I come from North Carolina, now living in Australia. Social work is my profession, and wow, talk about a profession that is devoid of deference to Christ and respect for THE truth. Social work mainly worships cultural/sexual/moral relativism, and political correctness in whatever iteration is the flavour of the particular social group of the moment. In other words, it is a daunting place for a Christian to be operating. However, I came by it honestly–that is, by following my sins to their natural conclusion. I didn’t ask God for a long time what His plan for my life is. I prayed for Him for guidance, but what I was really doing was asking Him to agree with my choices. Now I’m floundering, and desperate for God’s grace to work in me and bring me back to Him.
Welcome to Connect, @PageG! Praise God for the work that you do; I can only imagine how difficult it would be to do the work that is required of you! I certainly will pray that you find a great source of encouragement and nourishment here in the community on Connect; I’m sure that you will find it to be so! When you say that you are floundering, did you have particular questions with which you have been wrestling, or are you simply referencing the difficulty of the career in which you have ended up?
Hello Page (@PageG). Welcome to Connect. I look forward to growing with you in this community. I pray for God’s grace to empower you and work further in your life as you immerse yourself in your work. Your perspective would really contribute in this community.
Welcome, @PageG! We’re glad you’ve found our community here on Connect, and pray that it can be a source of encouragement for you. Also good to know there are fellow southern American expats out there! (I’m from Tennessee, but am in the UK at present.)
Why do you think that God wouldn’t/doesn’t agree with your choice of the social work field? I have a couple of friends who are also in that line of work, and they struggled mightily as well. I can’t imagine all the things you have to put up with on a daily basis! It would crush me, so I tip my hat to you and your resilience.
I don’t know that it’s that He doesn’t agree with my choice. It’s more that I hadn’t been living a life that put God first when I was making big decisions like getting married, where to live, what career to go into, etc., which I figure is why I feel soul-crushed in this hopeless role I’m in now. I’m making a decent living. I try my best to help people in need of help. But social work in this country feels like parenting without love. It’s slapping poorly adhesive bandages on problems, trying to fix broken people (which I know we all are) by pandering to their warped senses of self and their observable ‘disadvantage.’ I try to help people secure housing, get help for drug addiction, escape from domestic violence, mend their broken relationships, but all I succeed in doing the vast majority of the time is putting out spot fires. It’s like playing the worst farcical rendition of God ever attempted. At the end of each day I pretty much feel like I’m treading in excessively deep water with no land in sight. If this were the work that God wanted me to do then I would imagine that I wouldn’t feel so hopeless doing it, and yet I see no other avenue opening up right now.
Hello Page, I am an Australian and I sympathise with your concerns. I have several US citizens as close friends and am aware that Australian society is quite difficult for others to get used to. I have received many spiritual blessings and training from the US (friends and Pastors) over the years and am aware there is difference on how God and spiritual matters are discussed here… Even for me as an Australian I find the society harder to fit with, especially in the last 10 years it has changed so quickly. Anyway, you mention struggling with your work and you feel it is made worse because you did not seek Gods guidance at the time. I assume my understanding is correct, if not please disregard.
You are not alone in this predicament nor will you be the last to do so. May I just remind you that God already knows your concerns, He knew well before you did of your situation and feelings about it. The area of life you serve is a difficult one because you see the human weakness and needs at every level of your work. When we deal with this everyday it has to drain you and confuse you. Handling the woes of humanity is not something we can do without it affecting us. Casting all our cares on the Lord is in Scripture for a reason…we need it. What you are doing is now doubting your ability to continue in the field you have chosen. It is not what you expected or hoped for and the environment you work in is anti god at one level. I believe one of the most difficult things to do with the Lord is to work out what you think He wants you to do day to day and in work its really hard, especially when most workplaces have no interest or desire to consider Him in it. Hard for believes in that context. Looking in from the outside but have my own experiences to draw on, I can say that He knows your struggles and He wants to help you through them. To get a sense of His presence again, and thats what your missing I assume, there is only one real way to do this. Get back to His Word, study it, meditate on it, make it a priority to take it in daily. Apply it at work and He will strengthen you. From a position of weakness you cannot and will not make a good decision. gain back His strength and then decide on which way you want to go. You are not alone in this world even though at times we feel alone. Consider the saints of the Bible who struggled in desperate hours and consider how the Lord used those times to make them great people. Consider Hebrews 11 and the people there. Hope this helps a little bit.
