Written by Megan Andrews a core team member at Inspiring Hope Church.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In February, my Husband and I welcomed into the world the newest addition to our family, a sweet baby girl. Having welcomed our son into the world 17 months prior, the routine with a newborn felt very natural: eat, sleep, change diapers, repeat. Already having completed this chapter with one child, we’ve felt much more confident as we’ve been strolling through this phase again. The difference this go-around, is having firsthand knowledge that life indeed, goes by way to fast. It seems like just yesterday our son was smiling, laughing, crawling and walking, all for the first time. In the sleepless nights or long car rides with a screaming baby, it seems like time stands still. Yet, in all the joyous milestones, it seems cruel you can’t bottle those memories and feelings up and hold on to them forever.
The week before I went back to work, I held my little girl and was torn with emotions. With my son, my former employer offered 12-weeks maternity leave however with my current employer, they only offered 8-weeks. Leaving her at daycare so soon wasn’t a chapter I was looking forward to re-visiting; I cried for days when I dropped my son off initially. It was in this moment of sadness I reminded myself of all the things I should be praising God for instead of sulking over the next chapter I was about to enter.
You see, my current company is a small startup, and I knew when accepting a job with them, they didn’t have a maternity policy and legally did not have to abide by FMLA (Family Medical & Leave Act) because their small number of employees. In fact, they even told me very bluntly, if I got pregnant, they couldn’t promise I would have a job waiting for me when I came back. When praying whether I should accept this job, I remember asking God what I should do and I kept hearing him tell me “Take the job. Trust me.” I had friends and family tell me I should be cautious and pass on the opportunity for this reason alone, knowing we wanted more children. Yet I kept hearing God, “Trust me”.
Trusting in God, I accepted my current position in April 2021 and by that June, I was pregnant. Nervous to tell my Boss in fear I’d be told I’d be out a job, I waited to share the news…and waited….and waited…Finally in October, I knew I had to disclose my secret. To my surprise, my Boss was elated! “I know we don’t have a maternity leave policy, but don’t you worry, we will come up with something. We love having you on the team and don’t want to lose you!” Low and behold, my company created a maternity policy after I shared my news. The entire time, God was still whispering in my ear “Trust me”.
Throughout the Bible, we are reminded to trust in God, to praise him and give him thanks. It’s a message that’s repeated time and time again. It’s repeated so often, it sometimes ironically loses its power or significance. Yet this is the very message we should be reminded of on a daily basis. God is good and we should praise him. God wants what is best for us and that more times than not means we must trust in Him because his plans have yet to be revealed. We must trust that he will provide even when the cards are stacked against us. Then when he does provide, praise him. Don’t find a new reason to be defeated in that moment – not having a longer maternity leave. Praise him for the prayers he has answered – having a maternity leave and a job to return to!
Remember to find time to just rest in his faithfulness. With all the prayers we send up to God, remember to find equal time to praise him for everything he’s sent back down to us. Praise God for each moment you wish you could bottle up forever – it’s because of his love for us we have those moments to cherish.