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Gifts from God

In my previous post I shared some of the struggles I faced as I try to navigate my way through God’s calling on my life. Today I thought I would share with you some silly little things that God has given to me or done for me in the past few months.  You may know my family recently moved 800 miles from our home so I could attend midwifery school, and the transition has been mostly smooth.  But the little gifts from God have been such fabulous reminders of how much he loves me.

The first gift, I can swim.  I never really learned to swim as a child, and never had easy access to a pool. Even if I did have access to a pool, chlorine gives me headaches so I tended to stay out of the water.  But our new apartment had two pools, both outdoor.  I had to at least try to get in the water right?  Not only did swimming turn out to be a fabulous way to play with my children each day, the practice I was able to get was enough for me to learn to swim without getting water up my nose.  And in the process, I lost a few pounds and regained my arm muscles.

The second gift was a pair of shoes, sandals actually.  Someone had left them next to our car in a parking lot at the end of the day.  We knew no one would come back for these silly looking things so I told my daughter she could take them.  A week later I started having terrible foot pain and struggled to find a way to stay comfortable.  None of my sensible nurses shoes could do it.  So in desperation I tried on the sandals, they worked.

The third gift is also related to the foot pain.  Nothing I was reading about it was helping, whatever damage I had done was not healing.  So I decided to just listen to my body instead of the books, and it worked.  The pain is minimal now, and I expect in a few more days it will be completely gone.

Another gift came because I chose to attend the first week of school rather than be with friends at a conference. Through the get-to-know-you activities I have found some very wonderful women in my program whom I anticipate will become great friends.  One of the women I would not have met because our class schedules will not align.

I do not want to give the false impression that following God’s calling in your life is easy or that everything will always fall into place.  Moving was hard, giving up a chance to be with friends did hurt. But I think God knows that it isn’t always easy to do the right thing, and I think he can sympathize with our broken hearts. Though these gifts do not erase the challenges, they do remind me that God will not leave me to struggle through them alone.

Take some time today to think about where God is calling you, whether it be to motherhood, midwifery, doula or other childbirth related activity.  As you think about the challenges you have as you pursue that call, consider also the quiet and personal ways God is reminding you that he will never leave you to manage them alone.

Many blessings friends, may your eyes be opened to the gifts God is giving you today!

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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