Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Red Letters

I finished reading Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds by Tom Davis last week. It was a pretty easy read. In essence it is about being Christ's hands and feet and taking care of the poor, the ill and the fatherless. The author mainly focuses on the HIV crises in Africa, however, he gets the point across that we need to be "Christ" to all who are suffering. This is something that has been on my mind for about the last 6 months. I have been afflicted with depression and anxiety attacks for many years now (for which I have to take medication), and then I had my miscarriage last fall. My older son has a lot of allergies, and my younger son is hearing impaired. My husband and I have always struggled financially. I keep thinking that God wants me to use these trials in my life in order to help others.

I keep asking God what exactly it is that He wants me to do. Should I continue with my job at the preschool? It's a ministry as well and when you work in ministry, either as a volunteer or as an employee, you definitely come in contact with a lot of hurting people. Many parents have lost their jobs and have had to ask for help regarding tuition. We lost one mom to ALS last fall and now have a dad in intensive care with leukemia. We have a mom who recently went to jail and will be there for a least a year. Not to mention the strained relationships that we see due to divorce. Is this where I should stay?

I've mentioned before that I sponsor a boy through Compassion International. I would love to be able to afford to sponsor more children. Does God want me to work with orphans and underprivileged kids? Does He want me to adopt a child?

My neighbor and I have been talking about starting a Moms in Touch group for the middle school and high school here. Is this what God wants me to do? Or should I start some kind of outreach for women who are suffering from depression or anxiety or who have experienced a miscarriage? Should I help guide parents through the early intervention and special education maze? Some parents just have a hard time accepting that their child has a disability and they could use someone to talk to.

Does my own family need more of me? Even though I work, I don't feel like a "working" mom because I'm home when my kids get home from school 99% of the time. I'm home every weekend, get 2 weeks off for Christmas and my summers off. Plus, my workplace is very family friendly and my husband works from home, so I really don't feel that my kids are lacking "parent" time. The funny thing is, I know my oldest son would prefer if I didn't work at all (even though he's at school when I'm at work). My husband would like for me to quit due to how I was treated by a pastor and some elders at this church during the two years I served as the school's director. However, he knows I like working with children and that I've got a pretty good gig where I'm at.

As you can see, I've got plenty to pray about concerning God's will for my life! Honestly, I do feel that God is turning me away from my job. My problem is trusting Him for our finances. Being a teacher at a Christian preschool certainly doesn't pay a lot, but it does help us get by each month. I was asked to work more hours next school year while one of our teachers takes a one year sabbatical, but I politely declined and actually asked to work fewer hours (which made my hubby happy). My boss agreed to this.

Dear friends, please pray for me as I go about seeking God's will. And remember to be seeking His will for yourselves as well. We are here to serve Him, and I know He wants us to do this by serving others. I think being a Godly example to others is more important than preaching AT others. (Oops! Am I preaching here?!) Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say. I think it's better when people see Christ in us through what we do and how we conduct ourselves rather than if we try to push God and His Word on them in a "holier than thou" manner. We all want to be loved, accepted and understood right where we're at. I just pray that God can show all of us what our hands, feet and hearts can do for others and that He'll give us the right words to share with them as well.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Matthew 25:42-43

...I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Matthew 25:45

3 comments:

Tea With Tiffany said...

I read Red Letters and was shaken. Still trying to hear God's direction about what to do on my end. Don't want it to just tug on my heart for a moment, want it to produce life change.

I understand about being in a place of change. I trust as you seek God HE will direct your path and guide your family. I quit my fulltime job 11 years ago and miraculously God has provided. I don't even know how we did it because on two incomes we were tight. I believe God blessed our prayerful decision. He will do the same for you.

Thanks for sharing. I also understand anxiety. I've struggled there too.

God bless,

Tiffany

Sheryl said...

thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

wow, you have a lot going on right now. when it rains, it pours, doesn't it? but it also sounds as if you know where to put your faith and trust. HE will show you the way, just may not be as quicky as we would like.

i will be back to see where this journey takes you!

Faith said...

I pray that God would show you clearly what He would have you to do as far as your job and ministry goes. He will do it!

Thank you for sharing another scripture on perseverance. I really appreciate it!