Opportunity is a funny thing. The age-old adage is, "When opportunity knocks, answer the door!" Never is that more true than in my life since becoming an entrepreneur. When an opportunity presents itself that seems good for my business, I will almost always readily say yes - yes to a great experience, yes to more financial stability, yes to the next client who lights up my world.
I often feel the weight of the world on my shoulders as a solopreneur. Of course Nathan still has a full-time job so if something crazy happened with my business we would be well taken care of, but I have always been about proving myself. This started when I was little (any other middle children out there?!) and has continued to this day. I want to prove to the world that I can be successful. I want to prove to Nathan that I really do work hard when I am at home in yoga pants all day. And mostly, I want to prove to myself that the girl who was late every single day in high school is long gone, and instead has become a self-sufficient, independent, entrepreneur who will make her business work.
The truth is, all this proving is both exhausting and unnecessary. If God defines my success (and He does), then I do not need to prove myself to anyone else. Nathan trusts me enough to never question what I do at home - he knows I am a hard worker and has never suggested otherwise. So it really boils down to what I think of myself - and my identity should never come from my work.
Recently I had an opportunity come up that I said yes to. It brought the promise of enjoyable work and increased financial stability, so for me it was automatic. But that evening, as I told Nathan about it, he said something that stuck with me. While he was completely on board with my decision before I totally committed, he reminded me that before any opportunity comes our marriage. No matter how great something looks - whether because of money, the experience, or something totally different - the absolute priority is whether or not we are honoring God by balancing our life and work in a way that sustains a healthy marriage.
I know this. Through and through. I would tell someone else the same thing. And yet living it out is difficult for me. When I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I want to be able to hustle all. day. long. to provide and prove that I can.
But if in the proving, and in the striving, I neglect the most important things, the only thing I will prove is that I have not learned to prioritize the people I love most in this world, and the reason I have been given the gift of my life in the first place.
So when opportunity knocks, I will answer. But as the door swings open I will take time to ask what sacrifices I will make by stepping through the door - and if it will be worth it in the end.