August 3, 2012

Step Two: The Job

So with things set in their proper order, I am ready to define the next step -- the job or tasks I need to do to provide for my daily well-being. I know that I must never confuse His Work with the job I do each day to provide for my family. The Lord provides the work, and I do it -- this I know and accept. However, I have in the past spent so much time focusing on the job, that I have not focused on His work. This has caused a lot of health issues for me, and it has caused many delays in successfully moving forward in my life. I am done with the headaches, the back strain, and the feeling of being stuck in cement. To move forward, I must press on, and to press on, I must focus on the tasks that the Lord has assigned to me. My focus needs to be narrow, and I need to commit to doing what He asks of me each day. I am ready, Lord -- send me!

What to do to provide steady income for my life?

This has been the major focus of my life over the past ten to twenty years. Having worked from home in a part-time capacity, I struggled with working and being a stay at home Mom. I loved being a Mom, and it was all I wanted to do. I loved raising my child, making and keeping a home, and spending all my time doing family things. This was my life, and while I felt out of it when compared to friends who had chosen work/career over their families (or tried to do both), I reminded myself that my "work" was to be a Mom. I believed that I was called to be a Mom. It was the job God gave to me the day I found out I was pregnant with my child. I knew then that I could only do one job, and that job was to raise my son.

I cried, and I fretted for years over the fact that I wasn't able to do another calling in my life. When I was 16, I received the call to work in missions, to live my life wholly devoted to God, and to spend my days in pursuit of Him. I knew it, I knew it, and yet, I chose to follow a different path. It was not God's intention for me to be married. I have always known this, and in my heart, it grieved me that I didn't obey the Lord when He called me to live a life of single-hood. The Lord had specific plans for my life back then, and those plans, now coming to pass were to teach, and then later in life to travel abroad and minister to the people in Berlin, Paris, and northern Italy (Bologne). I was to go on to graduate school after finishing my Bachelor's, but instead I had a child. Now, all this was part of God's plan -- and I don't really like to think otherwise because the child I received is the greatest gift, next to my Savior!

I knew then I had made the wrong choice, followed the wrong path, etc. God in His Grace gave me a child, and at that time, gave me the call to be a Mom. Letting go of the other call was the hardest thing I had to do, but His Holy Spirit kept telling me to let it go, to let this be, and I did. I became a Mom, and experienced such great joy in my life. In fact, the only joy I had was in being a Mom. My marriage was not good, my married life was difficult and often painful. I found great joy in raising my son, and to this day, I thank God for his life. He has blessed me beyond blessing with the gift of a son.

Now years later, I am single of sorts. I am raising my child still, but I am also reconnected to that original call on my life. I am doing what God intended me to do in the first place, and I am blessed. I have picked up that call, and at this very late stage in my life, I am slowly accomplishing the various tasks associated with His will for my life.

The point of struggle for me has been what to do for work. I know that I was meant to teach, however, I have tried to return to that work several times, and clearly that path is blocked. I am not meant to teach now -- this was the job the Lord had chosen for me when I was 21, and not 50. Therefore, what job can I do now?

I have spent the past fifteen years as a creative designer. I like this term because it does represent me more accurately than to say web designer. Yes, I did design for the web, but I did so much more than that during those years. I have tried to return to this work, but my heart was not in it. I knew five years ago that the Lord wanted me to remain in this work. He and I spoke about it at length, but I wasn't at a place of faith where I could trust that He would provide for me. I didn't know Him well enough back then, well enough to see that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37). Now, I know Him well. I trust Him, and my faith is strong. I know what I can and cannot do, and I know that He can do whatever He determines is best -- so long as I allow Him to do it.

Twice now I have made the decision to go back into this line of work. Twice my path has been blessed. Twice I hiccuped and changed my mind, and twice I was plunged down into miserableness. They say that the third time is the charm, so I am ready now to do this work -- third time, third time will be the last.

The Plans for my JOB are simple. I will do this kind of work again, from home. I am relying on the Lord for His provision of clients, and for good projects. I cannot do it on my own, but I can do anything so long as God is in it. I am waiting for Him to provide clients, and until then I am obeying His command to "be prepared."

Step Three: Doing the Work

As God blesses me, I will continue to grow and prosper in this work. I know the plans I have for you says the Lord...

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11 NLT

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