I have wondered when I read all the articles and hear conferences about how-to and here is how to live the Christian life, have faith, raise kids (and these are certainly needed), how these folks know for certain that what they are saying is for sure going to work for most folks in these situations. Perhaps this is the message they have been given by God, but I realized this morning while continuing to ponder the blog post theme this month regarding Challenges the one message I have is God.
How did I raise my children to become committed God-followers in the midst of chaos? Yes, I’m a reader, and I did read many how-to books, but the bottom line is God. How do I face any challenge that is new to me? I may fuss and fume and make several false starts and read how-to books, but the bottom line is that finally I ask God to make me able – to change me- so that he can be glorified in the situation.
For example, the part of me that people like is the part where I am able to get Cindy out of the way and let God’s light shine through me. By nature I am a moderately extreme introvert. I am also an information person. To quote a preacher friend, “If someone told me they were going to shut me in a library alone for two weeks, I would ask them if they wouldn’t please make it a month.”
However, it doesn’t take long spending time in scripture to discover that people are priority with God. He created people; He loves people; He guides and interacts with people; He died for people. So, because I am God’s daughter and people are priority with him, then I work to make people priority with me also. However, I could not healthily nor happily go so against my human nature without the help of God himself.
I work as a nurse because I am led to do so and this nurtures the part of me that desires to help and make this world a better place. I teach nursing courses at a local university and this fulfills the part of me that desires to teach, now that my children are grown and no longer need me to teach them as they did when they were fully my responsibility. I participate in corporate worship (which, after all, is an extrovert activity) because I want to spend time, along with brothers and sisters who have been adopted just like me, thanking, worshiping, and praising my father. And he blesses me.
Do I still need solitude? Absolutely. Do I also spend regular quiet time with God, just him and me? Absolutely. I need solitude to regroup, restore, think, and process. This contributes to my overall health.
However, when a new challenge comes along, after kicking, crying, and gnashing of teeth, I remember to ask God to change me in that particular situation; to heal the broken parts of me that are keeping me from successfully meeting the challenges of the new situation and each time I find him faithful.
So, how did I raise my children as committed God followers in the midst of chaos? God made me able. How am I able to forgive those who have betrayed and cut my heart to the quick? God makes me able. How am I able to work full-time in a demanding nursing job immersed in people all week and also teach university students? God makes me able.
So I guess what I am saying is that the one message I have is God. Yes, when we face challenging situations, by all means, we need to gain new information, speak to others who have experience with similar situations, make the hard decisions and move forward. But we also need to remember to ask God for his ideas, what he thinks about the challenge, how we should handle things. And ask him to heal the broken parts of us that are keeping us from meeting the challenges in our lives successfully. The one thing I can tell you for certain from experience. God is faithful.