Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
TITLE: The Indigo Vessel
By Elizabeth Garrett
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“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV)
As I closed the heavy, dark brown door, I couldn’t believe this chapter of my life had come to an end. Two years of working harder, caring more, and getting paid less than I had in years were over. Exhausted and at wit’s end, I resigned from my job as a healthcare administrator.
As if long hours, increasing demands, and an endless “to do” list were not enough, the onslaught of personal attacks became overwhelming. Investigations followed, and my name was cleared, yet a “no confidence” vote by one individual began planting seeds of doubt, which quickly sprouted in others. I felt like one of the people on Survivor who tried to be a person of integrity, but they were voted off the island anyway. Ultimately, God gave me the signal to leave.
At the end, we had a lovely party, beautiful gifts, kind letters, and hugs. Yet it was still the end. The days that followed are a blur. I tried moving on and pursuing a new life. We went on a cruise. I spent time alone at the lake. I delved into Scripture, studying God’s word for His promises. I cried many times and asked for forgiveness of anything I may have done wrong. There is still no word from God on my next move for income.
The days have been busy enough. Getting our small business back in order has been a priority. Teaching Bible studies and volunteering for Christian ministry has given me focus. But what about God’s promises to me?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Could it be that God really has included me in His promises? Some days I just couldn’t see it.
As an adult, my career has been my identity. Now, all of a sudden, who am I?
One night I dreamed someone was speaking to me on God’s behalf. He showed me a beautiful indigo-colored earthen vessel shimmering with a soft translucent glaze. I commented on the vessel’s beauty, and he replied that the vessel was me. In contrast, all I could see were my failures.
While counseling with a minister friend, she suggested I take a few months off, if I had that luxury, to discover who I am in Christ. This seemed strange because I knew I was a child of God and a faithful Christian. However, I decided to do as suggested.
Throughout this time of reflection and study, God has begun to reveal himself a little more each day. It may be a simple nudge of encouragement, perfectly timed financial provision, or through confirmation I’m in His will by placing just the right person or information before me. Even when I can’t see His hand upon my life or hear His small voice, I know He’s there. In Matthew 28:20, NIV, Jesus says, “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
While I still cannot see where this path is leading, I know that it is often in failure where we find new life and treasures that otherwise we would have never known. To have an abundant life in Christ, we must die to our selfish, self-centered ways. In so doing, we allow Jesus to come in and complete the good work He prepared in advance for us to do.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
Faith Question: Have you surrendered your will to allow Jesus to accomplish His will through you?
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