Have you ever struggled with fear or lack of confidence in what the Lord is asking you to do? Have you ever been overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have been given or some dream the Lord has placed in your heart, thinking ‘who am I and how can I do this?’.
The past year, I have been wrestling with the idea of returning to work. Well, let me explain. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a physiotherapist. However, for the past five and a half years, I haven’t practiced as a physiotherapist. When we moved to Delhi, I applied for registration at the council here and had to sort out some paperwork. Soon we found out we were expecting our first child and I decided I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum for a while. Since then, we’ve had another daughter and just like that the years flew by.
All these years- though I never regretted the decision to be at home with the kids- I struggled with feelings of worthlessness. Social media and conversations with friends made me feel non-existent as they grew in the professional field while I was JUST a stay-at-home mum. There have been many moments when I’ve had to refocus and remind myself through the scriptures that my worth is not determined by who I am but by my Lord who shed His blood on the cross for me and placed His worth on my life! Through these years the Lord has been chipping away at my confidence in my ‘self’ till He brought me to the place where I am - 'nothing without Him'.
Last year, we made a decision to relocate to a country in South East Asia where we believed the Lord was leading us. As we took a step of faith to convey our willingness to move there, we heard of an opening for me as a physiotherapist to rehabilitate those with varied types of disabilities. I love being part of a neurological rehabilitation team and even through college and Masters, this was one of my strongest areas of interest. I dreamed of working in a rehabilitation center with the differently abled and those with special needs. However, when the opportunity presented itself after this long break, along with the excitement at the thought of serving in my area of training, a new set of fears crept up.
"What in the world am I doing getting back to work? Do I think I can still be a good physio after such a long break? What if I don’t know what to do and mess up? What if I fail? Do I have any skills left to serve God or am I just going to make a fool out of myself?"
But time and time again, scripture showed me that my thinking and fears are so flawed. What do I have that is not from the Lord? And what do I need that the Lord can’t give, if it’s in His will?
As Ephesians 2:8-10 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Salvation is a gift from the Lord and I can do nothing to earn it. This is a truth I know deep inside. However, I often forget the truth in the next verse - that my Master, whose handiwork I am, has prepared beforehand the good works I will do in my life. Philippians 2:13 echoes the same thought - "For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure." We have no reason for pride or a boastful heart, for any work we have done or will do in the future, for none of our ‘good works’ comes out of the kindness or goodness of our hearts, but out of the Father’s heart, and He works in us to will and act on behalf of Him, bringing His Kingdom here on earth.
At the same time, if this is true, I have no reason to let my fears or my ideas of being equipped tie me down and stop me from doing what God has prepared for me. For it is for freedom that Christ has set me free and He reminds me to stand firm and not let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery to fear (Galatians 5:1). I am free to do what the Lord wants me to do, to be what He wants me to be, to serve where He leads me. In His presence, I have no need to fear failure, or not being good enough to serve Him. He desires an obedient heart and the willingness to work hard where He has placed me, working as unto Him and for His glory, whether at home with my girls or in a rehabilitation center for the differently abled.
And as I go on preparing for what lies ahead, amidst all the sicknesses in the family with the cold weather and the poor air quality in Delhi and the demands of having a toddler and a pre-schooler at home, I hold on fast to one of my favourite passages and know that Christ chose me in my weakness and foolishness. I know that only in His strength and in Him can I do anything that the future holds for me. This takes away my fears and gives me His beautiful, inexplicable peace.
"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 1:26-31
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