When our family moved to North Lawndale, we felt our calling here was pretty clear. We were leaving Pittsburgh and thought we were heading to the Northwest, where I grew up. But in a few months, circumstances changed and we were considering a move to Chicago. As we prayed over it, we realized so many areas of our lives were pointing to Chicago. I knew that if all these areas had been pointing to the Northwest it would have been a “clear” calling to move there. So we felt God was leading us just as clearly to move to Chicago, even though it wasn’t the city we had been considering.
My husband and I have felt that if we were ever to leave Lawndale, our calling to leave or to move on to the next place would have to be just as clear as our calling to come here. As with any job or calling or location to live, there are difficult days or cult seasons, but my confidence is in God’s calling, believing He wants me here. I want to be faithful to that calling. As a friend told us once as we moved to Lawndale, “Better is one day in the Lord’s presence (where He’s called me), than a thousand days elsewhere (where I might rather consider being).”
Many times I feel that I can’t see how God is using me here or feel that my personality isn’t the best for what He’s called us to. What I struggle to believe, and believe the Lord is trying to teach me over time, is that I don’t have to be able to see with my eyes what God is doing. What I have to do is to walk faithfully with Him and trust Him to work out whatever it is that He is wanting to do. It may be as much about what He is working out within me as it is what He is working out through me. My confidence is in God; that is part of our faith as Christians. I believe that God is both sovereign and good. And with that belief I trust in the calling that He has given me; that it is His sovereign will for me to be here and that out of His loving heart it is also for my good.
The second thing I think of in what keeps me going is our pastor’s saying: “Keep on keeping on.” To me this is how I flesh out my commitment to my calling. On the days when there is joy and contentment in being here, I don’t question God or our calling. But on the days when I do question being here, I remind myself that God doesn’t always fully reveal Himself or His plans to us. My job is to continue to live out my life here faithfully. I try to be a faithful wife, a faithful mother, a faithful doctor, a faithful neighbor. Part of the pleasure of life for me is seeinghow God does work things out over time. I see His purposes more clearly over time. And I believe He takes joy in the pleasure of His children trusting Him as we walk through the life He has given us. As I Corinthians 13:12 says “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am known.” I look forward to that day when I will see clearly all that the Lord has been doing in and through my life.
Kathryn Miller, MD, lives in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago with her husband, Bruce, and three children, Erin, Daniel and Martha. She practices pediatrics at Lawndale Christian Health Center part-time. She has been a member of CCHF fbr 19 years and has served on the CCHF Board, including a period as Board Chairperson. She can be contacted at bkedmmiller [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
My husband and I have lived in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago for nine years. We moved here for his job, but it was definitely a calling that we both felt. I have spent most of these nine years as a stay-at-home mom, but just a year ago I returned to work part-time. No matter where any of us lives or works, we have to ask ourselves what keeps us going. What motivates us, gives purpose to what we are doing? As I think about what keeps me going, there are two main things that come to mind. The first is to remember my calling to come here and the second is a saying that our pastor, Wayne Gordon, has used: “Keep on keeping on.”