Work for the Lord Because He Works

work

I’m an administrative assistant, which is just a politically correct title for secretary/receptionist/catch-all. My job is full of menial tasks, empty time, cross co-workers, and angry customers. It’s not what I dreamed about doing as a little girl, but it’s where I am nevertheless.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
Colossians 3:23

God calls me to be diligent in my work though I grow discontent with its banality. I yearn for something more important and meaningful than answering phone calls, copying papers, and double-checking time cards. How can I possibly be contributing anything worthwhile to the world? Since I believe in a sovereign God that orchestrates every aspect of our lives, it has often left me wondering why He has me in this insignificant job. Continue reading

To Know the Thing I Know

know

I read a short little novel the other day called A World Lost by Wendell Berry. Following the murder of the narrator’s beloved uncle, he stands outside the killer’s jail cell, powerless to do anything to rectify the situation. He reflects that “for a long time there was nothing to be done but stand there in the large silence and the falling light, and know and know the thing we knew.” What he knew was tragedy, inexpressible grief and loss of a loved one. Even as he stood facing the cause of his heartache, there was nothing he could do but acknowledge that the pain was there and that the world had suddenly changed. Continue reading

Not To Us

Sunday was my husband’s ordination service. He is now a pastor in the PCA.

ordination

It was a long road to get here – four years of seminary and three grueling years of exams. And I, for one, did not bear it well. I spent the years complaining in self-righteous resentment, angry that God was not following my plan for our life. I doubted He was doing what was best for us. How could something so difficult and painful be good for us? Why wouldn’t He just give me what I wanted? Continue reading

Deja Vu and Abundant Grace

studying

For almost three years I have been anticipating my husband passing his ordination exams. Those arduous exams covering an immense amount of material were a heavy weight that hung over us. Even when Ben wasn’t actually looking at books or flashcards, it was always foremost on his mind. As he focused on studying, I was left with juggling the necessities – meal planning, shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning, budgeting, errands. I am not particularly skilled in many of these areas, so there were often take-out meals, dusty shelves, and many last-minute trips to the store, with my main goal just to survive.

As the finish line drew nearer, we joked about how life will be perfect once these tests were over. What a relief it will be to finally have everything we want! Life would be easy from here on out with no stress or anxiety ever again. Knowing how absurd those ideas were, we laughed and knew we would have appropriate expectations of life once this trial was past. Continue reading

Right Contentment

Tonight my husband will go again for examination for ordination – what we hope and pray will be the end of a two and a half year ordeal. For weeks my mind has flitted between the impending joy of this trial ending, and the possible disappointment if it continues. Particularly, I have wondered how I will handle either of these outcomes. As the day has drawn closer, one quote has repeatedly come to my mind from an article by Sinclair Ferguson entitled “Our New Affection.”

Reflecting on the passage in Philippians 4 where Paul says he has learned to be content in any situation, Ferguson says, “Only when our Christ is big enough to satisfy us can we be content no matter our particular circumstances; more than that, satisfied with the circumstances and not merely despite the circumstances.” Continue reading

Good God?

The pastor at the church I attended in college once used an illustration that has stuck with me ever since. He told the story of how his wife and children were in a horrific car accident. When he received the call informing him of the accident, there was no information about the condition of his family, whether they were alive, injured, or dead. In the frantic rush to get to them, this question kept going through his head: “Is God still good if I get there and my whole family is dead?” Continue reading

Unthankful

This past Sunday I was feeling the familiar weight of sadness and anger heavy on my heart. I put things in front of me to distract myself from the feelings, but this anger towards God over my difficulty to have children sat there still, stewing under the surface.

During our Sunday evening service, we have a time of prayer and praise where people can share their needs and thanks. A dear friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer was there that night. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and has often had to miss church. But that evening she raised her hand and said “I’m thankful that I got to go to church twice today.” In the midst of her pain and struggle, she was intentional about recognizing the goodness God has shown towards her. And I realized what an ungrateful wretch I am. Continue reading

My Portion

A lot of my life has been spent hoping and waiting – for college, for marriage, for my husband to finish seminary, for a church to call him, for children. I hope for something, and then I wait.

Some of those times seem never-ending, like starting a family. We hope for children, but month after month my husband and I have waited with nothing to show but disappointment. We hope to adopt, and after waiting through the long approval process, we have continued to wait for that fateful phone call saying there is a child for us.

We are still hoping and waiting to be parents. Continue reading

Hope in the Morning

 

hope in the morningBen and I have been married for a little over six years now, and we often get the question “When will you have kids?” We actually decided just a few years into our marriage we were ready to have children. It was exciting, and we were optimistic about our future brood. But as the months passed and nothing happened, my hope began to wane. Though it wasn’t our initial plan, we had always wanted to adopt; if kids weren’t happening naturally, we figured we might as well start the adoption process – another hope met with disappointment as we encountered various frustrations and delays.

As we pursued parenthood, the months turned to years. The repetitive tide of disappointment assailing my heart month after month slowly wore away the hope, leaving me with a rotten mess of vicious anger and soul-gripping depression. Continue reading

Greener Grass

I grew up in the wonderful state of Mississippi where we know “y’all” is the proper way to express second person plural, and the summer lasts all year.

My husband and I met in youth group when we were teenagers. Everyone always says “Aww!” when we tell them that, but trust me, it’s nothing special. We were friends till college, then dated, broke each others hearts, were rebuilt by the Gospel, got back together and got married. I thought, “Now my life will start!” Continue reading