Why I’m thankful for my limitations

A wave of melancholy washed over me the day of the holiday concert.   I was sad because I wouldn’t be singing with the local choral ensemble.group_5121

It’s not because the group didn’t want me.

This past fall I was honored to receive an invitation to join the choir, and began attending rehearsals.  My soul was immediately enlivened by the process of learning and making music again.

But I was simultaneously confronted with an old nemesis—my relentless battle with chronic fatigue.

The two-hour Sunday evening rehearsals were intense, with no breaks.  During each practice my body began to crash at about the half-way mark, leaving me hanging on by my fingernails for the duration.  Worse yet, I paid for it dearly for several days afterwards, struggling to function at work because of the resulting exhaustion, headaches, and dizzy spells.

Though I hated to do it, I knew I had to withdraw from the group. My health limitations had gained the upper hand once again.

Perhaps you know the feeling, even though your situation is different.  We all experience limitations of some sort—physical, mental, financial, educational, and emotional, to name a few.

It’s natural to feel frustrated or sad like I did when obstacles keep us from something we want.

But what if we could transform our view of the things that limit us (especially the things we cannot change) to a positive perspective?

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An Open Door for the Gospel

Profanity and raucous laughter shot through my bedroom floor. I prayed for relief from the noise downstairs. “Who is this neighbor, anyway?” I wondered.

The next day I sensed God nudging me to find out.  In the summer heat of southern Oregon, my neighbor had his front door open.  As I approached, the middle-aged man inside looked up from his TV set. A half-empty liquor bottle rested beside him.

“Hi,” I said cheerily through the screen door.

“Hello,” the man replied. “I’m Cole. You must be the gal who lives upstairs.”

“That’s right, I’m  Jane.  I’m working in the area this summer doing my college internship as a park ranger.”

As our conversation in the doorway progressed, Cole asked, “What do you like to read?”

“The Bible,” I ventured timidly. Cole’s eyes widened. “I want to talk with you about that sometime.”

My heart surged as I realized God was providing me with someone who was open to hearing about the good news of Jesus Christ.

But back in my apartment a cloud of doubt rushed in. I was no Biblical expert, and only three weeks remained before it was time to go back to college. How could I make a difference in such a short time? Continue reading “An Open Door for the Gospel”