"This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ." Philippians 1:9,10
I wish my first reaction to a situation was discernment. I hope and pray I am getting better at that, but during my business years I definitely turned a blind eye. You see, I established a nail salon business, and with God's grace He built it into something I could have never imagined. This began the year of 1994. One year into my line of work I began to have serious back pain. (I soon learned that sitting for long periods of time were the problem.) I refused to look too closely at it and kept on my way of growing my business with strong enthusiasm.
I finally gave in and went to a doctor that found I had back problems that could not be fixed but that through a regular healthy regimen I could keep the pain at bay. So I started my journey (except for the matter of sitting).
For the next ten years I dealt with troublesome consequences from my back difficulties. The pain was real! The flare-ups would come and go, sometimes more often than not. It really did alter my lifestyle. I took my doctor's suggestions and early on began a daily workout, eating healthy and taking the pain medication exactly as he prescribed.
As the years went by my back continually deteriorated. My doctor was losing sight of what else he could do for me. He had prescribed the meds, sent me to physical therapists and spine specialists until he was out of ideas. Except for one...
Now for the last year of running my business Dana had been on me about (considering) closing down my beloved occupation because it was taking a toll on me. I wouldn't listen to such 'wise' advice (the whole lack in discernment thing).
"How could God want me to end something that He had started and cultivated into something so sweet?" (I called it my ministry.)
"Why would He have me stop doing something that gives me such a sense of satisfaction?"
"Why would He just have me quit something that I had given so much sacrifice to build?"
"Why would I just leave something that gave me my identity?"
I was in a constant state of arguing with myself, Dana and God about this matter. I was heartbroken just considering giving up my business that I had worked so hard to build!
Now...the year before I gave in I had begun to build up a resistance to the pain medicine I was on and knew I would have to go to something stronger which I did not want to do, so I went back to visit my physician. (You know what he told me?)
"Kim, I think it's time to look at closing your business. It's too much stress on your spine to sit in one position all day that it requires." (An echo of Dana's words I had been hearing over the past year.)
I was so very tired of the pain...I had no argument left in me. I just cried tears of pain, disappointment and loss.
Dana and I prayed about the finality of this decision (I believe Dana prayed more for my sanity). I was feeling helpless and needed relief and healing. I soon felt a peace in knowing that ending my career would be the best thing for me. I wrote a letter to each of my sweet clients and ended my sought after career of ten years.
It has been fifteen and a half years since that day. I am much better physically. My 'flare-ups' are minimal at best. I've learned a lot about my physical self, what I am capable of and what I have to let go of. Most of all I know that I have to lean into God's love. To grasp the depth of who He is and what He wants for my life because that is what is best for me physically, mentally and spiritually. Over these past fifteen years He has opened many doors of opportunity I would have never had if I were still running my business. I have sought Him deeply when times were tough and out of my control. I have gained knowledge through His care and trust that I am better able to discern what is best for me...most times.
I am still a work in progress. You might just catch me questioning an issue instead of going to God first but I am trying everyday 'to let go and let God'. Am I the only one?
I love you & He loves you more!
Dear Lord, Thank You for this awesome journey that is my life. I am so blessed to get to walk with You through all of it. Thank You for allowing me to better listen for Your voice in decisions I have to make and for a husband that always has my best interest at heart. I pray my story helps someone who faces the same struggles I do. May "our love for You abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight". May we "seek to be blameless and pure until the day You return" (Phil.1:9,10). Amen.