MISHAWAKA—During the 2023 Deeper Life Series, students heard from Lina AbuJamra, M.D., a pediatric emergency room physician who has pursued opportunities for medical ministry in her native Lebanon, while also allowing the Lord to work use her in the United States and abroad through her reflective and devotional writings. AbuJamra shared with the Bethel community during five sessions from March 6-8, focusing on the theme of what it looks like to deepen our relationship with Christ and submit ourselves fully to His will.
AbuJamra was led to Christ by the testimony of her mother when she was a child and then moved to the United States from Lebanon when she was 16 years old. It was at a camp she attended during her early years in the States that she experienced what she believes was her first deep, personal encounter with Christ.
“I think, looking back, that probably started what I look at now as my calling,” AbuJamra said. “It was when I feel like I really started being proactive with asking God, ‘What do you want me to do with this life?’”
She started college soon after that experience, and over the next few years reached a point where she felt her personal life was in shambles after breaking off an engagement two weeks before the wedding and facing a faith crisis she wasn’t sure how to respond to.
“It was a lot of trauma, but that really pivoted my life into the start of teaching women’s Bible studies in Sunday School format, and I fell in love with that format,” AbuJamra said. “I was training to be a pediatric ER doctor when God called me to teach the Bible, and then I moved to Chicago . . . where the ministry really developed.”
AbuJamra has now lived in Chicago for 22 years, and the ministry has grown in ways she never could have predicted at the time. Her teaching ministry shifted gears after another faith crisis, during which she left the church she had been attending, which gave her the opportunity to pursue medical ministry options in the Middle East and to start writing more seriously.
“Basically, God stopped me to say, ‘Hey, there’s something else I want you to do,’ so I started the work in Lebanon, and that's where it is now,” AbuJamra said. “I think the theme that comes out as I look at my life is how God amazingly uses every failure, or what we perceive as failure, He really uses it strongly to redirect us in our calling.”
She said it is important to take time to consider our perspective when people face situations they automatically want to label as “failure.”
“I think sometimes we assume failure is correction, when really it’s just redirection,” AbuJamra said.
She shared that, as Christians seek to become more Christ-like in their walk with Him, a key part of the Christian walk should be helping others. She said this should partially be helping one another within the church setting, but that it also must extend beyond the church.
“A lot of Americans separate social justice from discipleship,” AbuJamra said. “I think justice work is an overflow of discipleship, whether it’s here local or global.”
Part of discipleship is growing in knowledge, and to assist with that, AbuJamra has written and published a number of devotional works. Her major books include “Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction,” “Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended,” “Resolved: 10 Ways to Stand Strong and Live What You Believe,” “Stripped: When God’s Call Turns From ‘Yes!’ to ‘Why Me?’” and “The Daily Dose: 365 Days to a Healthy Soul.” All of these books are available for purchase on Amazon, and AbuJamra donated several copies of them to Bethel that were distributed at chapel on March 17.
In offering advice to students, AbuJamra said it is important to recognize one person cannot do everything and that to be able to give everything to one’s calling requires a give-and-take mentality.
“You have to be willing to live with tradeoffs, reminding yourself that God is the one that grows us and God is the one that opens doors,” AbuJamra said. “If you honor God, and your motives are right, He’s the one that’s going to build it.”
She said it is important to trust God and to not live in the shadow of “FOMO”: the fear of missing out.
“You’re never going to miss what God has planned for you,” AbuJamra said. “You can’t miss it by your failures, you can’t miss it by not showing up, you cannot miss it by honoring God, by putting Him first and giving up things others would tell you to. Ignore the voices around you and lean in to the voice of the Lord.”
To learn more about AbuJamra and her ministry resources and opportunities, visit livingwithpower.org or follow her on Instagram @linaabujamra.