Jobless… Churchless… Ministry-less…
That is how I found myself at the beginning of 2020. What else could be taken away? Then Covid happened. A National State of Disaster was declared on Sunday, the 15th of March. Lockdown started on Friday the 27th. We all thought, ‘A few weeks and it will be finished’!
Jobless… Churchless… Ministry-less... Gym-less… Social interaction-less…
Normal life was no longer normal. The other members of my family continued their jobs online and I felt like I became chief cook and bottle-washer. I felt directionless and pretty sorry for myself. Who was I? What was my worth to God? I felt dis-empowered.
And so began an invaluable time of introspection.
I was reminded of two characters in the Bible: Job in the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament. Job was living a fulfilled life but very quickly found himself in a very abnormal life. He lost his family, his livestock and his health. He was bitter towards God, asking why he was even born, but eventually came to a revelation of God, Almighty God. Job learnt that God is completely sovereign in His dealings with His people and will never permit anything to come to the life of an obedient Christian that is not for his good and God’s glory. God does not have to explain His ways to us. He cares and He will never make a mistake. We do not live by explanations; we live by promises.
I reminded myself that the Lord was still in control, but did God still love me? Was I worth loving? In January 2020, God gave me a demonstration of how much He loved me. While shopping, my pearl necklace slipped off. I was unaware of the loss until I got home. The Holy Spirit urged me to go back to the car park. I believed it was a fruitless exercise as several hours had passed. Despite the time that had passed and the visibility of my necklace, there it still was on the floor. He loves me so much that He protected an object that was precious to me. I am loved!
I was reminded of the importance of integrity in my daily walk and witness. I had to fight irritation, unforgiveness, selfish thoughts and many other daily temptations to fall into an ‘Oh woe is me! Poor me!’ mentality. God was not absent; He wanted people to turn to Him. I needed help to react to others in a loving and caring way.
Paul was ‘…circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee.’ (Phil 3:5). When he met Jesus, all of that became unimportant. He was blinded for a few days after his conversion, then he spent a couple of years on his own, before going to the church in Antioch. There, God chose him and Barnabas to go on a ministry tour, and he never stopped serving Jesus. His life was never easy; he was persecuted and eventually lost his head for the sake of the Gospel.
Part of my introspection was about my identity. Who did I believe I was, at the core of my being? Was this dependent on my function or on who I was? Was busyness my badge of honour? I had to settle in being His child, simply His child.
We all discovered the opportunities the internet offered: we could watch church services online; we could do meetings online; I could teach online. I began giving private Mathematics lessons online and, to this day, I am still doing that.
In April 2020, God reminded me that there was no reason why I should not start a Bible Study. Yes, it was online! I asked a few ladies if they would like to join me, and I am still teaching the study online. What a privilege it is to share His Word with a bunch of believing women, hungry for His Word.
We joined a new church and have found a new home there. Recently, God has blessed us with a mantle of leadership. What a privilege it is to love and shepherd His people.
And in June 2021, I was offered a post to teach Mathematics. You guessed it, online!
I have a job; I have a beautiful church family; I am privileged to have a ministry. I do my own ‘gym’ at home and, like you, have social interaction, keeping to the protocols our government has put in place.
I am sixty-two years of age. God gave me a SECOND CHANCE. He taught me many lessons along the way and will continue to mould and shape me until I meet Him in Heaven. There is always a second chance with our God. And a third, and a fourth…. Whether you need one because of your choices or because of circumstances beyond your control, turn to Him. He is your loving Father; He waits for you with open arms. He has your best interests at heart, and He knows what He is doing--whatever the outcome. Job had everything restored; Paul died.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. Seek His face at all times. He is a good, good Father.
Women of Reverence welcomes Leonie Currin our contributor and see her bio here.