Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I Refuse To Do Nothing

My oldest is just over six years old now.  I've been a full time wife and stay-at-home mommy for six years!  Wow, six years - seems so long to me, yet I know it's not long at all!  If words could express how blessed and joyful I've been over the fact that I've been able to be home with my kids through their first milestones, giggles, book reading sessions, playtime, and time talking about God, those words would be dripping with the thankfulness of my soul!  I love this job.

I mean truly love it.

I take my job as wife and mom very personally and seriously and know that God has put me in this role to love, support, serve and minister to my husband and babies.  I strive to make it my first priority daily.  And there is such weight in that!

Within the past few months, though, I have felt a stirring in my heart.  Really, even more than a stirring - maybe even a command?  A command beyond my first job of wife and mommy.

I'm going to be honest and up front and confess that I've been recently struggling personally with how God works in this world.  His ways are above our ways, therefore I know I'll never fully understand all He does and allows.  There are moments when I even feel that His ways even seem (please forgive me) cruel.  And the sin and weight of this world are heavy.  It's been a time of crying out and searching for Him in the midst of my lack of understanding.  I have posed to Him many questions that weigh on my heart, many even stemming from the stories I read in the Bible.  I have never expected to hear God audibly, but (thanks to some guidance by Priscilla Shirer in her most recent study) I have recently been becoming more aware to how He may be speaking to me in this.

One evening several months ago while I was watching a news commentator, he mentioned a verse from Matthew - the parable of the talents.  Kind of a random thing to hear on a cable news show, but ok!  It really struck me.  I mean, knocked me over.  The man who hid his gold - kept it safe instead of investing it- was sent into outer darkness.  Whoa!

Next, my small group have just finished reading a book together called Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  In a chapter in this book he tells story after amazing story of believers who have sacrificed to reach out and love people who need to hear about the love of Christ.  He stresses the need to be "on fire" for God.  In our short time in life, we are commanded to go out and share the love of Christ.  To preach the good news.  To take care of the homeless and widows.

And just last week,  I was perusing books on Amazon and the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand was number one on their e-book bestseller list.  I had no idea what the book was about, but it had several hundred ratings with an average of a 5 star rating, so I thought I'd go ahead and buy it (I know - kind of a risk when spending money on something!).  I was immediately pulled in. This book is a truly amazing biography of a man during World War II.  **Spoiler Alert**  Very briefly, Louis Zamperini, who was an Olympic runner, was drafted in the war as a lieutenant of an Air Force bomber.  He crashed at sea, drifted for 47 days, was captured by the Japanese and the author closely details the way this man was severely beaten physically and emotionally for years - almost to the point of death.  Eventually he was rescued by our military and brought home where he suffered from anger and nightmares and alcoholism.  Shortly after his return, his new wife decided to attend a rally happening nearby held by a young Billy Graham.  She immediately brought her husband the next day and he was changed.  He accepted and believed Billy Grahams message.  He turned his life around and has spent (he's still alive) the remainder of his life sharing the forgiveness and love of Jesus to troubled youth - and even personally to the guards who beat him those years during the war.

I am completely moved by this man's story.  He took a terrible tragedy and used it to show the love of Christ to people who are surrounded by anger, hurt, and hopelessness.  (This is probably... no, this IS a terrible synopsis and I do it no justice.  The book is truly amazing and I'd recommend it to anyone!)

And last, I was listening to a Christian radio station a few weeks back.  They announced a small "campaign."  It was called I Refuse to do Nothing.  It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in my busy life, but there are so many people who are hurting around me in my city.  In my neighborhood.  And when I hear of believers sacrificing for the cause of Jesus, I picture selling all my things and moving to Africa (though I have dear friends who have done just this!), which is a littler overwhelming!  So, it's easy to not do anything at all.  There are so many people so close at hand, whom I could help every single day. 

SO, I feel like my answers, though they may and probably will never be fully answered, may somehow lie in these circumstances being brought to me.  I think the truth is I'll be able to understand and know the character of  God so much better when I step out of my comfort zone to serve someone else - the homeless and widows, perhaps.  I really feel I am being told to do something.  Anything.  It has been over a year since I've served in a church and I am feeling pulled to do it again.  To volunteer to love on kids each week and teach them about the love of Jesus. I'm not sure what my other options are at this point, though I am praying specifically for that opportunity to be made known to me.

I also know I need to be an example to my kids as to what His love really means.  What it means to obey Him and to give of my time to use my "talents." 

Thanks for hanging with me this long.  I know that was a bit of a rant!  Haha!  It is something that has just been so close to my heart these recent days.  I appreciate you letting me share a little bit of my journey with you.  And I am genuinely excited for how God decides to answer me and show me where we can be used.


Shell said...

I think this is exciting! Can't wait to see where He leads you!

Erin said...

I love it, Sandra! I think it's great when God whispers something and then everything around you confirms what He was saying.

MrsJenB said...

Wow, what a great post. I've been there, too - knowing that He was trying to tell me something.

Recently I've been so concerned while reading stories about bullying...while hearing my mom, who's a crossing guard, talk about the kids she sees every day, the ones who are warmly dressed and clean, and the ones who seem desperate to chat with her, who aren't so clean or well-dressed, who obviously lack that caring adult presence in their lives...while seeing the state TV is in and the sorts of shows kids are exposed to. It plagues me.

Then I wrote an article a couple of days ago for another website, talking about the proposed cutting of funds for PBS and what that would have meant to me as a child. Without Mr. Rogers, where would I be? I did some reading on him for my piece and realized that there was this man, doing his own thing in his own quiet way every day, who touched SO MANY people. Who taught the sorts of lessons that people aren't born knowing - what to do with your emotions, that it's okay to be mad or sad, that we're all important, that we're all worth being liked for who we are. Who's telling our kids that anymore? Obviously, many parents aren't. Which is such a shame.

So what to do? What to do about this? I feel like there's something, but I don't know what. It's just out of reach...


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