praise Him with you. Amazing!

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