Have you ever thought you knew just exactly where God was taking you and before you knew it, you were nowhere near that place? Maybe you can see it coming and it looks so “good”, it looks so “right” and it just “makes sense” that that’s the door which will open and you shall walk through it and you shall be light and salt and you shall be ever so pleasing to the Lord but before you know it, you are nowhere near that door you were waiting to open for you? In fact, you aren’t even in the same building.
I hit a cross roads a few years ago in my life. That sweet space where my children were outgrowing their need for me and I had some options about how I was going to spend the rest of my working days. I went back to school, started working in a profession I had always wanted to try, and found after a couple of years in that it wasn’t where I wanted to spend the next 15+ years.
So…alas I was at another cross roads. That occupation was reaching a place where I could place a period or a comma and after praying and searching my heart I decided to put a period. It was the right move, it just caused my life to hit return a couple of times so that a new paragraph could start.
This is where I thought I knew what to do next. Ha!
After much prayer and seeking counsel from those who know me best, I realized that I could best serve God in a corporate environment. Send me Lord! I’ll be salt and light and I’m old enough now that I know what I believe and why I believe it and you can really use me out there in the world. I’m ready to go!
His purpose prevails. Ya’ll that is GOOD news!
After multiple job applications were filled out, recommendations were made on my behalf at several locations and interviews were even had, it became evident that I had it all wrong. Frankly, I was exhausted at the amount of time I was spending trying to figure out which direction to place my efforts and I had made the decision to just sit tight and wait on the Lord. Did you hear me say I was exhausted??
Within 48 hours of deciding to sit tight, my phone rang with an opportunity I DID NOT GO LOOKING FOR to work where I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE to do things I’VE NEVER DONE with people I DID NOT KNOW. Instead of getting all nervous and anxious about this, I GOT EXCITED!! It was a choice I had to make early on as my guts were dying to twist up inside of me but I told them NO (sometimes we have to remind our guts who’s really in charge)!!
It was obvious God had orchestrated this opportunity and following Him along on this ride called life is exciting! It’s exciting because no matter how high up the coaster track He takes us, He is right there with us and has nothing in mind but to take us places that are for our good and His glory! I knew I was right where He would have me be and there is no better feeling than when we grasp and sense that He has plans for us that He intends to follow through with, no matter how hard we work to figure them out for ourselves. No better feeling.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I thought I’d work out in the public, I now work with a bunch of Christians.
I thought I’d work in my hometown, I now work 25 minutes away.
I thought I’d be using my post-high school education, that’s gone out the window.
I thought I had a grasp on where I was headed. No.
One thing Christians can count on is that following Jesus is ALWAYS…interesting.
How about you? Has there been a time in your life that you fought hard to stay on First Avenue but in hindsight, you ended up on West 53rd Street? