Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wherever the Cross Takes Me...

This is Altogether Separate's fortieth post. Forty is an interesting number. It rained over all the earth for forty days and nights. God led the Israelites through the wilderness forty years.  Jesus was on the mountain forty days and nights, tempted by Satan. A child is in the womb forty weeks...

But I digress.

Now, on to our regularly scheduled post.

As children, my friends' future careers changed on almost a weekly basis. Most of them still have no idea what they're ultimately going to do with their lives, and they rub their temples as they choose a major and pray for God's guidance on the road ahead.

I was always the odd one. I career-swapped a number of times in my early school days (though always pursuing similar fields), but well before middle school my love of animals and fascination with science fused into a steadfast pursuit of veterinary medicine.

My interest and utter enthusiasm in that area never waned (and if you find yourself particularly bored today or taking a curious fascination to strangers' childhoods you can read an essay about my peculiar and nerdy one), but as I grew older I began to wonder if doctoring animals was really what God wanted me to do with my life. After all, shouldn't I dedicate my blink-of-an-eye time on earth to serving people? Was this a God-given desire, or one to test me to see how much I was willing to sacrifice to follow Him?

It was during that time I learned of veterinary missionaries—veterinarians who abandon the comfort of their former lives to practice in less fortunate regions of the world, caring for the animals the native people rely upon for food, transportation, and income; educating them to increase the longevity of their livestock and equipping local veterinarians; and often ministering to the people in more conventional ways by distributing Bibles and helping churches and teaching English.

I came to realize there are at least as many ways to serve God as there are people to serve Him, and it was entirely possible I could serve through the veterinary field. Regardless of where life took me—overseas or here at home—I would be shining the Light He put in me by enabling me to live a holy life, and I would be fulfilling a necessary occupation in the world.

And what if this isn't what God wants? What if He wants me to marry and have children instead?

I suspect there is a good chance I am called to serve as a single woman (although honestly at this point I have no idea), but if I am to serve God by serving a husband, I will gladly devote my life to ministering to him and educating my children. If the latter, the knowledge and skills acquired in my time of singleness will probably help me in the future in ways I can't conceive of.

But the important thing is that I am content with God's plan, and I will carry my cross and follow Him wherever He may lead.

[By the way, I'm pretty sure I got all the facts right in the first paragraph, but I have the horrible habit of second-guessing myself and I don't have the time to double-check right now. So if I got anything wrong please let me know. =P]

Image credit GabrielaP93 on Flickr.


  1. Interesting post Olivia.

    Just to let you know:
    Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights. (Jonah 1:17)

    Also, during the flood it rained for 40 days and nights, (Gen 7:12) however, the water prevailed on the earth for 150 days. (Gen 7:24)

    Congratulations to ya'll on 40 posts!

  2. Thanks for coming to the rescue, Claire! I fixed my post, I think. I'll make sure tomorrow...

  3. Great post, Olivia! Forty posts? Really? Wow.

    I definitely think that you can serve God *and* people through veterinary medicine. A veterinary missionary sounds like an amazing opportunity to bless others and share the word of God.

    About the singleness thing--for the past few years I've had this conviction that I shouldn't be actively seeking a husband or planning my future around one, and that's made some people look at me a little strangely. I think my family and friends are pretty used to it by now (though my mom loudly bemoans the thought that I might never give her grandchildren), but it's still too much for some people to grasp. I don't want a boyfriend right now! I believe that God has so much more in store for me!

    1. I agree with you, Abby. I think it is important during our single years (whether they are short or permanent) to stay totally focused on God. If He has a future husband planned for me then I can trust Him to bring along the right man at the right time and in the right way.

      A verse that has encouraged me in this area is Psalm 57:7 "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise." Having my heart fixed on God, and my mind stayed on Him (see Isaiah 26:3) means that I won't be distracted by emotions or get carried away with wrong thoughts. I can just stay focused on serving Him!

    2. What a great verse! Thank you for posting it, Claire :)

    3. Thanks for your comments, Abby and Claire! I agree with you both. =)


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