I had been walking with Christ since I was a child, but as a mother of two young children, I found myself in a profoundly dark place after the loss of our third baby. I had been in a car accident and had miscarried a few days following. Months had passed, but I could not completely shake the grief that engulfed my heart. In that same season, we had moved across town. The new home needed extensive repairs, but we were struggling financially. I began to see only those things that had not come to pass—the loss of our child and our acute lack of resources. I had grown up with material abundance, so this type of scarcity was foreign to me as an adult. When I had experienced emotional pain in my youth, I was accustomed to relying on distracting my heart with the false comfort of clothing, decor, entertaining, and travel. Now none of these distractions were readily available.
It was during this dry, dark season that a friend gave me a book wherein a short biography of Saint Francis was laid forth over just a few pages. I recall sitting in my den, on the faded carpet I desperately wanted to replace, and reading the account of the wild, youthful Saint Francis. He had experienced an encounter with God, turning his back on worldly wealth to embrace the heart and essence of the Gospel and rebuild the church. As I finished the short excerpt, a dam broke inside me, and the numb oppression shrouding my conscience gave way to tears.
The exhaustion of caring for our two first children under the age of five, all while being strapped by simple means and managing grief, had worn me thin. I had wandered into an aimless, numb territory, forgetting my purpose. This saint, this friend, this lively witness beckoned me closer to God. I, too, could surrender it all—calling me to an uncompromising purity of love for God—to a devotion to the heart of the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit spoke through Saint Francis. I sensed a renewal awakening in me—a vital light of hope and purpose washing over me. I remember looking into the tender, innocent eyes of my then three-year-old child and the scales beginning to fall. God’s call and even the details were no accident. God had called me to give up my worldly pursuit and to rebuild my very heart that lay in ruins—to be a vital part of this rebuilding through the mission of motherhood and vocation to family.
That day, I looked again into those soft brown eyes of my curly-headed child, and I could see the expansive reality of my mark, my purpose on generations to come through simple means—warm meals, bedtime prayers, folded laundry, talks, and long nights coupled with long hugs. I was being called to love purely and in simplicity, leaving an authentic, enduring mark on the world for eternity.
Prayer: God, you call out to me today. In this house. In this marriage. In these children. You call me to a spiritual mission. I thank you that you have made me a part of something beyond what the world could ever give or my human eye could comprehend. I embrace your call to surrender to simplicity (family) and embrace humility (simple means). Give me the mind of Christ to see the incredible opportunities to offer my life as a prayer for the eternal purposes of rebuilding family—of being a vital domestic leader that will help “rebuild the church that is falling into ruin.”