As a young adult, I continued to lack confidence in myself and was shy. I would not speak up for myself or when there was opportunity to share about Jesus and His love for all. In my first job as a Medical Technologist, I began to gain confidence in myself at work, realizing as I taught new employees how to operate the equipment and perform the laboratory tests, I was capable and qualified in teaching others, yet I was still very shy.
I continued to grow in my faith and a burning desire was growing in my heart to share the Good News of Jesus with others. Yet I sat back, relaxing in just showing others through my actions that I cared for them, was patient and tried to be slow in anger.
I changed jobs and stepped into teaching for the state medical university in the Clinical Laboratory Science Department. I grew up saying I would never be a teacher, yet was realizing that God had given me the gift of teaching. My former education coordinator saw my abilities and hired me on as a student lab coordinator. I excelled. Because the university was state-run, I was limited in being able to be open with my faith (or so I thought), so I comfortably continued to lean on living out my life as best I could to reflect my faith in Jesus. But, I grew uncomfortable in my work and in my life.
I developed an addiction in which I ran away from God and to my addictive behavior, feeling all alone and filled with shame. God allowed me to go my own way until I realized I was getting more lonely, isolated and fearful. Then as I returned to him, he helped me realize I could not live daily without him being an integral part of my life. I worked with a counselor for 3+ years and often said to her, “I think God is getting me ready for something big!” I knew that once I reached sobriety and surrendered my will to Jesus daily, that I wanted to help others come to the realization that they do not need to feel alone, isolated and without hope. I knew I would want to share how Jesus worked in my life and can do the same in others.
God was preparing me through gaining teaching experience in a university setting, at national educators conferences, and in a local women’s interdenominational Bible Study. God taught me that I am poor in spirit, needing to walk away from my false pride, humbling myself and living for Christ. He was also building up my worth as his daughter who mattered in this world and who has something to say.
Rick Warren, in his best selling book, “A Purpose Driven Life,” begins chapter 1 with, “Its not about you!” Oswald Chambers writes the same in “My Utmost For His Highest” in the May 15 Devotional, The Habit of Rising to the Occasion.
“Remember that you have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in your body (see 2 Corinthians 4:10). Direct the total energy of your powers so that you may achieve everything your election as a child of God provides; rise every time to whatever occasion may come your way.” ~Oswald Chambers
I dropped to my knees the day I read this devotion, realizing my fear of rejection and being made fun of for speaking about all that Jesus has done in my life was of no matter. All that mattered was my willingness to speak boldly about Jesus and how he can and will save us all from ourselves. I began to realize I needed to give God all the glory and praise in what he has done and continues to do in my life and through my life for others.
I learned during my recovery from addiction, that a spirit of fear and timidity comes from the enemy, Satan and his demonic gang; and that God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control.
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Today I am choosing this Spirit of power, the Holy Spirit, to speak to my heart and show me when to speak and what to say so others can experience this same power and love.
Stayed tuned for part 3 in God’s call.