Seeking Gods Will and Listening to His Prompting

Recently, I have had a change in my health that required me to take a rather long medical leave from work. Here in Canada , we have government assistance for sick leave up to 15 weeks if you don’t have an employer based insurance plan. I didn’t have anything. So , I applied to have these benefits as I was placed off work by my Nurse Practitioner due to severe stress and anxiety,which resulted in a multitude of health issues, the least of which were two different tumours. One of them was found while recovering from the first removal surgery. Both were found to be non-cancerous. However, I was advised by my second surgeon that the type of tumour in my mouth was one that is “reactive”,and he advised reducing my stress as this impacts the this type of tumour’s growth. The first surgeon advised me that he expects my tumour to return as this type has a return time of about 10 yrs, He gave me 5-6 years before he thinks mine will return and I will be getting it cut out again. This tumour also can be cancerous, so each time I go through this I will need to be tested and then wait. Yay! Not! The second surgeon is hopeful I don’t have a return but I have to closely monitor it for recurrence.

To make things even more exciting, before I went on sick leave was embroiled in some issues with a manager due to differing views of how I performed my job. Prior to her I had two managers whom had no issue with my work and even said I was doing well. I will not expand on this further as I don’t believe its professional to do so. I bring it up to point out that this was contributing to my stress exponentially. I have had stress and anxiety for many years now and have been told numerous times I needed to manage it better, and get into a better life pattern or I would become more and more ill. Well I all but ignored this advise. Thinking “if I can just get this over with , or get this done, or away from this environment, or person then everything will get better”, but it never did. It got worse…much, much,worse. To the point I have been living with high blood pressure, obesity, severe anxiety, severe depression, social anxiety, decreased energy, migraine headaches frequently and regular headaches daily, stomach pain and irritation, bowel issues, psoriasis on my head , eczema in my ears, spontaneous hot and cold sweats, mood swings, memory loss, inability to concentrate, and hair loss, to name a few. Add on that I am also an introvert (see “Quiet” by Susan Cain), high sensitive person (see Dr.Elaine Aron),and have attention deficit disorder (see Douglas Mental Health University) and you have a recipe for disaster.

{I must state that although many medical institutions and people view these three aspects as problems, I don”t . ADD especially is seen as a “mental disorder” which I don’t. I have had psych-education testing to determine my strengths/weaknesses, and it was found I excel in many areas, with an ability to see the whole picture, and possible outcomes when others cannot. I just get very easily distracted, and usually when bored, but I can also “hyper-focus” meaning I get into doing something and I can do it for hours without a break. Many ADHD/ADD people are very intelligent- Einstein was believed to have been ADHD or ADD, but that all another days discussion}.

All of my health issues are exacerbated by stress and anxiety. So you can see the issue I have been dealing with. One big stress-reaction circle. So it came be, that I was sitting in my Nurse Practitioners (NP) office crying and asking “what should I do? what can I do?!!” Her answer was take time off and get better. Stop the cycle.

So, after weeks of being off and trying to get better, I am going in the right direction. Slowly but in the right direction. I have lost 14lbs, decreased my blood pressure medication twice (FYI- I am an RN, I don’t advise others to do what I do without medical help or training). Why am I telling you all of this?. Because it took me on a journey that resulted in this website, and is continuing. I started to see my pastor for counselling and I’ve been seeing my NP regularly for check ups. While getting better I have been reading the bible, reading books on spiritual gifts, listening to pod casts of Chuck Swindoll (Insight for Living – Broadcast library), reading Charles Stanley’s books, and praying…a lot. I’ve continually asking God what I am supposed to do next. I spent the last month trying to determine if I should return to my employer or try and find work elsewhere. I started to ask myself “What is the root cause of all this trouble?” is it me? my work? what?!….

So, I turned to the Bible which states…

We are to – “seek first the Kingdom of God” Matthew 6:33.

If we seek him- ” If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God , who gives generously to all without finding fault,and it will be given to you” James 1:5.

