When I was working as a family doctor, it was very clear to me that I was following Jesus. Medicine is one of those professions that is way up on the altruistic scale. I had twelve years of higher education behind me and I was now working really hard to take care of sick people. I delivered babies, saw people in the clinic, helped in surgery, and went to the nursing homes.
Then chronic migraines arrived. For a couple of years, I tried to work through the migraines. To no avail. The pain became chronic with frequent bouts of migraine. So I had to quit work.
Unfortunately, as much as I had tried not to, I had let my work become my identity - and my way of following Jesus. I spent my first year away from medicine remembering that I'm a wife, mother, daughter, knitter, etc.
I'm still working on how to follow Jesus despite the illness. Here's the thing; I always wanted to do Big things for God! Practicing medicine was a Big Thing for God. A mission trip to a boys ranch near Caracas was a Big Thing for God. Now that I'm at home, the opportunities for Big Things for God are pretty slim.
For the first several years, I took over the homeschooling from PWM. That was a pretty Big Thing for God. After all, these kids are the future! And, now, Rosie Girl is settled in college and Wild Man is accepted in college and will graduate from public school in the spring.
I still want to do Big Things for God, but I still have chronic migraine. Paul tells Timothy something interesting in 1 Timothy 2. He reminds him to pray for all the government officials "that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." The point I am taking away here is that there are times in our lives when we are just supposed to live life. A couple of verses later, Paul tells Timothy that we are to live this way because God wants everyone to be saved.
Sometimes, we need to do the Big Things for God. Sometimes it's just living our littie lives in our corner of the world. What's up in our corner of the world? We have an exchange student, so we are loving her to death. I pray. I got a new journal for Christmas to use as my new prayer journal - much prettier than the last one. I love and feed all the teenagers and young adults who pass through our house. I've quit counting.
Yes, chronic migraine is a disability. I miss entirely too much of what happens in the world around me. But, God does have places to use me, even in my restricted world.
What about you? How are you able to follow Jesus? Do you have any new ideas?