One of the first phone calls I made as we anticipated an ambulance ride to the Children’s Hospital was to my boss to tell him I would not be at work the next morning. I think we probably both knew I would not be back for a long time.
After getting through front line treatment with our two-and-a-half-year-old son, I strived to go back to work and met all the obstacles— sickness, lack of daycare, inconsistent schedules, oncology appointments, more chemotherapy, and then a joyous delay, pregnancy. The obstacles left me frustrated and honestly a bit angry at times.
Just when I thought we were in a good place and a new schedule was set up, COVID hit. I wanted to go back to work and have MY schedule, but it was not happening.
Along the childhood cancer journey, I have had to re-evaluate my relationship with work.
Among many other lessons, God has used cancer and a worldwide pandemic to teach me: My identity is not in what I do.
Without acknowledging it, I found my identity in a degree that made me Dr. Steph Raih, a schedule that made me extra busy, and a tight grip on a heart posture of striving to be worthy of God’s grace.
Neither being a Physical Therapist nor being a mom hold my identity. Grace is not something earned through work, and it is not only given to a “perfect” mom.
God has called me to [Wait, Hope, Trust] in HIM in my work and especially in my role at home.
Wait, hope, trust is a posture of the heart that recognizes God’s sovereignty over any and all situations. It stops striving and offers peace that surpasses all understanding. It is also a posture of obedience that demands living in step with the Spirit.
Psalm 33:18-22 has so much encouragement for a heart waiting, hoping, and trusting in our sovereign God.
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who HOPE in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul WAITS for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we TRUST in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we HOPE in you.”
It might not seem like you are moving forward like “everyone” else- God is still active. You might not be where the five- or ten-year plan was supposed to take you -His eye is upon you. You might not feel worthy- His steadfast love is for YOU! God has given me good work to do in this season even if it looks different than I thought it would.
Because we are in HIS presence, there is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11).