Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Insight Number One

Write down the revelation and make it plain. - Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV)
Writing helps me to figure things out. In the middle of a page I suddenly understand something better—I see something in a different light. Sometimes that “something” is me. Sometimes it’s a situation or a circumstance. Sometimes it’s another person.
That’s why I keep a spiritual journal. My spiritual journal these days isn’t a dumping station, like my earlier journals were. Rather, it’s a place to record the thoughts and insights that come to me as I spent time with God, reading, praying, meditating, listening for the still, small voice. Time alone with God always gives a fresh perspective. And I want to record it so I remember it.

At the end of the last blog entry, I promised  to share some of these insights with you in future columns. Today I’ll share what I call Insight Number One.
I’d long felt guilty about not keeping a job like my husband, who’s worked for one employer now for 27 years. My sister-in-law has worked at the Indiana County Courthouse for 40 years. And here I am. I’ve never had one job for more than five years. I’ve taught full time for both the public school and the Christian school, I’ve subbed both day-to-day and long term for teachers on sabbatical leaves, and I’ve worked part-time and full-time for two different newspapers. All in the 39 years since I graduated from college. Those working stints were really like punctuation points in my life. Comparing myself with my husband and my sister-in-law, I felt selfish, fickle, flighty. Didn’t I stick with anything for the long term?
During my retreat time, God gave me the answer: Yes. My husband. In December we’ll celebrate our thirty-eighth anniversary. I fell in love with him on a cold January night in 1973, and I’m in love with him still. We built a family, a house, and a life together.
On Sept. 12, I wrote in my journal: “Working outside of the home (teaching, writing for the newspapers) has never been a career for me, but rather spaces of service. My career has been to be a wife, mother, now grandmother, and homemaker, and to serve God where I can with the talents and opportunities He’s given me.”
God calls each of us to different things, and He’s gifted us uniquely to serve a unique purpose. Comparing myself with another doesn’t do me—or anyone else—any good.
Time alone with God helped me to see the constants in my life: faith, family, and friends.
What else do I need?
Out of my distress I called to You, Lord. You answered me and set me free. With You on my side, I do not fear. You are my strength and my song. You have become my salvation (Based on Psalm 118:5-6, 14). Amen.


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