I gave my name to the coordinator of services at Church the other week and offered my “talents” as psychologist or writer if they should need them because I felt God was asking me to let Him start using me.
The coordinator wanted to know what issues I am qualified to work with so I told him I would send him my resume with the details of my qualifications, training, and experience if he emailed me. I gave him my website email address thinking he could peruse the site and check me out before emailing me.
I wanted to give him the chance to see who I am in case I’m not the sort of person they would find acceptable. I don’t know if he checked the site out but he did email me asking for my resume and for permission to give my number to the leader of one of their “connect groups”.
When I got his email I had second thoughts about going through with this.
Over the years I have systematically whittled down the number of people I “connect” with! Friends and family members have become strangers with no real connection to me and it’s my fault. I fail to call them, I don’t remember their birthdays, I don’t try to reach out to them so, one by one, they have fallen by the wayside. I have become a pretty solitary person apart from work relationships and the relationship with my kids.
Many times people have reached out to me trying to form a connection but I always side-step them. I haven’t wanted to connect to anyone but my kids for a long time now and, as a psychologist, I know that’s unhealthy but I don’t care as long as the end result is a peaceful existence.
There are times when I don’t even want the connection I have with my children but they would never permit me to disconnect from them. To sever those relationships I would have to cross the line from being hurtful through neglect to being hurtful through deliberate cruelty and I would never be deliberately cruel or hurtful.
Now this man is asking me to let him give my number to a woman who will call and try to get me to start attending a women’s connect group which is exactly what its name suggests – a group that has been set up to form connections between people within the church.
I don’t want to connect. I am very happy being disconnected from other people in my personal life. I get all the human connection and interaction I can handle helping people as a counsellor in my job.
My perception of relationships is negative. I think of them as stressful and draining not supportive and nurturing. I am just marking time, waiting for my life to end so I can be with God, I want to wrap things up and finish them off not start new things.
So I have been dragging my feet and hoping the nudges from God would stop and I could settle back down and avoid any further changes.
Then I went to church last Sunday and all hope of that happening was shattered.
The pastor was starting a new series of sermons called “Ask the Pastor” in which he addressed common questions such as “What does God say about getting a tattoo” and I heard the God I have come to know and love speak, for the very first time in my entire life, through the mouth of a pastor!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying other pastors were not doing God’s will or that they were not speaking on His behalf but their sermons were always very “Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not” sounding. If I had to pick one word to describe all the sermons I have heard over the years that word would be either “Should” or “Ought”. You ought to give up smoking, you should give 10 percent of your income to God, you ought to be filled with the joy of the Lord, you should obey Him.
This pastor was not saying any of those things are false, they are not false and nobody knows that better than me, he was just saying what God has told me over and over again for the past 33 years;
“It’s not about the rules and regulations. It’s about you and me!”
God has repeatedly stopped me from getting caught up, and lost, in “shoulds” and “oughts” and made me focus on Him. He keeps telling me my personal relationship with Him is His top priority.
For 33 years He has been telling me He loves me exactly as I am and I don’t have to change to please Him. I just have to learn to love Him and trust Him enough for Him to be ABLE to change me.
I’ve changed. I’ve change a LOT in the past 33 years! The list of things that have changed in me is pretty amazing but not one of those changes came from me. Not one of them happened because I sank to my knees begging God to change me and crying, pleading, straining, desperately trying to change.
Every last change came about easily, naturally, gradually and with hardly any work on my part.
Take anger, resentment and unforgiveness for an easy example. I had a LOT of all three of those things and they were directed at a LOT of people! My mother, my father, my step-father, men in general, life in general and God in particular.
God arranged things so, somehow, as I was meandering aimlessly through life I found myself wandering through the doors of a university into an education. Then it was a series of connect the dots with this leading to that which resulted in the other until it all culminated in me learning the things that were required to make all those feelings just disappear. You can’t hate, resent or withhold forgiveness from your mother once you understand human psychology and why people do what they do for example.
You can only feel pity and be sad for her because she could have, would have, been a better mother if her parents had been better parents to her.
I learned facts, met people, had experiences that just naturally resulted in all those negative emotions fading out of my life completely. I didn’t have to fight to get rid of them – they left without a struggle. I learned the truth and the truth set me free.
The God I have come to know is the kind of God who will take a crippled, wounded, motherless child and hold her so close she can feel He has become female and is even breastfeeding her because that’s what she needs from Him!
God stepped into my life and breastfed me! He was my Mother because I needed a mother’s love. He healed the motherless infant crying inside me then, when that need was fulfilled and the fatherless child inside me began crying for a daddy instead, He turned into a doting daddy and I was able to feel what it was like to be Daddy’s little princess for a while.
Now I am an adult. The infants inside me have been healed and I don’t need God to be my mummy or daddy so He has become my Father and we walk side by side. I turn to Him for love, advice, support and guidance and He is enough. I really don’t NEED anyone else.
I don’t need others but I’m pretty sure He is telling me others need me and He wants me to do more than help people as a psychologist. In my professional life I cannot share God with people no matter how much I may believe what they really need is Him. I am allowed to try and strengthen their faith if they already have it when they come to me but I am not allowed to try and plant faith if it is not already there.
If the church decides to use me as a counsellor I will finally be free to share the one thing I have found that can work miracles – Gods love!
God seems to think I am ready to begin working for Him and I have been brought to a church whose work I can trust and believe in. All I have to do is send my resume to them and leave the rest in God’s hands. I can do that. The bit God asks ME to do is never all that hard actually.
I’m suddenly remembering something I heard somewhere – that we will not know real happiness until we are living the life God created us to live. For 33 years I have had one desire burning in my heart – to become the person God created me to be. That has been my prayer ever since I gave my life to God. He took a broken girl, healed her, then turned her into a psychologist in answer to that prayer.
Now I’m wondering if all the years practising have actually been an apprenticeship. Is it possible God has decided I’ve learned what I need to know, both as a psychologist and as a Christian, to do the job He really wants me to do? Did He create me to be a Christian Psychologist rather than a psychologist who also happens to be a Christian in her personal life? If I start working for the church as a Christian Psychologist will I find the Joy of the Lord that I have been searching for and discover true happiness?
I guess the only way to find out is to send that resume!