I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for six years. It was an easy choice for me to stop working and be home with my babies, but it was not an easy transition. I’ve always been a very driven person, working hard to achieve my next academic and then professional goal. I excelled in school, got the exact job I wanted right out of college and quickly got promoted. When my husband joined the Air Force and I had to leave that job behind, I immediately found another job in our new location, doing something I knew next to nothing about. But that didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to be working. God gave me this very driven personality that was accustomed to measuring success with grades in school and then with good jobs. When I stopped working to stay home with my kids, it wasn’t easy. I had to slow down. I had to find my worth in something besides my job. I had to reprioritize everything.
Fast forward 6 years and 3 babies later, and now I find myself having to reprioritize all over again, in the opposite direction. The kids’ schedule has been my schedule for years. I’ve learned how important it is to maximize nap times as a time for me to relax, so I can be re-energized when everyone wakes up. I’m used to my life revolving around a baby or toddler’s schedule, and the most important things being whether I have enough diapers in the diaper bag and making sure we got home in time for afternoon naps. But now my oldest is in school full-time, my youngest is almost 2 years old and God has put it on my heart to take the next step – go back to work.
At first, I wasn’t sure what He meant. Did He want me putting my youngest in daycare and finding a 9-5 job? I felt absolutely NO peace about that. So, I started looking for work-at-home jobs. As you know, there are so many at-home jobs for moms out there right now, most of them falling in the MLM category. I am 100% certain that God did not give me the gift of sales. I am not meant to sell skin care or leggings or makeup or anything of that kind, no matter how successful other people may be with that line of work. My skills are writing and organization. Plus, after six years of staying home with little kids and using my phone as the gateway to adult interaction every day, I figured I could add “social media” to that list as well. But how on earth was I going to find a way to get paid to write, organize and use social media, all while staying at home with my kids? It seemed a little too good to be true, but I started praying about it daily. I asked God to show me what He wanted me to do in this season.
This was the first time in my life that I’d prayed for work. I completely put my trust in the Lord to bring me the right job and I felt such peace while I waited for that job to appear. I was excited to see what He wanted me to do. Maybe I’d be able to work for a church or a non-profit! I ended up talking to a friend of mine who worked from home, for her church. She also had done some work as a Virtual Assistant, something I’d never heard of. The “working for the church” part of the conversation is what I latched onto because it seemed like an obvious choice if I wanted to be doing “God’s work”, but my mind wouldn’t let go of Virtual Assistant.
A day or two after this conversation with my friend, I decided to research Virtual Assistant a little more. That’s when things started happening pretty quickly. I went into my local mommy Facebook group and posted: “Is anyone in this group a Virtual Assistant? I’d love to pick your brain.” Someone commented saying they were a VA and would be happy to chat with me. This led to a lengthy conversation full of wonderful advice on how to get started in the Virtual Assistant world. I immediately knew this was the job for me. She even told me I could specialize in writing and make a fair amount of income with it. On top of that, she said she actually needed a writer for help on some of her projects and offered to hire me as a subcontractor, so I could gain some experience! It seemed like a dream come true, working from home, setting my own hours and getting paid to write! It was actually an answered prayer. It was almost exactly what I had prayed for. I went from having no idea what kind of work I was going to do to being hired as a writer in a matter of a couple of weeks.
The blessings continued after that. My VA mentor introduced me to a big client who needed a writer for her team. Within a few weeks, I had an interview with her and was ready to start writing for her website. And another simple Facebook post in a Virtual Assistant group introduced me to another client looking for a long-term writer for their new company. It truly did feel too good to be true. It was happening so quickly and I completely credit that to God. I trusted His plan for me and followed His guidance for the first time in my professional life, and it was really paying off.
But it wasn’t easy. Trusting God’s timing on everything is what turned out to be tricky for me. I like to get things done quickly. I worked in a TV newsroom for four years, where you only have a few hours from the time you get an assignment to the time it has to be finished, including videos and interviews and driving and no lunch breaks. Now I’m working in a job where it can be days or even weeks from the time you sign a contract to the time you get some actual work from your client. In my head, the timeline should go:
-Interview at 10 am Monday
-Contract sent by Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning
-First assignment given Tuesday or Wednesday and due by Friday
Now, this is ridiculous. I’m only able to work 2-3 hours a day and still be a fully functioning wife and mother. My kids aren’t in daycare, they’re home with me. I can’t spend 8 hours a day on the computer while they tear down the house. So, if I only have a couple of hours a day to devote to this job, obviously things will take longer. And here’s the thing: everyone else I’m working with is in the same situation. They too are stay-at-home moms, with little ones at their feet and laundry piling up on the couch. They too only have a few hours a day to devote to this job. But have I mentioned that patience is not something that comes easily to me?
What I discovered after a couple of weeks of feeling extremely stressed out because I wasn’t getting any actual work, despite signing contracts and having excellent interviews, was that I needed to trust God’s timing on all of this. As soon as that computed in my brain and was absorbed in my heart, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I was spinning out, thinking I’d never get work but then worrying at the same time that I’d get too much work at once and not be able to handle it all.
The name of my Virtual Assistant business is Pursuit of Peace, and I’d forgotten to pursue peace in my own life! When you have the hope and love that comes from Jesus, peace is always there. As soon as I remembered that all of this is in God’s hands and will unfold in His perfect timing, I no longer felt any stress at all. I know God is bringing me these specific clients. I know God will bring me work from those clients at the perfect time. I don’t need to worry about any of it. I just need to continue to pray for His help and follow His guidance as I grow this business. Pursuing peace is actually pretty simple when you let God take the reins.