I’ve always wanted to be someone great. A movie star, a famous evangelist, a big name musician, for a while I even wanted to be the first woman president. In short, I wanted to make a mark on the world. Well, over the past few years I’ve been making some pretty disturbing discoveries. I’m not perfect. Worse yet, I’m not even close. I don’t really have any amazing talents. I’m no good at sports, I’m not pretty, I’m certainly not popular, I’m not even that smart. Over all, I’m rather common. No, people don’t tell me I’m worthless. In fact, I’ve had several people tell me recently that I’m amazing. Great, so I’m amazingly common.
So what does an amazingly common girl do to make her mark on history? That’s something I’ve been wondering. Over the past few months, my entire outlook on the future has changed. At the beginning of this school year, I was constantly agonizing about where to go to college, what field to get into, what career I was best suited for. Yes, I said I wanted to know where God wanted me, but what I really meant was that I had some choices and I wanted to know which He liked the best. Heaven forbid that He should have a plan in mind that didn’t make it on my list. So then I got to thinking… what is it I want out of school? I want to be prepared for the rest of my life. So what is it I want out of life? I want to make a difference, but in doing that I want to find happiness, fulfilment, and peace. The more I thought and prayed about it, I kept coming back to one inescapable conclusion. He’s got a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 has really been an important verse for me recently. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” No matter what I think sounds fun, or like a good way to spend my life, the only way to find that peace and lasting contentment is to follow His lead. He knows what I’m meant to be doing, even if I don’t have the slightest idea. So I continued my search for my calling, but with a very different outlook. Now, instead of asking which career would fit me best and how could I afford the schooling, I was asking where God wanted me to go next and what plan He had for my life.
Another thing that I’ve realized recently is that making it into the history books isn’t important. Over the past month, I’ve made friends with several amazing girls. They’re my unofficially adopted “little sisters.” They come to me when they need to talk, when they need prayer, or for other things. One thing that makes me feel so right is getting a chance to help them. No, nobody is ever going to remember me for that. They’ll probably all have forgotten me in ten years. But if I’m helping them now, when they need it, isn’t that what’s important? So I’ve been learning that you can make a difference, and do something worthwhile, without it being something big that the world will take notice of. After all, God knows what’s happening, that’s what matters. I’ve also realized over the last few months how fulfilling it can be to work with little kids. I’ve never found anything more comforting than holding a tired baby. Resting in your arms, looking up at you with those big eyes, so peaceful, so content just to be held and loved.
I’ve never thought of motherhood as much of an option. I wanted to change the world, and you don’t do that by sitting at home teaching three grades at once. But the more I realized that being noticed by the world wasn’t important, the more I began to see the beauty of God’s system of motherhood. One thing I’ve noticed about girls, we love to have something to love. Pets, younger siblings, friends, we all need something to care about. Having something we can care for is even better. The more I thought about, the more it made sense. Of course we need to love and care for something, we’re made to be mothers. All of this is just preparation for the highest calling any girl can have, the call of raising the next generation. So I’ve been paying more attention to the mothers in my life. There’s my mom, who is absolutely amazing. She had a flourishing nursing career, which she gave up more than twenty years ago to teach my sister at home. She loves and supports my dad through everything he goes through with the church and having to work. She pushes us kids to be our best, even if we make that hard on her, and she loves us. She loves us enough not to give up on us when we’re being dumb. She loves us enough to tuck us into bed even when we’re thirteen years old and should be able to go on our own. She loves us enough make us tea when we’re sick, to sit through the same Veggie Tales movie ten million times, to listen to our pitiful attempts at making music, to tell us when we’re doing something wrong, to hug us on a bad day. She’s always there and even when we act like we hate her, she loves us. There’s a young mom at church. She’s got two daughters, who are the sweetest little girls I know. At ages three and one, those girls are amazing. There’s something about seeing the love in the faces of both the mother and daughters when she picks them up from Sunday school that just makes you want to cry. She’s everything to those little girls. The worship leader at church has three kids. I’ve been watching her kids since the oldest was born. He’s six now, and quite a handful. But she does the most amazing things with them. Even though she’s got him, and his four and one year old sisters, she’s homeschooling him and doing a fabulous job. This December, he came into Sunday school able to recite the first twelve verses of Luke two! It’s not just the young moms who are wonderful, either. There’s another mother at church, whose daughter is married and has an adorable son of her own, and whose son is almost finished with college. Seeing how she supports them and her husband and is so focused on God is so inspiring. So now, instead of seeing motherhood as a boring life you get stuck with if you get married, it’s become an adventure, a calling, the greatest task I could imagine undertaking. But one thing I noticed about these women, there’s nothing about them the world would label as spectacular. They’re just everyday women following God and doing amazing things.
So that’s what I aspire to be. Not amazingly common, but commonly amazing. I want to do commonly amazing things. I know I can’t be something to everyone, but maybe I could be everything to someone. To be a loving and supportive wife to the wonderful man God has picked out for me, to see the love shining in those childish eyes, hear the sweet voice calling “Mommy”… now that would be something amazing. Maybe even to be an example for some poor, confused teenage girl wondering what to do with her life. That’s what God made women for. No, I’m not saying the only thing we should do is be mothers, but that’s the main purpose He designed us for. Since I’m nothing too special, it only makes sense that I would follow the norm. But because I’m trying to follow it His way, rather than just going with the flow, I pray that He’ll do something worthwhile through me. Something commonly amazing.