"Why am I doing this to myself?" I asked. Excuses to resign from the call of God flooded my mind:
- I can be normal like other women and stay home.
- I am sacrificing my time, energy and finances to help people who do not appreciate what I am doing.
- My husband and children do not treat me the way some of these people treat me.
- My family will appreciate my spending more time with them.
- I really need to have more quality time with the Lord. I can do that if I stop what I am doing.
- Since I am experiencing difficulties, maybe I am out of the will of God.
All the excuses made sense to me. After all, I had three young children and a husband who was able to support me financially. Tradition had taught me that a woman should stay home and care for her children and husband. My church emphasized to me that the highest call of God for a woman was to be a mother and a wife.
The most important high call of God was reserved for men. If I wanted to serve Him, I could teach Sunday school to women and children. I should be satisfied with that role and forget about doing ministry outside the home.
Thoughts tormented me for several weeks. Some of them centered around hurtful, negative comments that had been made by others. When those comments were rehearsed in my mind, the excuses for resigning came to the forefront.
It was not the first time I had experienced this type of mental harassment. In fact, several times before I had made the decision to quit the ministry and be a stay-at-home mom and wife. Each time I did, I somehow found myself gradually returning to the place I had quit.
Why had I done that? How many times would I need to resign before the resignation took?
I will never forget the day I made the decision to resign from resigning. Somehow the Lord revealed to me that I was not created to be a "normal" woman.
I realized that what I was doing in my ministry was actually an offering to the Lord and that my husband and children would appreciate me more when I was in the will of God than when I was out of it. I also understood that my walk with God would only be a pleasant experience if I was living in obedience to Him.
As I read my Bible, a Scripture "leaped" off the pages: "Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not" (Jer. 20:9). How many times had I read that verse? Yet that day it was as if I was seeing it for the first time. The words burned within me. There was a fire deep within me. It was put there by God.
The fire was His call on my life. I could never get away from it. I would never find true happiness outside God's plan for my life.
At that moment, I took a pen and wrote the date in the margin of my Bible next to the verse. It was like drawing a line in the sand. I declared with great passion from my innermost being, "I have resigned from resigning!"
From that day forth, each time an old thought of resigning would hit my mind, I would remember my decision. Never again would I resign. Never again would I question the call of God. Never again would I consider an alternative to God's purpose for my life.
I have never regretted the decision. Today, people ask me when I am going to retire. I boldly tell them, "Never!"
My plan is to walk with God and serve Him as long as there is breath in my body. Are there hard places in serving God? Yes. Does that stop me? No. My mind is settled on following God's plan for my life.
Obstacles to Fulfilling God's Call
How does a person get where I was so many years ago? Here are a few of the obstacles Satan puts in our path:
1. Double-mindedness. Often, it is the result of being double-minded. "For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:7-8).
A person who is double-minded vacillates in his thinking. He lives in the midst of doubt. He is unstable, and his ife consists of being pulled back and forth between two options.
That was me. One day I wanted to fulfill the call of God. The next day, I wanted to resign. There was no peace living that way. My only answer was to stop doubting and make a firm decision about the way I was going to live.
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