Relocating to a different state places my work endeavors at a stand-still. In September, I traveled back to New Jersey (my former residence) to testify in family court on behalf of a former client. However, there is no current fulfillment of work as I once knew it. Honestly speaking, I simply have little energy to start over as a self-employed Parenting Educator. But as I place my feelings aside for the sake of reflection and growth, I must consider some important questions. Is there unfinished business? Is God at work in continuing (through me) my work efforts from before?
The Fear and Insecurity
Feelings of fear and insecurity that arise within me at times are undeniable. I often think of the hard work and hours it takes to build up a client base and wonder if I can do it again. I LOVE what I do and KNOW that God is in the details of my work. But is there enough space for another Parenting Educator in my new location?
Recently, a comment disrupted my fearful thoughts. “You can do the same thing here as you did in New Jersey. You just have to get the word out.” The lovely tax professional who speaks these words is soft-spoken but bold in her reply to my uncertainty. In the mix of calculating numbers and collecting tax documents from me, this woman preaches an entire sermon to the core of my soul. Unbeknown to her, she challenges my fear and insecurity as she questions whether I will continue my work in a new state. I’m in awe of just how strategic the Lord is in getting His point across when we need it the most.
Unfinished Business – The Courage
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.” – Joshua 1: 1 – 2
I begin to ponder the Biblical scripture in Joshua Chapter 1. At this point in scripture, Joshua has fulfilled much of his missional work under a different regime. He’s experienced loss – the death of his mentor, Moses and a slew of people who are no longer apart of his journey. Still, the Lord commissions Joshua to carry on with the efforts of leading the nation of Israel into the Promised Land.
Fortunately, the Lord is considerate of Joshua’s humanity as this is no easy task.
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange (2020) notes: Thus, Joshua was given a superhuman dual task of leading the Israelites into the promised land AND providing an exemplar of covenant keeping law keeper. These were beyond the capabilities of any human but could be accomplished with divine assistance.
And the Lord is very emphatic when He admonishes Joshua to take courage three different times.
In Joshua 1 we have:
- Verse 6: be strong and very courage
- Verse 7: only be strong and very courage
- Verse 9: have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage
Clearly, Joshua has unfinished business… And frankly, so do I…
In my personal reflection, I pose a couple of questions. Is the call to facilitate and teach family and parenting classes even about me? Did the Lord draw me to this purposeful mission over two decades ago and then again during a worldwide pandemic? Respectively, I answer NO and YES.
As much as I attempt to ignore the desire to follow through with my calling, I simply can’t. I’m literally the concerned citizen and family enthusiast who is constantly praying for Amber Alert victims, the influx of family murder-suicides, and the tragedy that domestic violence brings to homes. This work is not just something that I do, but it’s who I am – a person called to care and act.
And so I continue my work journey — in a new state. However, I won’t have to continue in my own strength because I’ve got some fine words to keep me motivated.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9