O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?~Deuteronomy 3:24At the She Speaks conference we were challenged to be real-transparent. So I will today. It is out of my comfort zone. I wish I could be funny or whimsical but God is doing some serious changes in my life and I need your prayers.
Are you passionate about anything? I have friends passionate about scrap booking and I know people who are passionate about sports. I met a very sweet friend in a round about way through the She Speaks blog named Catharine. We hooked up Thursday evening and stayed together before the conference. I would post a picture but silly me super glued a piece of trim on our camera that was loose and I guess I super glued the battery compartment door closed. My camera battery is dead and there is not a thing I can do about it. When my She Speaks friends e-mail me pictures they took with their cameras, I will post them later.
At dinner Thursday night, Catharine asked me what my husband was passionate about. I am afraid I had to think about it for a bit and in the end I felt a little ashamed that I couldn't come up with his true passion at that moment. Lets not forget, we have only been married for 3 years but....I know things he likes but whats he passionate for? Of course he would say he is passionate about me and he is but was that all? He is a passionate man for God. That is what I cherish about him the most but is that all he is passionate about?
Marybeth Whalen addressed this area again at the conference. She challenged us to live in our passion. It gives our life joy and contentment and allows us to be used more fully by God for His ministries. That is when it hit me. As I was exploring my own passion while listening to her, I thought of my husband. His passion and joy (outside of God and I) is in remodeling and fixing up houses. How many times had I heard him voice his heart at how he would like to be doing that for a living. He is so miserable at his current job managing a warehouse. He has been there just over 25 years. I have not been supportive of him leaving and risking the loss of income (we are a large blended family with teenagers-need I say more?). We have prayed over a year for God to open doors of opportunity for him to leave and there seems to be no answer..so I thought.
Now I have to ask myself the same question my husband ask me months ago, maybe a year ago- "Is He, God, asking us to step out in faith?" Have I prevented this step because of my own fear? I could argue in that we own two houses and getting finances for Joe to live in his passion is probably not possible with this current economy. Yet is that enough to keep Joe from living in his passion and living in the joy he so deserves? Marybeth stated "passion makes an eternal impact, an emotional connection, and is a life-changing break through." Joe could live that by doing what his heart longs to do. I want that for him and for me. He could also spend more time in ministry which he is so richly talented and blessed in. Two possible doors have open just in the last few weeks where it may be possible for him to step out into this dream with the resources of a partner. Though this plan is only in the works, I plan to get out of the way. I want my husband to live out his passion more fully because I love and adore him! There will be sacrifices. It will require faith.
I too have examined my passion. Catharine and Jamie boldly inquired of me to identify my own passion as we drove to the airport on Sunday. My heart is all about loving God and knowing Him more. Professionally, my heart is most content when I am caring for my patients verses teaching students how to care for them. Spirituality and nursing-that is my passion. The teaching I enjoy the most is when I coordinate and teach in the Faith Community Nurse course (parish nurses). The course trains and equips registered nurses in how to develop a ministry of nursing in their congregation (I included a picture of our last class). So God has started moving in this. Hang with me as I share what God has done in the last 48 hours...then pray for us as we move forward.
I made a decision to go part-time at the college for the 2008/2009 school year. Originally it was denied. When the new dean came to the college in February, I approached him with a part-time contract-he made it work but now I feel I have stepped out of God's will. My thoughts have been "how am I going to get out of this one?". Monday an adjunct nursing instructor (adjunct=works as needed) came to my office inquiring how I obtained the part-time contract as she is seeking this. Immediately God laid it on my heart..."here is your way out". So I will explore how we can trade contracts. Pray for me as I approach my director with this new decision.
I then opened up the employment section of a local hospital I enjoy working at to see what possibilities might be there. I have been doing this on a regular basis. An ideal situation would be for me to work the "weekend option" (working two shifts every weekend but getting paid the full-time wages of three shifts). I would not have my Sunday church ministries affected if I work Friday and Saturday and it would allow me to be free to be a wife and mother during the week. This hospital has just opened such a position on the unit I want to work plus there is a sign-on bonus!! I had an interview this morning. I have been offered the job, they will work around those things I already have scheduled this summer to make it happen. Doors are continuing to open.
I also work "as needed" through an agency and the income there alone could cover my husbands salary if I had to pick up extra shifts while he gets this potential new business up and running. Sacrifices-stepping out in faith-I will be able to continue to work in my church ministries, teach some of the courses I love at the college, the kids needs will be covered, Joe would have more time for his ministries and he will be happier in his work. Even though I couldn't ask for a more blessed marriage, Catharine, Jamie and Marybeth assures me we will be more blessed as a couple and as a family if we live in and through our passion (may I add if we live in God's will!?!?!).
It all seems to be coming together. I think. It's scary but it is time to step out in faith. To live our passion. To serve our God better. Pray God will continue to unfold His will for us in this.
And now, isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You're more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you've come out of this with purity of heart—that you would realize and act upon the deep, deep ties between us before God. That's what happened—and we felt just great. ~2 Corinthians 7:11 (The Message)