I have said, my life verse is, "A man's heart makes his plans, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9.
This week I am reminded of this time and time again, as there have been many things that caused me to reflect on my infertility journey. I have planned a big family, but little did I know my family may not have ended up looking like I had thought. I wanted many kids and eventually many grandkids. I forwent some bigger plans, assuming this was the path I was going to take. God had other plans.
Amazingly though, I do have a big family. It helps between my husband and I we have eight siblings and all but three are married and many are beginning to have kids. Then of course I have been blessed with friends who will eternally be my sisters, because they have snuck under my heart so far, that neither death nor anger could ever truly separate them from me. They have children, expanding my heart more!
So I continue to make plans. I do not regret postponing my career dreams for my family dreams, because amazingly God has given me my career desires too, I just don't get paid for them.
As I said we continue to make our plans, I continue to have my hopes, and the Lord will continue to determine my steps. I don't always agree with how he has decided to build things while they are happening, I must say, I love how my life is turning out.
I will never forget the first time, I felt judged when someone questioned why I was not involved within the church (building), as if I am not working within the church (building) then I must not be working for the Lord. I think too often we get so caught up in service within those four walls, we forget that our ministry is so much bigger than that.
Now, I do work within the church (building) every fifth Sunday of every month, which is not very often, and as of late I do help out children after school with school work inside the church (building), I also help out a youth organization at a church building that I do not attend, but the ministries God has called me most strongly to are not within those four walls.
If we all only worked within those four walls, then how on earth (because by the time we get to Heaven it is too late) will we ever spread the Good News to those who need it the most.
Now, don't get me wrong, we need our youth leaders, our cleaning staff, our deacons, our worship leaders, but we would never have needed them, if no one ever stepped outside of those four walls and brought people there in the first place. Please, if you can, do not leave those very important positions, but do not judge the Christian who does not do that, because you do not know where God has led them.
I have a dear friend who is a single mom, who works full time. (First off being a single mom is a ministry in itself, not only are you the fun parent, but the mean parent as well, and at the end of the day you can't complain to the other parent saying, "I hope we never have to relive this day.") Her full time job, on top of motherhood, is working with inner city youth. Maybe it is not for a Christian organization, but doesn't God say, go to all the ends of the earth, and spread the Good News. Well, doesn't that mean in non-Christian places too. That woman is in full-time ministry. She might not overtly speak the Word of God to her students, but to some of them, they are the closest thing to Jesus they will ever witness.
Now, I hope people do not use my words to say, they do not need to enter certain ministries, because they are already doing "enough" for God, because trust me, you "ain't." God breathed life into your lungs and He is the reason you are here everyday. There will never be "enough" that we can do to honor our Lord. What I am saying is, do not assume, just because someone is not serving the Lord within the confines of your church building that they are not serving the Lord to how God called them. You do not know their heart.
Encourage them to work within the church, encourage them to work outside the church, but more than that, bother to get to know them so you CAN see where God is working in their lives. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that that person you thought was lazy in the eyes of the Lord, is a strong force bringing hundreds to Christ outside of those four walls. If not, then maybe they need a sweet hand and a soft heart to guide them, not a judging stare.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.