Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days - Finding My Significance


Vee's excellent comment on yesterday's post, touch on a subject that I wanted to talk about.

SIGNIFICANCE


Here is part of her comment:  
John shared with me what Paul says about aging — how he was not going to pamper his body, but rather use it up and wear it out. I like that. Guess that I'm starting to feel a little worn out and now realize that I don't accomplish all that I used to. I need a team of teenagers! ☺
So all of this forces me to look at what really makes me who I am. Is it the amount of work I can accomplish? The number of words I write? People I communicate with? Money I make? Meals I prepare? I don't think so.

Her whole comment is worth reading, so please take a look at it if you haven't already read it.

 I cannot do what I used to easily do by myself in my 20's and 30's.  But I still want to be able to do all these events or projects at home.  I've just learned to have others help me.

I have a team of 'teenagers' so to speak, in my children, especially my daughters.  I can still pull off a tea at church due to bringing in a friend who loves to event plan as much as I do, and by using the help of my girls.  

When we have people in our home, this is a weekly thing, or plan a surprise birthday party, or host a tea, or a Hobbit party, this makes me happy, and I find joy in doing it.  

So how would I feel if I was no longer able to do it?  Would I know 'who I am'?  Would I feel as if I lost significance?

I don't think so - let me tell you a story to explain why.

My husband and I met in Bible School, we married and continued training to be missionaries with New Tribes Mission.  While raising funds to go to Africa, we served on home staff at the retirement homes for missionaries.  We struggled to raise funds, and then due to many things, we ended up leaving the mission.  We had spent all those years preparing, and working, toward heading to Africa.  We had three small children, no income, no home.

We were reeling for months.  We moved to a place we had only visited, and we only knew one person.  We had no family here then.  No friends.  No support system.

No one who knew who we had been...but who were we now?  Our identity was lost for a bit.  We came to realize over time that our identity and significance needs to be in Christ and His finished work. 

I have a dear friend who is maybe not even 40 yet and she has RA. For 10 years now she has really suffered with this debilitating illness.  She struggles at times thinking of how she can't always care for her family the way she wants to, or that she needs help from her kids.  However, I see that her children are beautifully sensitive to her needs, and very caring.  God is using her RA in their lives as well as hers.

Regardless of what stage of life we are in, or what our physical limitations are we are significant because He made us, He loves us, and He saves us.  We are His.

So if your mobility is limited, does that mean you no longer have a role in your family or in the world?  No way!  You can still reach out through phone calls and letters, email, or texting.  You can encourage others.  You can be interested in what's going on in the world and you can pray!

If you are limited in energy, you can learn to do what you can for the day, and be content. 

Your worth - your significance is not in what you can do or what you used to be able to do.  It is in following Him today - where you are at in your life.  God doesn't need us to do anything for Him.  He's capable of handling it all Himself.  He does however desire relationship with us, and He does want to use us, but how He uses us may change.

We need to adapt to that idea.  It's okay if we do less than we used to.  The key is to look to Him for what He has for us each day.








5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this...I have started to notice...as I approach 40, that I am not physically able to "do" as much as I used to do. I love "doing" things to encourage others, but it may be time for me to reach out in different ways. Thanks for saying that it's ok!

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  2. Good Post!
    Just because I am not able to stand or walk or sit at times I can still serve God where I am gifted!
    Robert (Dee's Brother) is heading up another trip to Kenya! I would love to go! The roads are very rough and so I wouldn't physically make the trip! But, I can reach out to my friends in the UK and encourage them and I do! I even share I am praying for them! I use my hand stitching and embroidery to encourage and to be friends with people all over ! I have friends from Northern California to Austrailia to Korea!
    Sometimes the church wants us to do this and that and if that isn't your gift, have the freedom to serve where God leads YOU to serve!
    Dee may not do the gardening at church or prepare communion but she uses her talent in encouraging women in her home with teas and prays with these women! She does a wonderful job because she is serving and using the talents God gave her!
    When we get older we can't do it all and I know God understands! But what we are able to do, God so much enjoys watching us serve him!
    Oh dear...I hope I made sense! Even the small maybe insignificant to some things are Great in God's eyes!

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  3. Yes! The only thing that is required is to do what He asks us to do. The rest is up to Him! Look how the Lord is using you where you are! In your home, in your church, on your blog...

    He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

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  4. I believe you HAVE found significance in the larger community of faith...so God intended it - every one of us contributing to the welfare of others and working together as surely as thumb and big toe contribute to the overall functioning of one's physical body.

    I enjoyed hearing of your husband and your early intention of mission work in Africa.... Isn't it interesting to look back and see how He arranges us right where He wants us to be!?!

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  5. Just getting back to visit, Deanna I am off my computer most days, fall is a busy time for us.
    This post so spoke to me, once the children left home and moved far away to start their own lives I began to question my significance, but am so thankful that like you I found my significance in Christ and His finished work in me.
    This is such a wonderful series.Thanks for sharing.

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