Apr 16, 2012

STOP SHARING THE GOSPEL AND GO BACK TO SOCIAL WORK!


             

Matthew 6:26 (NKJV)

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 
         


     One day, my eldest son unexpectedly returned home. “I need a place to stay for awhile.” He said. For over one hour, I mercifully listened as my now adult son described his ugly experience of living on his own. I instantly welcomed him home.

    After he left, I began to feel the weight of all that was currently happening. My husband had just announced that he suddenly wanted a divorce, while my eldest son who had wanted nothing to do with me for over a year, now wanted to return home. Complete and utter confusion!

    Thoughts raced through my mind. “Now that my husband wants a divorce, undoubtedly, he will stop paying our household bills soon after he files the legal paperwork.  Certainly, I’ll have to go back to work to support myself and our two boys.”

    For over one year, my husband had been providing for our youngest son and myself, while I shared the Gospel with others. I loved my new job! Now, my heart sunk at the thought of returning to a job that required me to judge others. But how else would I afford for us to live?

     I decided to conduct a job search. I sat at my home computer and searched for a job opening through a Christian employment website. Unbelievably, there was an opening in the field of social work. Plus, the company was conveniently located just one town away. "What are the chances?" I questioned. Maybe God was providing a way to support myself and my two sons.
       I immediately applied for the position over the computer. Less than two hours later, I received a response along with an invitation to interview for the position. Amazing! I began to sing aloud and praise God. Thank You Jesus Christ!
     The next morning, I participated in an employment screening for the position. The interview was conducted over the Internet with the company Executive Director. During the interview, I openly shared my personal testimony.  Then, I spoke of the mix emotions I felt regarding returning to the position of Social Worker. "How was I going to return to a role that required labeling others according to their behavior, such as drug addict?" I told the Director. "I spent decades in this career judging others for their actions before I got saved." The man remained quiet and just listened as I worked through my emotions out loud. I said, "When I started to live for Jesus, I promised I would never return to what life used to be!” Surprisingly, the executive still invited me to attend a meeting with him in person. So, we scheduled a day and time for the following week in which to meet.

       I would have thought that the idea of securing employment would have brought a sense of relief. Now I no longer had to worry about becoming the sole provider to my two children. But instead, I instantly began to feel as though I was doing something horribly wrong. My heart screamed, "Don't do this! Have you completely forgotten God's generosity over the past year?" Still, my own understanding was telling me to go forward. "Maybe this job opportunity is a sign of God's grace and provision." Utter confusion set in!

     The following week, something particularly odd had happened. The doves that normally sat outside my apartment flew away. Now, all that remained was a small bird I didn't recognize. I started to ask others, "What type of bird to you think that is," as I pointed to the humble little creature. Each person simply replied, "I think it's a sparrow."
       Later on, I met with the Executive Director for our scheduled face to face meeting. My job search journey had a conclusion. I was offered the position. However, unlike in the past when I would feel a sense of satisfaction, this time when I heard the words, "I'd like to offer you the position," I felt a sensation of dread in the bottom of my stomach. Still, I accepted the position. Then, as I left the building, I noticed that my new employer's office was only a few doors away from the unemployment hearing office where I had gone earlier that same year to deny the State's offer to receive unemployment benefits. That's when I started to feel nauseous. Why was I having trouble discerning God's will? What if I disappoint God by rejecting His means of providing for my family? I questioned. I immediately tried to reason the nausea away. "I'm just feeling nervous about having a new job!"
       Later, I was invited to participate in a work related conference meeting. During the meeting, I listened as the new employer rationalized censorship of proclaiming one's faith. "Keep it professional." He said. Then, he invited the staff to a training in which each social worker would learn how to work within the confines of the counties secular guidelines. This was the very reason I quit my last job! I had been called to openly and unapologetically share the Gospel with anyone the Lord placed in my path. What was I going to do now?

    As my first day of employment crept up, I began to feel dark despair. Suddenly, past negative feelings from decades of social work erupted inside of me. Soon, I became very tired. In between parenting my young son and keeping up with the household chores, I prayed. I took naps, many naps. And, to alleviate the nausea I felt, I took antacids. Next, I reached out to my Pastor's wife for prayer and emotional support.

     The next Sunday was Easter morning. Unlike normal when I would rejoice and sing God’s unending hymns of praise, now all I could do was  lie on our couch and stare vacantly out our living room window at the sunlight that streamed between the leaves of the pine tree above. Warm beams of sunlight hit my face like mercy reaching down to save me. Suddenly, I began to reflect on God's financial faithfulness over the past year and the hope I had received in trusting in Jesus Christ as my provider. Once again, I began to pray, "Please Lord, bring me out of this spiritual pit."
       The next day, was my first day at my new job. I woke up to the same queasiness. Still, I trusted that God would be with me to guide my steps. Sure enough, God was ahead of me preparing the words of my new coworkers. I was about to receive the spiritual discernment I had prayed for. It was a spiritual attack!

      First, God revealed why I was offered the position in such haste. I listened as He revealed the true state of the agency. As others spoke around me, I held a quiet conversation with the whisper in my heart. "Thank You Lord, for maturing me spiritually and the lessons I am learning! I know now that I was never poor and needy for money. I was spiritually needy. I am sorry that my first reaction wasn't to rely on Your grace when my husband threatened to leave me. Please forgive me Lord!"
       When my first day at work had ended, I returned home. My family, including my husband was waiting to embrace me. I immediately shared my feelings with my husband. As if God had already spoken to his heart, my husband responded by saying, "Honey, I am sorry. I don't want to get a divorce." After weeks of feeling nausea, my upset stomach instantly calmed. My soul was at peace!
   
Post Script

With my husband's permission, the following day I submitted notice to my new employer. I returned home after only a few hours had passed. With the idea of divorce set behind us, my husband had come to the apartment to spend time with me. After we embraced, I had an urgent feeling to check the mail. So, I went to the mailbox and opened it. Sure enough, I had mail. In the pile of mail were two checks from the IRS. One check was made out to my husband and the other was endorsed to both our names. I handed him one check and I took the other. Improbable tax returns! I began to cry as I realized God's unending faithfulness!


Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 
 To read this author's personal testimony please go to: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/store.html
Post a Comment

Facebook