Which Career Path Should I Take?

by Shelley Noonan

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” — Matthew 6:24

As a high school senior, I had no clear career goals. Because I’d taken music lessons for 10 years, it was sort of assumed I’d be a music teacher. So off to college I went, only to survive a semester before returning home. I was miserable away from home and quickly realized I was wasting everyone’s time and money.

Because I had acquired clerical skills in high school, I entered the workforce as an accounting clerk, then took a position as a receptionist/secretary where I was trained as a computer systems manager.When I married, I was making quite a good salary for someone without a college degree, and we quickly grew accustomed to having two incomes — buying a townhouse, a new car, expensive Christmas presents for all our family members, never ever shopping at Aldi, etc.

We didn’t realize we were serving false gods — the gods of money and self and materialism.

When our first child was born, I wanted nothing more than to stay home and be a mom. But we were trapped. We had a mortgage. We had a car payment. We had quite a load of debt.Thankfully God dragged us out of the pit we had dug for ourselves and I have been a homeschool mom since our firstborn was one year old.

Looking back, I wish I had been counseled to do it differently. But without realizing it, feminism convinced me to accept the inevitable fact that I would spend my life in the service of some corporation, as a cog in the wheel that makes the world go ‘round, for my own fulfillment and satisfaction. But it didn’t satisfy, and I wish I had prepared for the roles of wife and mother that our last chapter so wonderfully reminds us are the roles we are fitted for.

If I’d had a vision of these roles of service to my husband and children, I likely would have chosen a career that would equip me to better fulfill my current duties. I would perhaps have pursued child development and education, which could have given me skills for the future challenge of home educating our children. I could have continued with my music training, which would have enabled me to teach not only my own children at home but take on other students to contribute towards the family economy.

While none of us can truly know as a young girl what our situation will be in 10 or 15 years, what career or business our future husband may be in and what assistance he may have need of, what economic or financial challenges we will face as managers of our homes, we can trust the God who made us with gifts and interests and skill sets. Perhaps the most important thing a young woman can do as she begins to make decisions about her life’s work is to pray. Ask God to show you what HE wants you to do.

I know of two women who were led into the nursing field as young ladies. Both are homeschool moms now, but that does not mean they are not using their skills. One married a doctoral student and plans to return with her husband to his native country of Nigeria as missionaries. The other has adopted a special needs child and serves as the unofficial health adviser to our church body. God knew they would need their nursing skills to be helpers to their husbands, mothers to their children, and members of the Body of Christ, even if they are not receiving paychecks for working in their fields of expertise.

If your interests and skills lean in a particular direction, I would like to encourage you to consider how you might begin a home-based business. While this is by no means an easy proposition, it has great advantages in that you will not find yourself having to answer to someone who may not share your priorities, beliefs and values. And if you start early, while still in your parents’ home, there is a safety net against failure and there is time to try many options until you find the one that is right for you.

If your interests and skills are not quite so clear, take advantage of opportunities to learn a wide variety of skills. Take classes. Read. Study. Dabble. Perhaps you will find something you are good at that you never thought you would enjoy.

And most of all, pray. God has a plan for you. He knows what the future holds. See to serve Him first of all.

Barb is first and foremost a Daughter of the King.“Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.”

She gives all glory and praise to God for what HE has done in her life and in the life of her family.
She has been married to her Mr. Steady and chef for twenty-one years. They home disciple and educate their four children — three boys ranging in age from 17 to 5, and one daughter Katie (10) who blogs with Barb on their new site, “Training our Daughters,” which just launched this September.  They are excited about embarking on this keepers-at-home journey with other moms and daughters.

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