Moses in Red Heels

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I am loving the ‘Words that Changed my World‘ series so much! Today’s guest is Aleah Marsden: a gem of a writer who I count as a true friend. This is a story I’ve been waiting to share with you!


I do not recall the exact words of the conversation, just the echoes of her question remains. Something to the effect of: why load your future family down with the debt of an expensive degree you don’t really need to do what you’re supposed to do—be a stay at home mom?

Apparently my teenage self was too preoccupied to take in the weight of that moment. Too distracted by the twinkling engagement ring on my left hand, hinting at a new and shiny future, to notice the heavy stone that had just been dropped into the pool of my soul.

I have looked back on this moment often, almost unable to recognize the girl who smiled and nodded away her hopeful ambitions with almost no second thought. I was told the path of following Christ was that of sacrifice. Even if the sacrifice was my very self I would willingly give it. So, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, I laid down my plans for the “big picture.”

It would be four kids and the better part of ten years before I would begin to realize the cost of my unquestioning commitment to the idealism dropped into to my open hands. Countless tears shed in frustration and bearing the guilt of always feeling like a square peg with a round purpose. Always praying for contentment but unable to shake the feeling I was swimming against a great current; unable to escape the pull of the vortex of the dream for my life I still felt swirling inside.

Then came the words I will never forget.

I had spent years praying God would send me a Moses; someone to help lead me out of the Egypt of my own design. My Moses stepped into the scene wearing sassy red heels. She was the mother of a college student I had been mentoring. Jenn is many things I am not: tall, outspoken, truthful, and direct. She would be intimidating were it not for her boisterous easy laugh, quick wit, and giant smile.

We were sitting on my kid-stained couch on a sunny Friday morning and I had just poured out the angst that had been pooling inside for so long. She looked into my eyes blurry with unshed tears and said, “Have you ever considered writing?” One small new question that crushed the stronghold the former question had held for so many years.

In that moment, in the sunshine of spring, watered by my own tears and nourished by my mentor’s wisdom, the seed of my dreams buried for so long beneath dry soil—sprouted. And from what I thought was death new life flourishes.

profile picAleah Marsden is a stay at home mom of four who wakes up at 5am to study the Bible and write because she discovered physical exhaustion is more manageable than emotional exhaustion (i.e. consumes copious amounts of coffee). She blogs about life, faith, and studying the Bible at Member of Redbud Writers Guild. Connect with her on Twitter: @marsdenmom

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9 thoughts on “Moses in Red Heels”

  1. I LOVE THIS POST! I apologize for the all caps, but seriously, the awesome shoes notwithstanding, someone said the exact same thing to me about “why get the expensive degree …” I wanted to be a doctor when I was graduating from high school… but clearly (add snark) God could never have such a call on my life because it would conflict with my pre-determined destiny as wife/mother. I have grieved so many years over the loss — not necessarily of being a doctor but of knowing deep in my soul that God called me to Kingdom work, work that may or may not include being a wife and mother. Thanks so much for writing this part of your story and godspeed on your writing career!

    1. Karen,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I totally feel you on the “pre-determined destiny” that too many of us are force-fed. When I look back I see it as a sad consequence of my not knowing Him better than what other people were telling me about HIm. I’m so thankful He wastes nothing of our experience, and even in the midst of the mess I am still living His “Plan A” for my life. I’m praying He continues to direct your steps down the straight (albeit circuitous) route to knowing Him more!

    2. Karen, you have been doing great things for God as long as I’ve known you. (Let’s be reasonable and not admit how long that’s been, OK?) I’m glad you started blogging so more people can benefit from what you are doing in his kingdom.


  2. Pingback: Moses in Red Heels | Depth of the Riches Moses in Red Heels | Diving into the Word

  3. Aleah, I love this line “the Egypt of my own design” because I can see how I’ve created my own Egypts too. I am so glad that woman asked you that question about writing!

    1. Sometimes I think God disciplines us by giving us exactly what we ask Him for! Which He always ends up using to bless us in the long run. And I’m so thankful, too. Writing was something I had been mulling over for years but needed someone to call it out for me.

  4. I am continuously grateful for a mother (now in her 70’s!) who worked alongside my father first on the farm and then on the mission field for nearly 40 years. She modelled real team work for us and it was never even a question that I would get a degree and work alongside my husband.
    I also love when someone does call out something in you that either you were mulling over or hadn’t even got that far! So special – and hoping, praying and trying to do that for other women.

    1. Kathy, just saw this and you have no idea how much your encouragement means to me at this very moment. Your words have been used powerfully, thank you!

  5. Beautifully written and very thought provoking. I shed many tears during my “Toddler & young child Mommy” years struggling to find myself as well as help the family manage. A small boy clinging to the car door crying as I left for a night class “No Mama, Please, I don’t want you to be a nurse”. A little girl crying because Daddy couldn’t do her hair just right. Overhearing our oldest child tell her siblings “It isn’t always fun to get older, because you have more responsibilities”..I prayed, cried, talked to God, wondering if I was doing the right thing? if I was going to regret missing those years that really do fly by? Now, all the children are grown, I thank God daily for opening doors. Nursing isn’t always easy buy very rewarding,- Yes! “God disciplines us by giving exactly what we ask for, and He always blesses us in the long run” *Love your blogs marsdenmom, stay encouraged

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