Wiregrass Hope Group's Christian counselors have written these posts on anxiety based on their own experiences and the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Our hope is for you to live free from anxiety.
“Wherever you are, be all there” is a quote from missionary Jim Elliot that has caused a shift in my perspective. I have learned to appreciate and find the positive in the unique role God has given to me and to ask Him how I can bring glory to His kingdom in this given role.
So, my given role looks very different than I thought it would. As a child when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was a veterinarian for a long time that is until a tiny little dog bit me and I developed a healthy fear of animals. Then I wanted to be a singer/actress and move to Hollywood- well, all I can say about that dream is I can’t carry a tune or act so… As a college student, my first major was Broadcast and Film that turned into Public Relations and then I added Human Development along with a concentration in Child Life. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do, but I found being a Child Life Specialist was my passion. I worked with pediatric patients and their families doing medical play and preparing them for procedures and surgery. I loved what I did for a very short time, and then I got married and moved, and there was no opportunity for the work I loved so much. Fast forward 25 years later and I can look back and appreciate the struggles and questioning of what I wanted to be, but now I have a new perspective, and I have replaced that question with “What do I want my legacy to be - how do I want to be remembered?”
How can we be grateful in our assigned role when it looks so different than how we had planned? Does your role look different than you thought it would? What did you want to be- what do you want to be? What are your goals and what is the motivation behind those goals? Are you comparing your role with the role assigned to a friend or family member and tossing around the idea that the grass is greener on the other side? Are you letting your failures define you? Are you letting your successes define you?
The Apostle Paul gives us great insight into the thought of the legacy we leave behind as he addresses the church of the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3. He remembers, “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.” What a wonderful way to be remembered! Paul did not talk about their accomplishments. He remembered three important characteristics - faith, hope, and love. The drive behind their work involved their faith. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” and Ephesians 2:8 continues to tell us that “it is by grace that we have been saved through faith in Christ Jesus.” When we believe, we can put faith into action and wherever we are we can be all there whatever our assigned role. Where is your faith? Is it on things that don’t matter? What are you pursuing as your purpose? What are your goals that will make you feel worthy and fulfilled? Do you define your role as successful if you have met these goals? Do you define yourself as a failure if you have not met these goals? How is your faith determined- by success or failure? Are you grateful for your assigned role?
On page 59 in Calm My Anxious Heart, we are reminded of why Jesus came to earth. Matthew 20:28 states that Jesus said, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Paul remembers the church’s “labor prompted by love.” The Greek word “Kopos” used here is “a difficult or toilsome labor.” When thinking about serving others, I think about God commanding us first to love Him and then to love our neighbor. Sometimes this is not easy, but what would it look like to leave a legacy not only of faith but of love, too. Can we possibly be grateful for our assigned role while we are comparing our role with someone else’s role?
Finally, Paul remembers the church’s endurance inspired by hope in Jesus Christ. Many of us know we have to rely on the strength of Jesus to pull us through some of those tough times in our assigned roles. There is a saying I am sure you are all familiar with that tells us that life is about the journey, not the destination. God desires for us to embrace the journey, and He wants to teach us something in the experiences of the journey. He wants us to trust Him in our assigned roles. He longs for a deep connection with us. He desires in us a grateful heart.
Wherever you are, can you be all there? Instead of thinking this is not the role I wanted, can you be grateful for the role God assigned you? Are you letting faith, hope, and love be your motivation behind why you do what you do?
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to gain a new appreciation of our role as You created it to be. Give us grateful hearts in our assigned role and teach us that wherever we are to be all there motivated by faith, hope, and love. And what a great legacy we can leave! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Further Study: Read Chapter 4 of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Small Group Questions: Questions 2, 3, 4, and 6 of Week 4 in the back of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Comment: Do you struggle with the roles God has assigned to you?
Please share your answer either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen.