This post was inspired by my church service last Sunday.
I’ve wanted to blog for years…but the recent ‘push’ to finally do it came from writing the “Verse of the week” emails for my small group. Not from someone’s really cool fitness instagram pic. Not from a blog post. From writing about scripture. Because I truly believe God has created a platform to share his love and grace on social media.
In my small group we each take turns choosing a verse of the week for a month and write a little about that verse: something it taught us or something encouraging or whatever! I enjoyed writing them so much and it reminded me of that little blogging idea all over again. I’m no professional writer by any means, but I enjoy writing!
I LOVE working out and sweating and talking about being healthy. Had I started my blog 6 or 7 years ago, that may have been 100% what it was about (which is TOTALLY fine if that’s your thing!). For me, I don’t think that’s all of who I am or what I have to say.
In church last Sunday, we read together the following verses:
The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words”. So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
We’ve heard this before, right? We are the potter’s clay. The work of HIS hands. I suppose I’ve just never really read this verse well? It resonated with me a lot last Sunday morning.
I’m currently in my 20s. Which they say can be one of the roughest (but most fun?) decades of your life. So much is changing. You’re finding a career, maybe a spouse. Maybe you’re changing careers or going back to school? Maybe you’re having kids. Buying a house. Buried in debt. There’s SO much going on. And I’m not sure this is really a ’20s’ thing, more so that in our 20s we start to realize we aren’t 12 anymore and everything comes at you pretty quickly.
But even before turning 20, were we not constantly talked to about what we would one day become? School counselors, teachers, your parents, now the things we are ‘inspired’ by on instagram? What will you be 5, 10, 15 years from now? Even when you’re five people are asking ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’. Nothing wrong with that. (I ask my patients that all the time 😉 ) However, it’s had me thinking lately how small we are in our efforts and how big our God is.
I remember worrying to the point of intense stress, tears, and stomach aches about getting into nursing school. I spent 3 years in school just to change majors again and the whole world was going to fall apart if I didn’t get in. I’m telling you, it was. I remember quitting basketball in high school to take a PT internship and thinking I could be making a HUGE mistake because it was my last year to play school sports. I’ve stressed about whether to go to graduate school. Whether to take a 180 degree turn in the nursing world from adult nursing to pediatric intensive care. I stressed about whether I could change my workouts up and do lifting because I struggled with the idea of losing the identity of a runner, despite the fact that my body hated running. It’s as if my life fate actually rested on MY capability to make decisions (some of which, looking back are so NOT significant..hellloooo drama queen).
So yeah, I’d say I’m prone to stress and anxiety a little bit ;). But we all worry about ‘major’ life changes, right?
I just know for myself, I’ve always wanted to know what’s next. What extra big thing can I do. What can I do to be on top? In careers? In fitness? And then when I finally make the decision, I FREAK out. Like the stated examples in the above paragraph. All in an effort to better myself and keep on doing the things and reaching for the next goal.
These verses set me back and reminded me of a few things.
-It reminded me of who shapes me and molds me.
-It reminded me that my shaping and molding is for Him, and not my own personal achievements. And sheesh, maybe to stop looking so much at myself?
-It reminded me that if I try something and don’t like it, I can do something else. Or if I sin, I’m forgiven, and God can remold me.
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel”
-It’s taught me that remolding is good. If we don’t get it on the first time, it really is OK. Sometimes, as we all know, failures teach us things. They make us grow. They make us learn to lean on our savior.
-And overall, I remember that God is sovereign and knows all things. I am of HIS work and honestly, we are commanded to not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6-7). So really, why stress about whether I’m getting into school? Or whether people around me think I’m a good nurse? Or if this whole blogging/gramming thing is a little out there. And that’s not to say I don’t care what people think at all, or to go around and act recklessly about decisions without being prayerful and without thought for the future. But at the end of the day I’m seeking GOD’s approval and love. And looking to do what HE wants me to do. And if in my human error and sin I mess up, thank God I can be remolded like clay in the Potter’s hand.
Was my last job my favorite? Nope. But did it instill in me some of the major foundations of critical care nursing and teach this mumbling sheep-voiced girl how to speak up to advocate for her patient (with a plethora of other things..)? YEP. Was I an all-star basketball player? Nope, but did I meet people that Christ has kept in my life to this day and grow a love for moving my body through it? YEP. God has remolded me in all of these situations, none of which were even ‘wrong’ decisions. He’s used things and experiences to remold me to who He wants me to be in each season of life.
So, I’ll probably continue to keep reaching, and doing whatever things God places in front of me. It’s definitely not bad to have those goals. But man, it’s so good to know that God has His hand in all things. And even if we mess up, we usually use that mistake as a stepping stone to the better thing He has for us, which, in turn, is really for Him. Here’s to constantly trying to live in the present, seek God in my next steps, and be remolded by the creator of the universe when I don’t get it right the first 12 times.
Grace on grace on grace.
I hope that made sense….