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Ann Farabee: Don’t stop

On that day in 2013, I just needed a minute alone. We were grandparents raising two grandsons. We loved them with every fiber of our being and were dedicated fully to raising them in a Christian home. We loved our lives and were very happy.

But — I was tired! I was feeling that the task was impossible. Tears were welling up in my eyes as I walked inside Kohl’s, running one of those endless errands, probably to buy socks.

My friends were beginning to reach retirement and although I enjoyed hearing about their constant vacations, the contrast sometimes seemed stark, as we were attending PTO and parent conferences, helping with homework, preparing family meals, playing with our 6 and 9 year old, and trying to get the bedtime routines to work perfectly, so we could collapse into our bed as early as possible.

We didn’t seem to fit in with the young parents, but we didn’t fit in with the grandparents, either.

And… there is always the talk. Always. You learn over time that any difficult or even different circumstance you go through, there will always be the talk.

But on this day, God sent a messenger to me as I walked in the store – a friend I had not seen in a long time.

As soon as she saw me, she began to encourage: “You can’t stop the great work. The mission God has you on is so important that you can’t afford to worry about what people think or what they say!”

She went on to explain that these words were shared with her from Nehemiah 6:3 during a recent Bible study, and that she thought of me when she heard them. She explained how as Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall, people heard about it, stood around, watched him work, and no doubt gave their opinions and advice to him.

Nehemiah’s response was, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot stop: why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?”

She looked directly at me and said, “Ann, you are doing a great work. Don’t stop.”

Although the conversation was four years ago, the message has been embedded in my heart and mind: I knew that I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t worry about what others thought. My mission was of God. My mission was important. I was doing a great work.

I like how Nehemiah dealt with working on the project God had given him. He prayed, prepared, and persevered until he was finished. Nothing — nothing — was going to interfere with his great work!

How about you? Don’t stop! Don’t worry about what others think. Your mission is of God. Your mission is important. You are doing a great work.

(A side note to my friend who shared those words with me that day: You saw me. You spoke the words into my life that the Holy Spirit prompted you to say. I went home, wrote it down in my Bible, and dated it 2013. Who would have thought that those words would be shared four years later to encourage my readers?)

Coincidence that I saw my friend that day? I don’t think so. I call it a God-incidence.

Let me know how your great work is going at annfarabee@gmail.com

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