Have you ever had something about you be the same for so long that you didn't really notice God changing you? For so long, my profession, my heart, my everything has been about children. I wanted to be a teacher from 6th grade on (maybe earlier). I worked with children all through middle school, high school and college - baby-sitting, nursery, teaching, tutoring, etc. When I graduated college, I began teaching right away - taught kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade during my 9 year span. When I had my daughter, I began teaching the children's Sunday School class at our church. I figured that is where my gifts are, that is my passion...right? Well, recently I have realized I hadn't been so passionate about teaching Sunday School - not that I don't love the children and want to serve them and teach them Christ's love for them, but I just haven't been excited about doing it.
A close friend was telling me about how a lot of times the "struggles and trials" we have been through become our passion. God uses those to allow us to help others and encourage others b/c we've been through it and came out the other side. Well, as she was telling me this I was thinking what has been my struggle or my trial? I thought of 2.
1) My marriage! I mean, not now - right now it is pretty great and my husband and I praise God often, but at the beginning it was pretty rough. We started out as two non-Christians who were basically sharing an apartment. We didn't consult the other on anything - we didn't communicate very well at all and we fought constantly. God brought us so far in teaching us, through HIS word about how to treat each other. He taught me how to be submissive to my husband (which doesn't mean letting my husband walk all over me or beat me or any of the "negative" things some people think when they hear the word submissive) and how to let him lead our family. The Lord also taught my husband how to love me and be more sensitive to my needs and my desires. Because we had a rough marriage for about 4 years, I can relate through those wives who are struggling in their marriage, I have a heart for those women who want "out" because I was there.
2) Being a mother! I really struggled in the transition from being a working wife to being a stay at home mother. I knew it was what I needed to do and it was best for my daughter, but it took a lot of prayer and a lot of struggle to get to where I was content with this new "job" that God had called me to do.
So, my passions have changed. I am passionate about helping women who are struggling in these areas and providing encouragement for them because, like I said, I have been there. I am not so sure what specific ministry God wants me to be a part of in order to use these struggles to help others, but I am keeping my eyes open.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will follow you!