Topic: Finding the heart
Focus: Seeking God for ‘the heart’ to do what doesn’t come naturally
Colossians 3:23 (NKJV) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
I went back to college to study TV and Film Production in my early thirties. Besides being a full-time student, I needed to pay for my education, books, room rental, car payment, food, and other living expenses. I had to support myself in the State of California—where the cost of living was extremely high.
As an unemployed, recent transplant from the Midwest—I was referred to the owner of a housecleaning business—through someone I’d met at my new church. The cleaning company had an immediate opening, the hours were flexible–so I agreed to begin a new career in domestic maintenance.
The work was hard. When I first started, I was handed a series of tough jobs cleaning empty houses that were going to be put up for sale. The people who had moved out often left the property in terrible condition. The kitchens and bathrooms were always especially bad. Stovetops and ovens were typically crusted and caked with stuff that had been burnt on repeatedly and just ‘left’. It took a lot of scraping and scrubbing to get them clean. The toilets, I won’t even go into. Let’s just say I used rubber gloves up to my elbows and a lot of chemicals. I would arrive on the job with my own supplies, vacuum cleaner and a long list of the agency’s expectations. The company I worked for required me to have an entire house spotless in five hours and I was paid seven dollars an hour.
I was grateful to have a job and be starting a new life—but, I was barely past the deep depression of my second divorce. Sometimes when I opened the door and stepped inside at a new cleaning assignment, I would stand in silence, immobilized by the disgusting sight—wondering how on earth I could do it.
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One day, feeling completely overwhelmed—God started whispering to my spirit that He could give me ‘the heart’ to do what I didn’t think I could do. Interestingly, a change started taking place in me. Leaning hard on God, I learned some techniques and found cleaning products that made things start to improve. I began cleaning a house as if Jesus Himself was going to be checking it out after I was done. I cleaned everything with all the love I would have cleaned it –if it had been for His own personal use and enjoyment.
With my newfound passion for excellence, the agency started giving me jobs for ‘regular clients’ who wanted their homes cleaned one to three times a week. These were people who liked a spotless home and appreciated my standard of perfection. I looked for unusual ways to go the extra mile in my cleaning efforts for the doctors and other professional people I now served.
Eventually, I was able to buy the contracts of my favorite clients from the cleaning agency. Once I had paid off the fees for the contracts, I was able to work directly for the clients and earn a much better rate of pay. I was able to work for wonderful people who loved my services—and became close friends of mine. Housecleaning turned out to be the perfect job that allowed me to focus on my studies and finish my TV and Film Production course with a 3.8 grade point average.
Since that time, I have had to do many other types of jobs that on first impression, didn’t strike me as something I thought I had ‘the heart’ to do. Some jobs literally made me feel like I was going to be ‘sick to my stomach’ because they were so far from what I felt naturally gifted for. Over and over I have had to ask God to give me ‘the heart’ to do what I didn’t think I could do…and He has.
When you are trying to move forward on the recovery journey, there will be times when you will wonder if you will ever be able to become ‘good at’ not being depressed or dependent–times when you’ll think it would be easier not to try anymore.
Looking back at the times of my life when I was struggling with depression—I can see how God gave me some hard work to do–something outside my natural ability. Something that would make me have to ask Him to give me ‘the heart’–so I could get in there and dig deep to get the job done—and also recover.
Declaration: I will find new strength by asking God to give me ‘the heart’ to work hard–and keep moving forward.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.