As the oldest girl in my family, middle child and the daughter of a NASA Engineer, it was not a question of furthering my education after high school, it was only a question of where and what would I study. To put this scenario in perspective, you must know I am a true ‘baby boomer’ and was determined to prove myself to be the ‘super woman’ that society said I should be.
I planned to have it all: college education + career+ family + home = success—all those material things that our generation deemed the definition of success. Even though I was raised in a traditional, Southern Baptist, family, I had totally left God out of my equation. That is, until He made his presence known in a powerful way.
I graduated from Auburn University in 1986 and was hired by the Federal Reserve System into the management program, one of the few females in management at that time. After a couple of years of building my career with a few promotions, I married and had my first child, Jaclyn, in 1991. I was the first female to return to a management position after giving birth but I was determined to prove I could have it all—you know: career, family, home, money—still leaving God out of the equation.
Having a second child was more difficult than we had anticipated. After experiencing miscarriages, I was emotionally and physically drained and totally stressed out! Now I decide to ask God – Why? What do I need to do? What’s next? Through all of these questions, God made Himself known to me in so many powerful ways.
He clearly asked me, “What’s important to you? Where do I fit into this picture of success?” At that point, I decided to focus on God first, family next and then the work. With no job opportunities in sight, I turned in my notice after almost 8 years. Don’t get me wrong, I was scared about what was ahead, but I knew without a doubt that God was leading me down my path. I had to be faithful to what God was calling me to do.
God has perfect timing. Within 3 weeks of submitting my notice of resignation, I found out I was having my second child, John Michael, who was born in 1994. If I had known I was expecting, I would have let fear of future finances keep me in my stressful work situation. God knew that and timed everything perfectly.
What’s your equation for Success? Does God just ‘fit’ in or is He the source? God only gives us what He knows we can handle – even if we don’t realize we can handle it. Let your success be defined by who you are in Christ, not what the world says you should be!