Have you ever felt like God has picked you up, removed you from society and tucked you away somewhere, just to leave you there? Are you struggling with feeling isolated and it seems to be by God’s doing?
Well in 2013 I found myself ironically, with so much freedom that I actually felt isolated. I actually found myself living a life that perhaps many would envy, even a place that I always dreamed of but thought was only reserved for the wealthy, which wasn’t us! I found myself not having to work.
I was able to stay at home all day while Derek went off to work. Awesome right? Well, I can’t believe how hard it was to come to terms with this lifestyle. I felt isolated. However, I got to know something different of how The Lord does things in His people, as a result and I would like to share that with you.
I worked in real estate for 12 years and then studied full-time for qualifications as a counsellor and got my degree in Applied Social Science. I was pretty chuffed.
Following this I found employment as a caseworker in a residential women’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre where I was later promoted to senior caseworker. This too, gave me a great sense personal achievement. I guess I’d always been looking for that means of having a purposeful life in God’s eyes and thought this must be it. After all these years.
However, after a series of events such as the loss of my father, the loss of the family home, restructuring of my workplace and the ensuing upheaval of living and financial circumstances I suffered an emotional breakdown in trying to cope with all of the above.
So in December 2013 my life changed completely. After 6 months off work, with the support of my doctor, I was approved by the government system, to become a full-time carer for my mother, who was now living with us. This meant I was able to receive an income, albeit considerably less than a working wage, without going to work. I became a full-time carer, at home.
Wow. Staying at home, no stress and still earning money? After a good length of time, this emotional upheaval began to settle but then something quite unsavoury started setting in. ‘Guilt’. Eech.
I started to really feel guilty for not working. I struggled to come to terms with it really being okay for me to stay at home. I ‘felt’ like I was cheating the system, cheating God, cheating Derek and even cheating myself. And I could hear my late dad’s voice in my head ‘Donna, you’ve got to go to work’!
Man, I seriously wrestled with this for about 18 months. I had no peace or faith in the circumstances I was in. And this was in spite of Derek’s constant reassurance that he had complete peace about my being at home and that he actually preferred it as opposed to having a stressed out wife to come home to each night 🙂
Somewhere during those 18 months Derek and I sensed the Lord’s encouragement for us to each start reading the bible from front to back, something neither of us had ever done. Reading the word, whilst sitting out in the quiet and being able to meditate on what I was reading whilst gazing upon the hills filled with kangaroos and cattle, became a real meeting place for me and the Lord. Soon, this became the larger part of how I spent my days.
I can’t even recall now but somehow it eventually became apparent to me that it was the Lord’s will for me to stay at home and use the time to commune with Him. I suppose I was experiencing fruit as a result of spending so much time with Him. I began to see that this time of apparent isolation was more than just His permission or even a blessing from Him but that it was what HE wanted. God was isolating me for a season because He had some serious work to do and He had to stop me in my tracks in order to do it.
I just couldn’t tell you all the things that the Lord and I have walked through since I understood His intention. I can tell you however, that from the moment I realised it was the Lord’s intent for HIS purpose, and actually now a matter of obedience to that purpose, I received complete peace about being at home and not working. All the guilt left me, praise God! I had been given faith to believe there was a higher purpose for me being at home than just to have a so-called easy life. And this purpose was greater than any career could measure up to.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
Sometimes when God speaks to us it is simply a knowing that rises in our spirit. But when it is Him, with it comes His faith to receive and believe what He has said. Then we have the faith to walk in what He has said, with complete confidence. He does the speaking. He is the message. And He gives the faith to believe.
As a result, my days became filled with rest and prayer and communing with God, going for walks, looking for Him and finding Him in nature and my surroundings, connecting with bloggers , reading and writing blogs. I read books that The Lord used to speak into my life and I discovered His life in the scriptures like never before. It became the richest part of my life in Him to date. God sure knew what He was doing, alright.
Being a Carer of someone living with me has really been used by God in a myriad of ways. He’s used my apparent isolation as a Carer to teach me about giving up so many preferences, my privacy and so much of my own space, which has always been so important to me.
I’ve had to learn that sometimes a career is not what God’s after, but that He has something else in mind and a definite design for accomplishing it. I can look back now over these last few years and see the value of what He’s done by keeping me hidden away and it’s still happening. It’s not over yet. He’s still got a lot to do.
God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
He pulled me out of that career path and job. It was Him who changed my location. He set me up as a Carer, He set me up at home to learn how to turn what I might see as isolation into communion. And He was right there waiting for me.
I definitely feel that I know Him a lot better as a result of all the time He has given me this way but I sure need to know Him more!
Dear brother or sister, my prayer today is that if The Lord has called you aside for a while and it seems it is Him who has isolated you – perhaps you haven’t been able to work, or you’ve been single for a long time, or you’ve been placed in a job that seems hidden away and insignificant – that you will see that Christ is in it with you, for HIS purpose. He has a plan that He is working toward and it will involve every aspect of your life and certainly getting your attention so that He can reveal more of Himself to you and in you for His sake.
He needs you to know Him.
Wow. What a beautiful thing. The God of all creation needs and wants us to know Him. And He’ll do whatever it’s gonna take to get that done. We just need to be willing to get on board with HIS program.
So ask the Lord, is the purpose of this isolation to learn to commune with Him? What is He wanting from you in this season? What is He wanting to teach you at this time?
And hang in there saint, look and listen, He is with you, He is for you, and holds you in the palm of His hand, and is leading you always deeper into Him. In Christ, we are never, ever truly isolated. That’s impossible. He is in it with us.