Asking “what’s possible” questions began to release some of the tension I was carrying, and gave me a vision and hope for possible alternatives. I began to realize that I was allowing the expectations of others, and my own pride, to hold me prisoner in a lifestyle that was slowly squeezing the love for life right out of me, destroying my marriage, and causing me to miss out on my daughter’s one and only childhood.
Since then, I’ve carefully examined the feminist “truths” that led me down that isolating and joyless path, and have really enjoyed the process of discovering for myself an enduring identity that is not tethered to my earnings, or my title, or anything that another person or organization can anoint me with.
If you find yourself feeling similar tension around the area of work (how/when/where you’ll work, whether or not you’ll start a side-hustle, or if your work is the care and keeping of the ones you love), I hope you won’t suffer in silence the way that I did.
We can feel so much shame for struggling through what appears to others as charmed circumstances, and if I were standing in front of you right now, I would grab you by the shoulders and tell you “that shame is a trap.” Don’t fall for it. It is designed to isolate you from the people who have your best interest at heart, in order to prevent them from speaking life and hope into your circumstance.
My hope, as we raise up the next generation of young women and men, is that we’ll preach a less relentless and demanding version of “you can have it all.” I hope we’ll teach our children about the seasonal nature of life, and rather than raging against it, that we equip them to bend and flex as the seasons require. I hope we’ll demonstrate love by encouraging them to give voice to their pain, and feel no shame in inviting others into the tender places of their hearts so they can receive the life and hope that will sustain them throughout all of their days.
And more than anything, I hope we’ll point the way to the discovery of an enduring identity—one that honors and values their whole person, and not just their worth as an earner or producer.
I believe that each of us was created on purpose by a loving, creative Father in Heaven, and that we’re valuable because he made us in his image. I believe that all of our work (paid, or not; splashy, or done in secret) is done to celebrate, honor, and bring glory to him, and that if we endeavor to do just that, then we have “it all.” All of what matters, anyway.
Peace to you!
A version of this post originally appeared on melissajenna.com, published with permission.