April 24, 2016 …Pastor’s Help Mate

KAREN WILSON’S STORY

A New Path

Most of us don’t like change. We don’t like new things and starting over. Simply stated, we don’t like the idea of changing the status quo. And yet God is forever stirring up our nest and redirecting our steps, and changing our circumstances. Change can feel good, and it can feel catastrophic at times. But through all of it, hopefully, growth happens, God gets the glory, and Jesus reflects more in our faces having walked that journey.

Philippians 4:11, 12, 13,
“Not that I speak in respect of want (Paul says) for I have learned (better translated, I am learning), in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

God has a vision for everyone. He has each day of our lives all scheduled for us before we even get started! (Psalm 139) One of my mother’s favorite sayings was this: “We make our plans, and then life happens.” And I’m grateful that a sovereign and a loving God is in control of that “life” and will walk with us each step of the way.

When I was in high school, I prayerfully made the decision to become a registered nurse. I took the classes in high school that would help me for college and then went to a good college to become a nurse. And I believe I became just that! A good nurse! I loved my career, and I loved the patients and the families. I remember working hard, often going the extra mile and doing the extra thing to make their lives better. I preferred working in geriatrics; felt it was my calling in life. I had a compassion for the elderly and a heart for the spouses and children of the old relative that had now become incapacitated. Many times I prayed with families, and even more, times prayed with the residents and ministered to them at their bedside during their final days.

Also, the simple fact I was a nurse, had a license, gave me the ability, “the power” to make life better for many, to see good things happen. It made me feel good, and I was rewarded so many times by the love and gratitude that was returned to me. I remember thinking, “Wow! I can really ‘be Jesus’ to these people, in a significant way!” And indeed, I was. And that was my projected plan for life. And yes, Mama, I made my plans, then “life happened.”

Circumstances as they were in my life, things got out of control. Big changes happened big losses. Big regrets and big tragedies. And I won’t make my list here. One of my most recent changes is I quickly became deaf. My “job” as a nurse, a healer, a Jesus-doer had ended. And I felt like a failure and useless. And I grieved about this! I remember being angry at God for allowing this. Finally, and by the grace of God, I had to come to a decision. I felt God say to me, “Karen, you have a choice here. You can curl up and die (which I already had tried a few years previous to this) or you can choose to LIVE, by My Grace.” So, trusting God, I made the choice to live, and to love, and to serve. No, I wasn’t going to be a nurse. I wouldn’t be making big money, and bringing forth change because of my college degree. But I could still love people, serve people, and touch people’s lives in a simple way.

God showed many comparisons about Himself to me. Yes. He is the God of the universe that can snap His fingers and galaxies are created. One morning before breakfast He spoke the world into existence. His magnificence and power can be seen by all. But He is also the God whose gentle tenderness can soothe a tired soul, He weeps with us when we hurt, and He’s also a God who isn’t afraid to roll up His work sleeves right alongside us, and serve. And I believe that is what He has called me to do. He gave me the vision of becoming the “odd job girl.” And the jobs can get pretty odd! Pulling weeds, cleaning houses, pet-sitting your dog. And let me tell you! The work is often very hard, and my back hurts plenty by the end of the day and I more times than not come home looking like a drowned rat with mud plastered to my face. But I have a peace in my heart that has been missing a long time! I feel useful and needed. And no, the pay doesn’t compare to what I made as a nurse, but that doesn’t matter! I am becoming RICH in what really does matter.
I believe that working in this “common way” I’m touching lives of people that might be intimidated or put off by a college degree or someone with letters and titles after their name. But Karen; deaf, and sweaty? Yep. She understands! And people open up to me. And I’m still touching hearts and loving others. And I pray that I’m being that “everyday Jesus” to them. And I want God to always get the glory!

What is God calling you to be? To do?

Remember, it’s not the super talented, but the super dedicated that God uses. 1 Corinthians 1: Paul says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.”

God uses us because we are available and we’re clean; we’re anointed, we’re surrendered, and we’re dedicated to His purpose. God’s love is infinite, and He has a wonderful plan for our lives.

He wants people dedicated to loving and serving. He cares about changed lives for the sake of Christ, and that the good news of the gospel is shared.

In the life of a believer, nothing happens by chance, fate or fortune. There is nothing such as coincidence. There’s no such thing as luck. We are God’s servants and God has ordained us to look like His Son, Jesus. And we do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent, or his wealth as the world does, but rather, by what’s inside. I encourage each of us to continue on in Christ, to persevere, and to ever keep our eyes on Jesus.

May our lives make lasting footprints and a difference in the lives of others!

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