It’s been 5 years now since the ministry that Brian and I had lived for over 20 years closed down. Those years made sense. It’s what we had trained for and felt called to. God combined both of our giftings and training and placed us in a setting where we could be used. Then it suddenly ended and Brian couldn’t find a full time job. For 5 years he has worked a job that he was not trained for, in a setting he is not comfortable in, and has only been able to use his giftings on a part time basis.
This is not what we felt called to. This does not make sense.
One day at a time we have put one foot in front of the other as we have grieved the loss of what we loved and what was our life for so long. We have questioned why God hasn’t provided another ministry for us to serve in. We have experienced the loss of both of Brian’s parents. There have been tears, questions, confusion–and a resolve to be faithful no matter what. Why?
Because life isn’t about us!
Of course we would be beyond thrilled if God provided a job doing what we feel we are most suited for, but clearly He has different plans. He has spent the past 5 years stripping us of who we were and drawing us into a more intimate and reliant relationship with him. But it’s not all about us…there is something else he has done!
The following is a list of some of the people that God has brought into our lives through the jobs that don’t seem to fit our idea of what is right for us:
- Two millionaire Buddhists from China who now own the property we live on.
- Two nonbelieving men who have been Brian’s bosses – one who lost his mother about the same time my precious mother-in-law passed away, giving Brian an opportunity to share about his hope in Christ.
- One of the highest ranking Muslim Sheiks in his country (think the royal family!) who flew in to look at the property we live on with hopes of buying it.
- One of John F. Kennedy’s nephews who toured the campus hoping to purchase it for his non profit organization.
- A professional basketball player who is now training in our on-campus gym.
- Multiple contractors and people from the community who are renting space on campus.
- A pastor who spent multiple hours talking with Brian while holding church services on campus, finally discovering that his “denomination” was actually a cult.
- Dozens of residents who rent apartments in the on campus housing – some that Brian has had the privilege of helping get their feet back on the ground financially and who couldn’t afford to live anywhere else.
- The opportunity to work part time with, travel with, and serve a professional sports team.
- And the opportunity to teach part time at a local University and share Christ with unbelieving students.
- And I could go on and on!
Each of these people have had, at the very least, a brief encounter with Jesus.
No. This life is not about us. It’s about giving God free reign to use us in any way he chooses. It’s about quiet acceptance when God decides to take us out of our comfort zone, putting us in places that we don’t feel qualified or into positions that we weren’t trained for, allowing Him to work through our inadequacy.
This way of living is not easy and it doesn’t always make sense humanly speaking. But in light of the gospel and eternity, it is all a part of God’s bigger plan, and I am so grateful that he has included us in that plan!
We’re in this together! Keep clinging!