When Someone Asks, “Are You Still…?” and You’re Not

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

-I Peter 4:10

 

This fall, I was enjoying the pumpkin farm when a woman reached out and tapped my shoulder. “Mrs. Upton?” she asked. “You used to be my teacher. I’m…”

“Lindsay!” I said. I often wonder about some of my favorite “kids,” and Lindsay is definitely tops on that list. It was so good to see her, and a little strange!  I taught high school math right after I graduated from college, and there really isn’t a huge age difference between me and those kids anymore. They’re all grown up, with careers and homes and children of their own.

I met Lindsay’s adorable daughter, and she met my children. She said to them, “Your mom was my teacher! She was such a great teacher.” Then she looked at me and asked, “Are you still teaching?”

I felt bad saying “no.” I only taught high school for four years, then I spent two years tutoring, then we moved and I stopped teaching altogether.

Or did I?

I teach my kids, of course. I taught Sunday school for quite a while. I’ve taught people how to crochet, and take better photos, and all kinds of things. I’m a teacher at heart.

In fact, the core of this ministry is teaching. I’m teaching women to deal with anxiety—to use a little organization to clear the spiritual clutter out of their hearts and homes. So why am I always so surprised when I see my own books on Amazon? Why do I always jump a bit when people call me a “real writer”?

 

Life changes, and sometimes when people say, “Are you still…?” the obvious answer seems to be “no.” Our enemy would love for us to feel badly about that. However, if you really think about it, I bet you can find the “yet”:

Are you still singing? No… yet I sing my little heart out at church.

Are you still leading in MOPS? No… yet I sure go to a lot of meetings as the speaker!

Are you still teaching? No… but, yes. I am.

 

When God gives us a gift, He gives us ways to use it.

What are some of the gifts that you used in obvious ways when you were younger? Are you still using those gifts in ways you don’t even realize? If not, is God opening a door for you to use one of those gifts for His glory?

 

Lies to Fight: I’m not as “whatever” as I used to be. I’ve let that talent or interest go to waste.

Thought Shot:

God’s using my gifts to further His Kingdom…

and His use of my gifts is far better than what I could have come up with!

 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

 

How are you using God’s gifts in new or different ways?

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