Today’s blog post has a little bit different tone than my usual list of recipes or make-up tips, but I really wanted to share with you a cool “God moment” from today.
As some of you know, I’ve been learning sign language since Andrew and I moved to DC. I go to a weekly class and have an app that I take additional lessons from throughout the week. ASL (American Sign Language) is truly a language of its own with its own phrasing, grammar, syntax, and facial expressions to match the signs. So many times I’ve just wished I were fluent already! But slowly and surely, I’ve been getting there. Ministering to the Deaf community is something that God had placed on my heart for a year or so now (though, looking back, I see how He had been preparing my heart to love the Deaf community my whole life), and moving to DC provided the perfect combination of time and available resources to learning. My hope is to serve the Deaf community through volunteering, but always be able to communicate with them in every day life when i encounter someone who is deaf, so that they feel comfortable and special – and like the treasured child of God that they are.
Well today, I was working with Andrew at his Chick-fil-A, and honestly it had been a pretty crazy and stressful morning. Not to mention I am definitely more knowledgable at the Support Center than behind a register when it comes to Chick-fil-A so that can make things even more stressful. When, in the middle of bagging sandwiches, Andrew came and tapped me on the shoulder and said “There’s a deaf guest here. You should go talk to him.” I got really nervous because I hadn’t actually talked to a deaf person on my own before outside of the classroom, and I am definitely not fluent yet. But Andrew nudged me over to him and I had my first conversation with Robert! My kind new deaf friend 🙂 I asked him if he was deaf, told him I knew a little bit of sign language and if he signed slowly I could understand him, we signed our names to each other, I apologized to him that his nuggets were a little slow to come out, and we said it was nice to meet each other and to have a good day. Robert had a really big smile on his face while we were signing and I walked away with one too. He signed nice and slow for me so I could understand, and was such a kind individual.
However, after leaving work and getting home with Andrew, a million thoughts started racing through my head…”Wait… did I sign “are you deaf?” or “are you a girl?””, “Did I sign “you” instead of “your”?”, “Was that annoying to him that I tried to sign even though I’m not very good yet? Should I wait until I’m completely fluent?”, “Were my intentions at all self-serving there? Or was I truly just wanting to make him feel comfortable and special like I believe my heart desires?”. I couldn’t get these thoughts out of my head. I started getting really anxious and worrying myself in circles about it.
I knew that I needed to find some comfort in Scripture. On the way downstairs to pick up our Amazon package, the Lord gave me the verse: Nehemiah 6:3 (the title of this blog post) so when I got back to our apartment, I looked up the passage. I read Nehemiah 6:1-9 and guys… I have GOT to share it with you. I didn’t want to take parts of the passage out of context, but I’ve highlighted the parts that God used to speak directly to my heart.
Nehemiah 6:1-9: “Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. 5 In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem[a] also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. 7 And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.”8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” 9 For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Did you get that?
“BUT NOW, O GOD, STRENGTHEN MY HANDS”. Like are you serious?! The Lord so clearly confirmed to me through His word that HE has begun a good work in me through this… and I will not come down from it. The enemy intends to harm me with the worrying and the anxiety that I am so prone to… but the enemy is inventing these words out of his own mind 🙂 And GOD WILL STRENGTHEN MY HANDS! What verse could more perfectly display God’s power through sign language?
I’m so encouraged. And I wanted to share it with all of you in case the enemy is attacking you with worry or doubt of the work that God is accomplishing through you. Do not come down from a great work! Instead, let God strengthen your hands 🙂
I think the sin of worry and anxiety is so common – especially in women. And I can’t help but think how much this verse relates to people like me: “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” LIKE SOMETIMES WE ARE CRAZY LET’S BE HONEST!!! So what do we learn next? Those are mere scare tactics from the devil to frighten us and to “drop from the work so it will not be done”. So oh God strengthen our hands so that we can continue to do your work. And all the glory to You!