Sunday, April 20, 2014

Perception--Will I Write a Book?

It was early in my career when I first had the thought to write a book.  The thought would come to the forefront of my mind anytime I was faced with children crying for someone to help them, parents desperately seeking to control themselves after being caught in a moment of passion, enraged adults taking their anger out on the innocent, or people of all ages losing control emotionally thus making attempts at their own lives.  The end results included threats, death, harm to others, emotional distress, tears of sorrow, loud voices, hallow words.  The title of my book has been unwavering--"All the Things I Wish I'd Never Seen."  I have repeated that title to many people over the course of my social work career.  I knew inside I would take many of the details of situations I have been involved with to my grave.

Yesterday, I was hit emotionally like a tornado in an open field tearing apart the old barn in its path  shattering the splinters of the wood then tossing all the contents to and fro.  Why would I wish away where God ordered my footsteps?  After all, I have also had an unwavering life verse.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. NIV

I actually never really meant that I wish I had not seen any of these things.  I count it a privilege that God has trusted me enough to place me in the middle of tragedy, heartache and loss of others.  I know I am unworthy of the calling but early in my Christian life I dedicated my life to mission work. I spent brief time in Thailand, but my heart longed for home.  I never felt I missed the call or neglected what God placed on my heart.  I instead found the job he gave me stateside, right in my back yard, to be my mission field.  

I recently began reading 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp as part of a Wednesday night Bible Study.  Ann challenges us to change our perspective and live a life of eucharisteo...a life where we find thankfulness in situations we are faced with.  Her challenge was to look for God in the situations He places us in including the simple daily tasks.  If you have never read the book, it is worth the investment....I could never do it justice. I can say, however, it has changed the way I look at the blessings I have each day before me.  I don't find pleasure in situations that cause a mother to fear for her child or a parent to long for healing, but I find contentment in the fact that God found me worthy of being His hands and feet in these situation.  May I never again wish away the privilege God has given me as He allows me to walk with others during hard times.  

May you find contentment in the place God has you. Like Paul, we need to learn to be content where ever God has placed us. We are all in different places in life.  Where ever you are, if you are a believer, be content.  God makes no mistakes.  He has placed you there for a reason.

Phillipians 4:11-12

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. NIV

I was talking to someone yesterday who was faced with a heart wrenching issue.  These were not just words I used, these are heart dripping emotions from having been there done that...I stated, "Endure this my friend, stand strong.  Don't let your testimony be tainted.  God will see you through and when He does He will use you for His glory.  Someone else weaker will come along unable to endure, God will place you in their path to speak as a sojourner having been in the valley before. Count it a blessing He saw you worthy."   May those who come behind you find you faithful!  

Finish the fight well my friends!  Be able to say:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV

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