My body crashed and burned and said a big, “NO MORE!” I had nothing left to give. I went from over-working to completely out of commission (for YEARS). Then, all I knew was the couch, the sleeplessness, the adrenal fatigue, the chronic illness, and no strength to even lift a laundry basket on my own.
I’ve been reading Made Like Martha this summer. It’s my friend Katie Reid’s first book! Katie and Martha have got me thinking about the way I used to work years and years ago. Not getting enough sleep or food, killing myself in my work and my striving. That resulted in over a decade of sickness, when my health crashed.
Just in the last few months, the Lord is healing me! Miraculously healing me! And He didn’t skip a beat. Right as my healing came, He began calling me back to a hard-work life again (after years of that not even being an option). On top of me relearning how to manage simple household chores again, the Lord is opening up big doors. I’m working on my first book, launching blogs, social media, stepping into ministry and deeper places in intercession. The Lord sometimes asks me to do impossible tasks in impossible timeframes. And I’m up very late or extremely early.
Sometimes, we go into a familiar season, and we get worried we are going to have to relive an old one. But I think the Lord is so kind to put us back into old territory. All these new demands could feel scary. I could be afraid that I may slip back into old patterns and crash my health all over again.
But on the flipside, I think we get the chance to walk through similar testing grounds again to show us how much He has changed us. I think it’s by His kindness.
So what’s the difference between where I was before in workaholism and where I am now in my relationship to work?
- trying to earn approval
- trying to win accolades
- hating my pride and desperately trying to figure out how to respond humbly
- very hard on myself
- striving desperately to do my best
- working on my own plans and timelines
- my worth was up and down, fleeting, dependent upon my performance or other’s responses to me
- deep sense of knowing He delights in me and it’s not tied to my work at all
- humility- that is a gift he has given me, the ability to see myself as He does and believe what HE says about me. humility comes from knowing our identity in Christ. before it was just a behavior I strived after. huge difference!
- receiving accolades graciously but deeply knowing they belong to the Lord
- anointed to do my best
- surrendering my plans to Him and fulfilling the callings He has given me
- my worth is stable and found in His love for me
Those are the outward manifestations of totally different inward realities. I think there are three main difference at the core to my relationship with my work:
- I now work for the Lord
- I now work with the Lord
- I now know why it’s important—it’s work for His kingdom and His glory and His harvest, not my own kingdom anymore.
If He calls me to do something now, I still sometimes feel overwhelmed, but then I hear Him quietly cheering me on:
- -You can do all things through Me as I strengthen you!
- -With Me, you can leap over a wall!
- -With Me, you can soar on wings and not grow weary!
- -All things are possible with Me!
- -Not by might, not by strength, but by My Spirit!
Before, I worked with a desperate feeling of always being behind, never doing enough, or doing too much of the wrong priorities. And I was working for myself (“in the name of the Lord” or “in the name of the call”). But really, I just wanted someone to approve of me. I wanted to work for the Lord and not for man and I wanted to work with my whole heart, but I didn’t know His deep love and delight in me.
Now, my urgency is based on His return and the Harvest that is truly ripe! I’m working for God’s glory to seek and save the lost. I’m working in His beauty and power. Trusting I’m in the right place at the right time because I’m following His lead. Even when it appears I’m too early or too late, I trust Him.
Another HUGE difference? Back then, I was operating only in my strength. Fear and control motivated me. I had not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now, I have been filled with His power, He has delivered me, and He has anointed me.
“You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you!” Acts 2:8
After He baptized me in the Spirit, I stopped just believing in 1 Timothy, I started to finally EXPERIENCE it!
“You have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.” -1 Timothy 1:7
Katie Reid speaks into these differences and I love the ways she puts it. One is a “hired-help” mentality. The other is a “daughter” mentality.
The Bible puts it this way. The way I used to relate to my work (and my God for that matter) was out of a “spirit of slavery.” What changed? I became full of His Spirit and I grew into my identity has His child. Romans calls that the “spirit of adoption.” This morning, the Spirit helped me put it all together when He led me to this verse:
So how do you shake off an identity of slavery, hired help, and fear?
Here’s a prayer to get you started as you begin to step into your identity as daughter:
Father, I confess I have been held captive by a spirit of fear. But You have come to set the captives free. Father, you promise that whatever I allow on earth WILL BE ALLOWED in heaven and whatever I prohibit on earth WILL BE PROHIBITED in heaven. So in that authority you have given me, I prohibit the spirit of fear to rule my life. I prohibit fear from leading me back into a life of fear. And I invite you, Holy Spirit, to come into my heart and home today. Holy Spirit, flood my hearts with your perfect love and cast out every fear. Every single one. Adopt me as your daughter. Thank you that I can call to you, Daddy!, whenever I need help or comfort. “When I feel afraid, I will trust in You,” Father God. Thank you Jesus for your goodness to me and for your victory over fear. Thank you Jesus that you have not given me a spirit of fear but you have given me a spirit of power, love, and self-control! I receive that today. In Jesus name. Amen.
Well, that’s that. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the church’s best kept secret. I don’t know how I was a believer for so long before anyone ever told me about it!
If you are curious to know more, see Rice and Beans Part One and Rice and Beans Part Two.
And let me know if you have any questions about this.
I loved reading Made Like Martha and the chance it gave me to reflect on all the healing God has done in me regarding how I relate to my work and my identity. Praise God!
And good books never seem to stay in my house for long. I already leant out my copy, so I ordered a new one! Thought you may want a copy too! So, I’m hosting a GIVEWAY! The randomly selected winner will receive a copy of Made Like Martha on your doorstep, compliments of Katie Reid and her publisher!
To enter the GIVEAWAY, help me kick off the Quirky Kingdom in its relaunch!
Before Thursday, July 19th please:
- Just share this with a friend by email, text, or social media
- Then drop me a comment below letting me know you did!
My little girls and I will write each of your names on paper and draw the winner in a couple days from now!
Bonus… Not necessary for the giveaway, but I’d sure LOVE to hear your thoughts on work after reading this. Has your relationship with work has changed over the years too? For better or worse? How you’d like to see it change in the future? Do you see yourself in the descriptions I have given you? Do you see yourself as an afraid hired-help or as a loved daughter?
Lots of love to you, deary!
Are you a Martha who feels guilty for not being a Mary?
Do you want to sit at Jesus’s feet as Mary did —but you feel the need to get things done. In Made Like Martha, Katie M. Reid invites you to exchange try-hard striving for hope-filled freedom without abandoning your doer’s heart in the process.
With reflection questions, “It Is Finished” activities at the end of each chapter, and a five-week Bible study included, Made Like Martha helps you find rest from striving even as you celebrate your God-given design to “do.”
Made Like Martha makes for a great book club and/or bible study. Consider sharing information about the book with the Women’s Ministry Director at your church.
Katie M. Reid
Katie is a wife, mom to five, and a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversations over iced tea. Katie is also a speaker, bible study facilitator, and author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done (which includes a 5-week bible study for individuals and groups). She encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at katiemreid.com. Subscribe to Katie’s site and receive resources to help you breathe deeply and walk freely. Purchase Katie’s new book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done.