Trusting in Providence as a Freelancer
“‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed from that hour” (Matthew 15:28).
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45).
What do these two verses have in common? They are both said to mothers, to women of great faith who are taking what the world would consider to be some serious risks. In the first instance, the Canaanite woman takes a chance on Jesus, asking him to heal her daughter, sight unseen. The second verse is Elizabeth speaking to her cousin Mary during the Visitation.
What makes these women so bold that others are forced to comment on it? Before I became a mother and, more specifically, a mother with a freelance business, I don’t think I fully appreciated what it took for these women to put themselves out there that boldly, all for their children.
“Did you ever think your wife would be the kind of person hustling for work at a bar on a week night?” I recently asked my husband. I had stopped in at a local winery for a drink with my friends and walked out with a business contact and, eventually, a client.
A Lay Apostolate
My vocation of writing also serves as a lay apostolate. After hours of prayer and sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I discerned that part of that lay apostolate included putting my (small) earnings toward Catholic education tuition for my three children. Despite landing quite a few contracts right off the bat when I began freelancing, things had dried up last summer, just in time for looming fall tuition deadlines.
I followed St. Ignatius of Loyola’s advice to trust that everything depended on God while acting as though everything depended on me. God provided for my children’s tuition in surprising ways while I unsuccessfully applied for numerous writing jobs. I was grateful, but I also knew I had to write and that He would provide me with a way to do that in His own time.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit, I believed that what was spoken to me by the Lord about my lay apostolate would be fulfilled. Turns out, that meant walking into a wine bar, getting involved in a conversation with the owners, and finally giving in to the internal prompt I kept hearing to ask them: “Do you need a copywriter?”
Taking a Risk
Like the Canaanite woman, I knew I was taking a chance and could run the risk of looking desperate. But then, I remembered all that Catholic education had done for my children and for our family, the ways Our Lord had shown me that this path was what was best for us in this season and I put myself out there in a vulnerable way. The owners could have said no or even laughed me out of the building. And I’d have had to ask the Holy Spirit once more for the grace to trust in God’s plan for me and my children, and to wait.
What risks are you thinking of taking professionally or personally? Do you trust that God is working through, in and with the work you’re doing right now? If you are having a hard time seeing where God is at work in your life, take it to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Rest, give it all to Him and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
If you feel prompted to take an uncomfortable risk at work, at home or in your relationships, harness your call to spiritual or physical motherhood: Think of the people under your care, and invite Jesus to help you discern how, when and where you can speak up for them.
Maggie Phillips is a freelance writer and military spouse with three small children and an incredibly patient husband. Follow her work at mrsmaggiephillips.com and on Instagram at @maggies_words.