It also says to -“give thanks in all circumstances ; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Seek  Godly council– “Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice” Ecclesiastes 4:13. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel” Proverbs 12:15, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” Proverbs 11:14.

Test the spirit of those counselling you -“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” James 1:5.

That he has plans for us -[“for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11.

That God will- “Equip you with everything good for doing his will” Hebrews 13:20-21.

We need to- “Persevere so that when you have done the will of God , you will receive what he promised” Hebrews 10:36. Seeking Gods plan is described more in depth in Charles Stanley’s book- “God Has a Plan for Your Life”.

So I read the Bible, prayed, spoke to my pastor, spoke to my NP, and my Christian family and friends. What I was told by all of them was that I am not suited for the nursing role I had, and that the environment of that specific place was not conducive to my health as it required me to function in a way that I found very exhausting, and that caused me great anxiety and stress. But I still wasn’t sure if I should resign. Even though all these people were telling me (even non- Christian co-workers said it). I did spiritual gift tests to see what might be my strengths (knowledge, discernment, wisdom kept creeping up with a sprinkle of teaching). It didn’t matter that everyone who knows me says I am very good at finding information, reading it, understanding it and teaching others what I learned. Everyone said you should do something where you research information for others then explain it or write it up for them to read with explanations as to application of the information.  But what does that all look like?

I decided to speak with my pastor about feeling lost as to what God wanted me to do. I explained that I felt I should not return to my job as I became increasingly sick trying to perform my duties. I explained that I was worried and scared that God was going to send me back to that job. (A thought that caused me to have a headache, and stomach pain and issues whenever I thought it). He said ” why do you think he would send you back?” I had no idea, maybe to mould my character more? He said “so let me understand what your saying…you are worried that after God helping you get better, he is going to send you back to the job and place that made you sick? Is that right? Does that make sense to you? Why would God heal you up then send you back to be torn down again?”. I replied” well, when you say it that way it doesn’t sound like it makes sense. But, then why have I not had any clear direction yet as to what I am to do?”. He replied, ” maybe he is waiting for you to step out in faith and resign before he will reveal your next step to you”. Then he asked if there was anything I would like to do. I said “well, I would love to make an income from the art I am selling on Redbubble. But I have only sold a couple things. 5 bucks here and there. Not enough to pay bills. But I doubt God will let me make a living from my art”. He said and “why not, he places the desires we have in our heart.” I said “ya I know people can make money from art , and I know he gave me the talent but I don’t think he will bless me that way, others ya, but not me”. My pastor then said “when did you start to believe that you were not worthy of Gods blessings? what or who told you that lie?”…WOW. I hadn’t really said out loud that I didn’t believe God would bless me. Which means I didn’t trust him to fill the needs I have, even though he says he will. I also wasn’t trusting that his plan for me could be a good one. Even though that is in the bible too. I was believing that what ever plan God had, would be mostly difficult, and I wouldn’t get to have a job I actually enjoy, I am good at, and doesn’t make me sick. I have also believed for a very long time that the good things happen to others not me. I realised that I believed I wasn’t good enough for good things from God. I am still working out why that is the way I think.

I have since, resigned my job, started this blog (I kept having the thought come to me at very odd times of the day,over months, so I believe God was prompting me for some reason), been applying to jobs, doing my art and putting it in Redbubble. I continue to pray, read the bible , listen to Chuck Swindoll and Charles Stanley. I am currently in a holding pattern with no idea what is next, or how bills will be paid, or what I should do at all. I do know that when I resigned my job, and prayed to the Lord about revealing to me my next step and asking him to honour my stepping out I immediately felt a relief and calmness. I still battle anxiety, and have to pray for the Lord to calm me, but I still have more hope than before, my health is still improving, and I believe there is a plan for me and it is great. I just have to wait on him to reveal it step by step. He said he has a plan for us and its not to hurt us, so I believe it because he said it and he is truth and Love.

God Bless

 

 

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