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A Single Decision

by Bethany Eze

posted in Self Improvement

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I recently had the opportunity to make a job change; an individual thought enough of me to offer me a chance to possibly take a job as a receptionist in a doctor's office. Currently, I am a preschool teacher and I do not make a lot of money and there are no benefits. If I am off sick or my children are sick (and there have been times we have all been sick with the flu or a stomach bug and off for a week and a half), I do not receive any sick, personal, or vacation pay for those days missed. The job offer would have consisted of a dollar and a half more in pay with guaranteed forty hours, no insurance benefits (but the doctor will treat you if necessary), paid holidays, if the doctor closes the employees are compensated for the time off, and a total of ten vacation/sick days. The hours are 8am to 5pm Monday through Thursday and a half day on Friday and I was told by the sweet office manager that there was NOT much room for flexibility at all. It sounds good, but here is where I began to think and seek God for direction:
I am a single mother of three children that range in ages of ten, eight, and five (fifth grade, third grade, and kindergarten). I am a preschool teacher for a church preschool program where they value the commitment of family (something that has become lost and retro in today's society). When I have been sick or my children have been sick, my boss (although she wants and needs me to be at work) has been understanding; if my children have had school events and activities at school, my boss has allowed me to take off to be involved in my children's lives. This may not mean much when it comes to bills being paid-and things have been extremely tight most of the time,--and most people would probably say, "take the job," or "you need a different job," but I value the quantity of time spent pouring into the lives of my children as well as the children I teach and care for at work, over money; which is something I believe is missing today. I know we need to make money to live and survive, but I know something I cannot live or survive without and that is Jesus Christ and the hope He offers, and taking a pay cut is a small price to pay when it comes to upholding a standard of values based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and his Word. The world has made it seem as though money is the only way to live a happy and fulfilling life. But children are suffering because of it-growing up detached from parents and lacking any moral structure and this is our future.
We have not gone without a whole lot; sure we do not get to take vacations to the beach and sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but knowing that I can be a part of my children's lives means so much to me; it has helped to keep me moving forward; trusting God at a greater capacity by standing on his Word and His promises. He has never failed us and always makes a way even when I cannot begin to know what is going to happen next. As I prayed on this job dilemma and thought about it and sought counsel, I went to pick up the kids. I was going to take the weekend to pray and fast about it all. After getting home, I was in the bathroom and Proverbs 10:22 popped into my thoughts. "The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it." You see, my desire has always been to be involved in my children's lives and enrich the lives of those in the community. Even before getting married and having kids, I knew what type of mom I wanted to be. I wanted to go to all of the meetings; all of the plays, band concerts, sporting events; I wanted to have a "soccer mom" shirt made with my kids' names printed on it! I got married and had children and then life happened and the fairytale took a different turn and I found myself single with three children. I looked up the scripture (Proverbs 10:22) to make sure that I was hearing correctly (you know, making sure that this was the Holy Spirit and not me just cutting and pasting two different scriptures together). I needed conformation. I typed in the words the way I heard them and then there it was in several different translations but meaning the same thing: God's blessings will not take away and contradict what He stands for; His blessings will not have me feeling torn, grieved or stressed before I even walk into the what should be a blessing for me and my family. His blessings will make me rich, meaning it will add to my life. God created the family, why would He want it to suffer? Why would he want to take away another parent because of money? God is bigger than bills and money. He owns it all and it all belongs to Him, if I trust Him, He will always provide as long as I try to live a life pleasing to him as best as I can. Some will say that I am being "unrealistic" and say that I deserve whatever stress I get from not taking the job, but knowing that I can help my son with his math at night and help my five year old learn how to read, and watch my daughter walk in the creative purpose she has, alleviates most of that stress, and if I learn to truly stand on God's Word and declare it, knowing He has already made a way for me and my children, even more stress would be alleviated. But we all allow the circumstance to overpower our faith in Jesus Christ.
Please do not get me wrong, I know that in this world, whether married or single, most of us have to work, but I want to encourage you not to settle; always stand on God's Word and do not be afraid to remind Him of it; this is about hearing the voice of God for yourself and standing on His promises for your life. In Isaiah 55:11 God says, "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Stand on the Word of God and go boldly before the throne and make your requests known to Him. Luke 11:9 Jesus says, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." For me, God has shown me that I need to have more faith in Him as my provider and also realize that I am in a blessed position right now. He is saying to me that He is staying true to the desires I had of being the mom I dreamed of being; He is giving me the opportunity to be as close to a stay at home mom as I can while also serving those within the community and earning an income (no matter how small) and the rest I just have to leave up to Him. Sometimes we cannot see that God has already blessed or answered our prayers, but because it does not look the way we think it should, we do not recognize it. Do not place limits on what God can do in your life. He is a big God that is able to do BIG things.
About the Author: Bethany A. Powell Eze is the founder of Risen Heart Ministries, Inc., which is a ministry dedicated to assisting women, individuals and families in becoming and staying connected to the heart of Jesus Christ no matter what the circumstances of life bring. Bethany is also an Associate Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Decatur, Alabama, and serves as a Youth Advisor/ Children's Ministry Teacher as well. She is also a former counselor and teacher for the Sav A Life Pregnancy Resource Center in Decatur, Alabama; serves in the community alongside the Neighborhood Christian Center of Alabama, and is a Preschool Teacher. She is a self published author of the inspirational eBook The Essence of Worship: Discovering your purpose through Jesus Christ (Amazon). Pastor Bethany is a speaker and loves the Lord and the people and has a degree in Child Development.
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