In lots of ways American society feels more foreign to me now than Australian society does. In a strange way I’ve come to regard neither country as really my home, as in I don’t feel I belong in either place (and my bizarre blended accent doesn’t help). I am reading the Bible now every day in a purposeful way that I haven’t for decades. I just struggle constantly with loneliness and isolation. There’s more to it, but I don’t want to be unfair or unloving in critiquing my own life. There is much to be thankful for–a beautiful family, good health; I agree with you, I can’t make good decisions from a point of weakness.
I do not know if you are here with family of your owner not but I too notice/feel a sense of loneliness at times. Part of that is perhaps due to the fact that modern society is trending toward a hostile view of Christianity given society is taking on board many things that are anti Biblical in nature. As believers we may be feeling less part of the society than we perhaps once did. A sense of belonging is usually based on a sense of purpose, worth and compatibility. In your role you may be feeling completely unwanted or unappreciated which does lead to isolation and doubt…perfectly normal feelings within that context. We all get down at various times and your no different. Perhaps you do need a change of some kind. Put that to the Lord and see what happens.
Usually the Lord wants us to be victorious in our circumstances. As Paul says, he learnt to be content in good circumstances and bad. That is a hard journey to take to be sure but I think the Lord wants us to learn contentedness where we are. That is a victory won and He wants us to do well. That does not mean a change is not in your future at some point. Maybe you need to identify the specific things you are missing or are lonely about. Then you may be able to sort through them in a way that helps you move forward. You do not say if you belong to a local congregation. Being part of a local group of believers may be a helpful thing to consider as well. If you don’t have one now seek one out from the Lord in prayer as it is HIs Will that we fellowship not only with Him but each other. Hebrews 10:25
Anyway, I have put you before the Lord in prayer. Geoff.
Maybe I do need to be more specific after all. I married a man who doesn’t believe in Jesus, and moved to his country to live with him. His family are also not Christians but loosely subscribe to a kind of if-you’re-a-nice-person-you’re-a-Christian ethos. My husband is not antagonistic towards my faith. In fact he is quite supportive, but that’s as far as it goes…skin deep, so to speak. I completely understand St. Paul’s advice to us not to be coupled with non-believers, although I didn’t process that in my dating years of early university. I am in fact living proof of just how lonely someone can find themselves when they marry outside of their faith, not to mention then moving to live on the other side of the world permanently, and working day in and day out with people who spend most of their time wrecking their bodies and swearing at whoever gets in their way. This loneliness is, of course, by it’s very nature, not something I can discuss with the one person who I share everything else with but who doesn’t want a relationship with Jesus. It’s just a gaping hole in our marriage that is otherwise wonderful. In other words, I love my husband. We’ve been married for nearly twenty years, but the ongoing pain of this wall between us is…I can’t even put a word to it.
I am actively involved in our local Anglican church, as is my husband–as in, he comes to church with me every week, and with our two teenage children, one of whom is a Christian and one who is definitely antagonistic towards the faith. I help lead music on a rostered basis, I’m a member of the church council, and I enjoy the women’s bible study I’m a part of. So, here I am in the life I chose, and all I can think is that God is there going, ‘Well, what did you think was going to happen, you idiot?’ Indeed, what did I think was going to happen. My consequences are that I will continue to be committed to a marriage without Jesus at its centre…because that’s what I chose, kidding myself that my husband was on his way to becoming a Christian.
As you can no doubt tell I am in the midst of self-indulgent pity currently, not very strong or Christian-like in its expression, but honest. Some days I am stronger than others. That’s not today. Today is dark and I feel alone. If you would pray for my husband Paul, and for me, I would really appreciate that.
Peace of the Lord.