Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Psalm 42:5 (NIV)

I have spent the last several days drinking deeply from the cup of discouragement.  Life is so different than I thought it would be! I never pictured myself working in any capacity other than as a person involved in soul care. I never thought I would have a “job” again and here I am, working full time in something other than as a biblical counselor. I woke up the other morning to go to work and the first thought to enter my bleary mind was “This is not what I am supposed to be doing with my life.”

I am wearing many hats these days and my heart is greatly divided. I long so deeply to return to my life of ministry- to my husband, to my church, and to my counselee’s- and God has not seen fit to bring this to pass. 

I know I am not alone in this dilemma for many of us women are finding ourselves ousted from our chosen and God-given ministries and injected into the workplace due to the economy. It is an unfortunate reality of our times.

I returned to my job in the medical field when we moved here last spring, and I have been waiting and praying, praying and waiting for God to move me back where I believe I belong. In the meantime, I have been challenged over and over as I have had to upgrade my skills and learn some new ones. I confess, I have struggled with my perfectionistic nature (pride) as I have failed myself at getting a very difficult aspect of my job right in a short amount of time.

It is amazing to me how different things are being ten years older! I don’t think as fast, don’t move as fast, and I don’t act on something as fast as I once did. I also don’t have the same drive to succeed as I once did because my heart is divided and hopes that this is all temporary. It is very difficult to live in the present while hoping the future changes.

The mission field at my job is enormous. My heart aches at the vast number of lost souls I am surrounded by each day. Compounding the problem is the fact that I can only say little things about my beliefs, lest I be considered “offensive” and be disciplined for proselytizing on the job. People are so touchy these days! 

I long to return to the way things used to be. I miss being “just” a wife and mom, I miss taking care of my home, I miss doing the things many consider boring or mundane. I miss the fellowship of other women, and having the time and energy to attend a Bible study group.

Even in the midst of discouragement I am thankful for what God has given. I understand what it means to not have enough income, I understand what it means to not have a good job or to have a bad working environment so I am thankful neither of those things apply to me right now.

What I miss so profoundly is the time to serve and minister to those people God brings into my life through counseling, teaching, my books, and this blog. Ministry is my heartbeat. It is what wakes me up in the morning and what keeps me going through the day until late at night when I should be sleeping. It is truly what I live to do.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:5 (NIV)