This is a copy of an article I wrote in 2012 for the Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) newsletter; I have edited the article slightly for this post. It gives a brief overview of where I was a year ago and a bit of my faith journey in moving from a place of literal & spiritual comfort to a place of great struggle. I have another article coming out in the October 2013 issue of the same newsletter and will post it after publication.
Walking By Faith
Comparatively, my story is unremarkable. I was raised a Christian but soon found excuse enough to walk away from God. After a modern re-enactment of the prodigal son, I repented. Blessed with a loving husband and son, God led us from southern Ontario to northern Manitoba. I confess to a certain amount of resistance on my part. I fantasized about serving God somewhere more exciting, like Africa or South America. Frankly, I hate the cold and in myself I have no heart for northern Canada but I had enough faith in God to believe that in His will is my peace1. So we moved to a First Nations reserve where as a relatively new nurse I was diagnosing, prescribing, suturing, taking and interpreting x-rays, performing Pap tests, managing alcohol-related seizures, sexual assaults, stabbings, panic attacks, suicide attempts – you name it, it happened, at all times of day or night. I worked long hours, often for many weeks straight. Overwhelmed, I struggled through that year. I experienced a crushing attack on my self-esteem and abilities as a nurse. It became impossible to stay in that job; the workload was unmanageable and my husband couldn’t work on the reserve. We moved to a nearby city, and because of unexpected debt, decided to sell our house back home which we had rented to friends. We tithed faithfully and believed God would honor our faithfulness2. Instead, our tenants sabotaged any efforts to sell, threatened us, doubled our utility bills (which we were paying), and caused damage to our property. We had to accept an offer $14,000 less than what we owed. My husband was still not working, we were paying for two properties, and all available credit was used up. We were constantly on the brink of financial ruin.
I might have thought we were being attacked by the enemy if we were holding tent meetings and throngs of people were being saved. But none of that was happening; there were no dramatic healings or miracles. Where was God? Were the heavens deaf to our cries? Ah but you see, we were being changed! “We live by faith and not by sight”3. This verse was being worked out in us as we struggled, cried and learned to surrender and trust Him. Was it painful? You bet! Did we throw tantrums and at times act in a completely ungodly fashion? Oh yes! Was God faithful, merciful and His love unconditional? Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! God is shaping us to serve Him however He wants – “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked”4 – and His discipline allows us to live more faithfully. So though there are no dramatic events of Biblical proportion or large-scale multi-media ministries, we are learning to listen for the “still small voice”5, calling us to imitate the humble life of the Saviour. If we boast, let us boast in Christ alone6.
1 Dante Alighieri
2 Malachi 3:10
3 2 Cor. 5:7
4 Ps. 84:10
5 1 Kings 19:11
6 2 Cor 10:17
- Hold fast to the Word (davidcampbelljr.wordpress.com)