Autumn seems to be a season for making changes. I’m going back to work next week after six months of maternity leave. It’s going to be in a new position in a new office with new clients and a new schedule. I’ll also be going back as a mommy and balancing childcare, housework, and everything else that life entails for the first time. In the last few weeks, I have been working through some self-doubt regarding these changes and how much easier it would be for me to stay home and avoid the workforce altogether.
You see, earlier this year, I was working toward my career goal at a grueling pace and I was always tired. It seemed that I was always scrambling and never had enough time to get it all done. Always moving from one assignment to the next, I was sleeping in my car between meetings, eating fast food, rarely socializing, and never exercising. Finally, I took my exam and passed just before my daughter was born! I was exhausted and needed a break.
Maternity leave seemed like a vacation compared to my previous pace. At first, it was glorious! However, the closer I got to going back to work, the more anxious I became. I was filled with self-doubt. I wondered if I was still any good at my vocation after six months away. I questioned my skills and became notably sad. I knew all of all of the good reasons for going back to work. I enjoy the work. I would get better pay, more opportunity, more flexibility. This was what I had worked so hard to achieve. Others encouraged me and I knew that what they said was true, so I couldn’t understand why I was so afraid to go back to work.
Then, I realized that I had overdone it. I had been taking it easy for too long. I needed to be challenged and to grow. I needed to face the fear of what might go wrong and what mistakes I might make. I needed to activate my faith.
There will be seasons when we get a little run down and need to take a break. Nonetheless, if the relaxation leads to stagnation, we need to get back to doing what we love in order to be the person that we value. In II Timothy 1:6 – 7 (NLT), we read, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” If you feel that you have been away for too long, don’t allow self-doubt, anxiety, or sadness prevent you from the pursuit of what you love. You have something to give.