Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Be Yourself

What’s your niche? You know, the spot that, like a piece fits in a puzzle, just seems made for you? Where you can be yourself? That distinct place where your gifts and graces meet a need? Where you come together with kindred spirits and feel at home?

Over the years I have discovered that my niche changes with the seasons of my life, as well as with my situation. My niche when my children were toddlers differed from my niche once Dick and I were empty-nesters. My niche in larger, urban churches varied greatly from my niche in our smaller, rural churches.

Right now I am in process—trying to find my new niche. I’m turning my puzzle piece around and trying it in different places.

Part of the reason I am searching for my new niche is because we moved about a year ago. My husband has been a United Methodist pastor since 1976, and moving is part of our itinerant system. Each time, for me, that means discovering my new niche, figuring out, What is God calling me to do here? How does He want me to use my skill set in this place?

The opportunities always vary, so, when I hear we are moving, I look forward to seeing where God will lead me. However, the process seems to take longer as I get older. My priorities, abilities, and patience have changed, (along with my slowly fading eye sight, hearing, and flexibility.) Things I used to love doing (like teaching teens) just don’t spark the same enthusiasm.

I also find that I can’t do some things as well or as quickly—which catches me off guard. It’s kind of like watching a kid turn a cartwheel and thinking “I can do that”. However, if I try it, I land on my butt and my body protests for days afterward.

Things have changed; I have changed. So where IS my niche now? How do I find it?

As I prayed about this, God led me to three Scriptures and three questions:

“Wherever your treasure is,
there the desires  of your heart will also be.”
(Matthew 6:21)
What do I treasure these days?

““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
(Isaiah 43:18-19)
Where do I see God at work right here, right now?

“There are different abilities to perform service,
but the same God gives ability to all
for their particular service.”
(1 Corinthians 12:6)
What do I do well, that God wants me to use in this place, at this time?

As I prayerfully answer these questions in light of Scripture, I believe God will meld them together to reveal my niche, to show me where I fit in His big puzzle. After all, Philippians 2:13 promises, “It is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”

Your prayers are always appreciated!

How do you find your niche when things change? Do you find it hard to be yourself?

God has made us what we are . . . Ephesians 2:10
Before you were born, [God] chose you for a special work.  Jeremiah 1:5

©2013 Pamela D. Williams