My Next Assignment
September 01, 2017
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
After a conversation with Jerry Patee, he thought I might share what direction my life has taken since my precious Jack is now enjoying his rewards in heaven. And more importantly how God has been continuing to show me the path I am to walk.
Some of you know about our story and some of the “ hiccups” we faced during our 50 years of marriage. Some don’t know us at all. I don’t know how to catch those up who aren’t sure who we were, so find some early church members to get the “cliff notes”.
Jack was the founding pastor of PBUMC and the love of my life. When he answered the call to enter the ministry, it was during our mid-life years (a really awesome mid-life crisis sort of thing)! We couldn’t believe that God could REALLY use US! We were nice people just not the kind God needed to be leaders on His team. But what did we know so we just followed where He led us. Soon Jack was appointed to help start a little church out on Innerarity Point Road. (This is the place where you need to fill in the next bit of history from an early member— or this message would soon become a tome!)
I was a registered nurse at that time and I was working full time. When the church started growing and having more opportunities for Bible Study and classes, I felt so inadequate because I didn’t have a “job” in the development of our young church! I just knew that I really needed to be doing more than I was doing. As the first phase of building was complete and we were worshiping in the new sanctuary one Sunday morning, I was sitting alone on the 3rd row – left side – and was whining to God because I didn’t have an assignment like everyone else. What was I supposed to do to really be of service? Now when I say I heard God speak to me it is not an audible voice but rather a VERY strong impression He placed in my heart! He let me feel He had called Jack to a really difficult task and the best job I could do was to be the most supportive, encouraging and loving wife I could be because “ things” will get really hard for Jack. Now that sounded right up my alley because I had always loved that boy with all my heart! Isn’t it funny that God asks us to use what we already have to honor Him!? I was so glad He didn’t ask me to teach or run the nursery!! I loved to sit in church and hear what God had given Jack to say each Sunday! (I always thought he did such a great job!) I just didn’t know how difficult “some things” were going to get. Things like heart transplants, kidney disease, cancer, and a kidney transplant, to name a few. God had placed us in the most supportive, caring, and compassionate church He had ever built to help us get through those life events as a family!
Anyway, I took that job very seriously and did the very best I could. During our last years together my job got a little busier but I was always honored that God was still helping me be what He needed me to be. So when God finally called Jack home to the Church Triumphant, I was back to my original question – “What is my next assignment, Lord?” ( Being an old Army “brat” and mature nurse means I am always thinking about assignments and what might come next!) God didn’t answer that question right away but He really had me using my “trust” muscles as He orchestrated some VERY rapid changes in my “life without Jack”! (Another tome I can’t go into at this time!)
What God did do after many months of being “just Bev”, not “Jack and Bev” was quietly impress upon me to be available. I wondered, what could that mean? That is a really open ended kind of thing! But soon I realized what He meant. There were several medical needs in my immediate family that needed some assistance! Guess what? I could help that need! Then soon after, there were several more; these were across the country, but that didn’t matter one whit! I didn’t have any other obligations that held me to one location.
I finally realized that God had given me a heart that LOVED taking care of people in need and He had given me the skills and grace to do a pretty good job!!! I still find it amazing that we can work so hard to try and find a “hard” job and do it because somehow we think that if we really struggle to do God’s work we are more holy – just because we have to struggle! How silly of us. My take away from my life is that God wants us to use the gifts He has already given us. We don’t need to struggle to look for something to do that is hard for us. We only need to sit quietly with God and listen as He tells us how He wants us to use the gifts we already have. When we understand that we are using our giftedness for God’s glory, we have such a sense of purpose, peace and the presence of God all the time!!
So to sum up my current assignment: I’m sitting on ready to be available for the next “assignment “ God sends my way. My life without Jack has not been what I thought it would be BUT when I married my love, my life with him was NOT what I thought it would be!!! But boy, what a ride!!! God so blessed our socks right off our feet during our life together and now my life as “just Bev” is truly continuing in blessings!!
May you each find the wonderful path God has made for each and every one of us! Trust me, the path is not always easy but God NEVER leaves you to handle it alone. We serve an AWESOME God!!!! Praise be to God!!