Sunday, July 3, 2011

Verse of the Day

Philippians 1:6 
...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I've clung to this verse recently. For the past year, I've really struggled with what I like to refer to as my "issues" and the fact that I am still dealing with them when it seems to me that I should be past this point and already over them.
I have come to realize that God is working - even though I am not "cured", I can certainly see His hand in my life and my circumstances. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not held up, disciplined, encouraged, pushed or blessed by Him. And all of these come from love.
Recently, I have been overwhelmed by blessings. For example, my ability to control my thoughts and emotions can only come from Him because I am showing great restraint and optimism amidst difficult situations. In the past, discouragement would have taken hold. I have been able to come through an unexpected pregnancy, a huge upheaval in our schedule, sleepless nights, losing some of our income (although this struggle is just beginning and hopefully will be short-lived), the added stress of a new baby, the week in the NICU.... and so many other challenges - without succumbing to anger, frustration and depression. I have been able to laugh, stay positive and motivated and be encouraged about the future. All this I know comes straight from God because I don't see how it could be possible without Him. I am so thankful!
This is not to say that I don't have difficult days. God promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us, not that we'll have an easy, pain-free life. I think the key is that I'm embracing the power that comes from finally knowing who I am based solely on whose I am and the freedom that comes from that identity. For most of my life, I've been able to find worth and value either through my successes or through the approval of others. People are fickle and success is never guaranteed and neither are sufficient. I always came out wanting more. Once the initial self-esteem boost wore off, I would need to either excel at something new, or find someone else to appreciate me. It was a constant search for a new source of approval. And it was exhausting.
Knowing that my worth comes simply because I was created in God's image and that He loves me unconditionally gives me the freedom to simply be myself and to learn to be okay with myself as a work in progress. Previously (and sometimes still) I needed to be perfect in order to be worthy. This doesn't allow for learning anything new. We all know how dreadfully we often fail at something we've never done before... Not being able to try something new dramatically limits the ability to experience life. Sheesh.

This verse specifically has been very comforting to me because it reminds me that God is working on me and that, while the work isn't finished, He promises me that He won't give up, no matter how badly I screw things up. I am guaranteed success - eventually. The struggle has been letting go of the need to be perfect. So, I am learning to be comfortable in the midst of the process and to appreciate the positive change that has come already.

Next week I will begin a new adventure - I start my practicum on the 11th. I will actually be seeing clients and they will be paying for my services. That's a little intimidating. :) To help me avoid freaking out, I'm reminding myself of what I've accomplished...
*When I started my current job as an advocate, I didn't know anything and now, I'm great at my job.
*I didn't know how to be a Jobs Coordinator a year ago, and didn't even have anyone to teach me.. But by the end, I was great at that job too.
*When we had Nathan, I didn't know how to be a parent and now, 9 years and four children later, I still don't have a clue what I'm doing, but I've learned a lot along the way. :)
I hate starting something new, but I'm going to focus on the positive outcome that I know I'll eventually reach. Either I'll learn to be a good counselor, or I'll learn that I'm not cut out for that job. Even if I'm terrible at counseling, there is a purpose to me learning that lesson because God is working on me and will use this experience to bring Him glory and to bring me closer to the person He has created me to be. If I have to fail a few times to accomplish that goal, I guess I can handle that. :)

1 comment:

Stony and Brit said...

Rani, this is HUGE!! I'm so excited for you because I know what it is like to be "Little Miss Perfect" and the struggle with everything when you realize (and so do others) that you are actually not perfect. I'm praying for you and praising God for His work in you--it's awesome!! And I will be praying for your practicum too!