Monday, September 17, 2012

What am I going to do?

I often struggle with what am I going to do. Glenn is in training to be a doctor so I know what he is going to do but I don't know what I am going to do. I'm not a doctor or a nurse or anything special. I have no special skills or training. We aren't even to residency yet but in our application we had to talk about our plans for after residency and when that topic comes up I often wonder what I can offer where ever we end up long term (if we ever end up somewhere long term). If we end up living various places short term for the rest of our lives what kind of contribution can I make in those places?

As we've been going through the application process and I have struggled at the unknown of how I can be of use God has brought a few things into my life that have caused me to think a little differently about the future that God has in store for us. Here are a few of them in no particular order.

* Passport Through Darkness. I've recently been reading this book that I got for free on Kindle a couple of months ago. Reading it has brought me to tears more times than I can count. The horrors recounted in this book and how God can use someone who is just willing to be used have made a profound impact on me. The idea of doing anything like she has done scares me to death but if it is something that God asks me to do, with His help, I am willing.

* Dave and Hannah. Our dear friends from Houghton are, at this very moment, in a plane with their two children (who we've been praying for all day!) on the way to Nepal for a 2 year commitment with Samaritan's Purse post residency program. They moved to Rochester for Dave to start residency as we moved from Rochester for Glenn to start medical school. It has been neat to be 4 steps behind them and to watch them grow and learn, walk down the path that we will soon be walking. I have learned a lot from them and have loved hearing them process things and am looking forward to continuing to do so as they spend this time overseas.

* MCCROPDERS. We were introduced to these people yesterday afternoon during a CMDA student teleconference. They are a group of young doctors and their families that are currently in language school in France, preparing to go to work at a teaching hospital in Burundi. It was so awesome to listen to how God brought them all together as a team and how God has directed them. Glenn and I were so excited to hear their story and have started praying that God would bring together a team of people for us to work with like that. It will be neat following their blog to see what they learn along the way as well as they are all 6 steps or so ahead of us.

 * Cream Cheese Festival. OK, this may be a silly one but God did use it in my life. I think that going to the Cream Cheese Festival is a requirement of being an RMED student here in Lowville. That being said Glenn and I took a walk with the kids up to check it out on Saturday morning. I enjoy walking around things like that to just people watch, look at everything, not buy anything. It doesn't thrill Glenn so, after walking around for a while, we walked home with him so he could study and work on his application. I decided to try to help give him a quiet place to study by taking the kids back to the festival to check out some of the events (we were too late to get a piece of the giant cheesecake but the kids won $60 for 2nd place in the milk tray relay!). We mostly played around near and watched the kids' events. A couple of volunteers left so I pitched in a little to help out. At the end of the festival we helped with clean up by folding chairs and tables and putting them where they needed to go as well as cleaning up at various other messes around town. (Hannah's great with a broom and we learned that those wires on hay bales kind of hurt.) The girls and I had so much fun helping out with the clean up! Seeing how much what we did to help was appreciated helped me to realize all I need to be is willing and available and I can be used.

* Lowville. I think that our time here in Lowville in general and the great people that I have met here have been a huge influence on my life as well. I love this small town atmosphere. There are many people here who know that we are only going to be here through January (everyone is warned of that when they first meet us) yet they have stepped out of their ways to invite us to things and to welcomed us to be a part of their lives and their families. For that I am so grateful! Living here has been so much fun because of several families who have opened their arms and lives to us.  I am challenged to do the same with others no matter how long or short of a time period they may be in our lives.

* 1 Peter Study. I've been doing a study on the book of 1 Peter with several of the ladies doing the Hello Mornings Challenge and it has been so great taking a closer look at this letter written to "elect exiles" who are "scattered (sowed) abroad" and "reside as aliens." I am an alien. Aliens are weird, not normal, definitely "not from around here." I have felt like an alien many times. I have been scattered various places, so far in my life it's been mostly around New York but we'll soon to venture from here, Lord willing, so I loved a quote I saw in my Bible study book: "God scatters His children that His grace might reach the ends of the earth." Oh, how I long for the reason that I am scattered to be that His grace can reach farther! This morning we moved on to 1:13-25 and I was challenged with the idea that I need to prepare my mind for action (my mind is such a battle ground!) and fix my hope completely on the grace of Jesus.

 So, though I don't know exactly how God is going to use us in the future, I do know some key things that we do need to do, both now and for the rest of our lives:
1. Be available and willing to serve and do what needs done even if it's hard or gross or scary
2. Learn from those who are on the path just ahead of us as well as those who have walked this path long before us.
3. Pray for team mates
4. Open my home and my heart to people
5. Surrender completely to God and be obedient to Him.
6. Prepare my mind for action and fix my hope completely on the grace of Jesus.

All day today a song by Hillsong that we sang last night at church has been running through my head:
I confess my hope
In the light of Your salvation
Where I lose myself
I will find You're all I need

Sing my soul
Of the Saviour's love
Sing my soul
Unto God alone

I will meet You here
In the life we call surrender
Let the world I know
Be the glory of Your grace

Sing my soul
Of the Saviour's love
Sing my soul
Unto God alone

You alone are God
You alone are God
We declare the glory of Your name

Reign in all the earth
Reign in all the earth Jesus
 We don't know what our future holds but we are so thankful that we do know Who holds our future. Ultimately, it is not about me and what I can contribute. It's all about Him. I want all of my life to be about bringing glory and honor and praise to Jesus Christ.

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