By Bethany Bettenhausen
Most of my life I’ve wanted to “do great things for God.” Growing up in a Christian home, I developed a strong love for the Lord. I was never perfect, but I was always forgiven. I wanted to please God. He was so good to me; I wanted to live my life for Him. I grew up, went to a Christian college and continued to develop my walk with the Lord, sometimes more zealously than others, but always fairly steady. I always thought I would either marry a pastor or devote my life to some kind of full-time ministry as a single who was sold out for Christ. In graduate school, I was able to be heavily involved in graduate student and faculty ministry through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I hadn’t met the man of my dreams yet, so I began to wonder if God was calling me to a career as a professor as a means to reach graduate and faculty at the university level.
But God had other plans. Through a series of “things not working out” and seeking God’s will, He redirected my steps. I believe His perfect will for me was marrying my sweet and amazing husband who, though a very godly man, is not a pastor but instead an insurance broker. God blessed us right off the bat with three wonderful children that I am able to stay at home with. I can see God’s hand at work all around me, but in the midst of my ordinary life (not quite the life I thought God might be calling me to) it has been easy for me to wonder, “Am I doing enough for God? Am I really answering His call on my life?”
While I am still very much “a work in progress,” lately I feel that God is calling me to just be faithful in the “little” things. I feel like he is reminding me that motherhood is a large part of His calling for me during this season. No one knows the entire race God has asked them to run. We are not meant to know the future. But we do know what God has asked of us today. He wants us to be faithful in each season whether it seems to be a season to do “big” things for God or whether it is a season to just be faithful in the “little” things. He wants us to “not become weary in doing good.”
So what does that look like for me in this season? – Nothing flashy, nothing big, just contentment in being an ordinary stay-at-home mom. Gone right now are the days of inductive Bible studies, long journal entries and walks alone talking with the Lord. But in this busy yet “run of the mill” season God is still drawing me close to Him and shaping my character in the little things: patience, contentment, self-control, reliance, etc, etc. etc! He has brought people into my life to reach out to, to love and to serve even if it is in just “little” ways. He has given me three little people who desperately need Jesus too who live right under my own roof. It is an honor to witness to, pray for and disciple them. He has given me a wonderful husband to serve and help. I want to be faithful no matter what it costs; whether it is something “big” or simply changing another diaper with a contented heart.
I was singing the Chris Tomlin song “I Will Follow” the other day, and the chorus really struck me.
Where You go, I’ll go.
Where You stay, I’ll stay
When You move, I’ll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I’ll love
How You serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You.
The thought occurred to me for the first time, what if God wants me to stay in the ordinary life? I think I would be okay with God calling me to something “big,” but am I okay if God chooses to call me to something “small,” something seemingly insignificant? Would I be okay just simply serving in the small things, “staying behind?” I think the answer needs to be a resounding, “Yes! God I will follow You if it leads me across the globe. God I will follow You if it leads me to never physically moving. God I will stay where you want me to stay whether near or far. God I will follow you wholeheartedly in every season, ministering to and loving well those who You bring into my life including my own family, the neighbors, moms at the park, whoever You bring.” This song has become a reminder to live on mission even in the ordinary.
We do not see the big picture, but God has promised us “if we do not become weary in doing good,” we will see the harvest. May God find each of us faithful in each season whether doing seemingly “big” things or “little” things so that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Then we will give Him all the glory for all eternity for all that He has done in and through us!