The following is a timeless classic “from the vault” when this blog went by the name, The Legacy of Faith…
“You mean you’re a doctor and you don’t practice? You st..st..stay home with your kids?!” I get such a kick out of that question, mainly because “I get it.” I certainly never imagined spending all those hours studying and training, losing all that sleep pursuing a dream I had since 6 years old, to lay it aside to raise my children. In the post-feminist era of my youth, career was everything and though by no means a feminist, I did have a dream, a goal, and a vision. Caring for children, the least and the overlooked in society, became my passion and I saw Pediatrics as the outlet.
In fact, the tagline for this blog comes from the last sentence of my personal statement that accompanied my medical school applications. I saw Pediatrics as the method by which I’d help provide “children a firm foundation from which they could approach the world.” At the time, I had no idea the breath of Jesus’ interpretation of that statement.
Fast forward to the day I married my husband during the second year of my preventive medicine residency. Yes, I said a second residency. During my pediatric residency, I realized office practice, though rewarding in its own right, wouldn’t give me the scope of influence I wanted to have on kids’ lives. Preventive medicine provides policy creating platforms that have larger-scale impact on children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. I couldn’t wait to get two years of marriage and career under my belt before introducing the “children ball” into the juggling act.
<Insert record skid here.> I conceived our oldest in our first year of marriage! That wasn’t part of the carefully crafted plan that was my life till that point. It took me a minute to adjust but I had every intention of going back to work after my 6 weeks postpartum leave. Then at 7 months pregnant my passion for children’s welfare focused on one. It was a prompting I couldn’t ignore. I realized I couldn’t leave my child with anyone else to take care of someone else’s children. The concept was all of a sudden absurd to me. Absurd to me. I don’t judge any mother who has to or just plain wants to work outside the home. Motherhood is daunting any way you slice it, I‘m not here to add condemnation to the mix. I’m just saying, I couldn’t do it.
This child was given to me for a reason. I wanted to know him best, second only to the God who made him, and be part of building the firm foundation from which he approached the world. By then, I understood the main meaning of my tag line is faith in Christ. That’s the seed I needed to plant in my son that Jesus would build his life on. It meant temporarily sacrificing my life to be present in his. It’s not a decision made lightly, but once Jesus confirmed His leading, we took the leap of faith.
If I told you since our decision now three children later, I never had second thoughts, I’d be lying. I’ve given up a lot to raise our children in a world all about valuing you by what you do. “Physician” wins out over “stay at home mom” any day. Yet I’ve gained so much more, that I wouldn’t trade following Jesus’ leading for accolades at dinner parties any day. The time I’ve had with my young children is a priceless gift; I probably won’t fully appreciate till they’re grown.
Though my growing children are always my priority, the vision the Lord gave me to reach more children remains. Jesus, knowing the desires of my heart, supplied this blog and book ideas for women and children, as a means of doing just that. While my dreams, goals and vision have taken a different route these days, my value and confidence is in who I am in Jesus Christ and what He chooses to do through me…regardless of title!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11, NIV