Six years ago I graduated from college, married Eric, began my first “real” job, moved away from everyone we knew, and my husband started graduate school.

It was exciting. I was now my best friend’s wife. We were on an adventure. But all these changes also came with new responsibilities. Many of the luxuries I had known in college disappeared. And with them vanished the avenues I had equated with growing as a Christian.

  • 2 hour lunches with friends.
  • A constant flow of topics to wrestle with from a Biblical perspective.
  • Being surrounded 24-7 by other women seeking God.
  • Late night discussions with roommates.
  • Endless hours to pray, meditate on Scripture, and study.

I was desperate for these things. Not a morning person by nature, I began waking up at something like 5:30 so that I would have time to study and pray before work. But the hour or so every morning hardly compared to what I had known in college. Eric was studying theology and we would talk in the evenings. But I was tired when I came home from work and wasn’t used to the lack of energy I had to participate in these discussions. By the time dinner was cleaned up I was exhausted and ready for bed.

After about three years I began crying out to God, “What does it look like to grow now?” My job and my responsibilities as a wife seemed like they were getting in the way of me becoming more like Christ.

There are certainly times when pursuing a particular job would be unwise because of the way it could deplete us of time or energy to grow spiritually and invest spiritually in our families. But in my case God had continually confirmed that he wanted me in my particular job and he began to show me something different: I do not become more patient when I have unlimited time studying God’s word or while I’m drinking coffee with a great friend. God was producing patience in me when I got up every day and went to a job that was difficult for me.

It’s not that the Spiritual disciplines were unimportant. They were essential to equip me to face each day. But they alone did not make me more like Christ. He had a role for my new responsibilities too. The things I had thought were taking me away from God were actually making me more like Him.

Have you struggled to know how to grow as a Christian when you entered a new season of life? What has God taught you about how to become more like him in the circumstances you’re in right now?

 

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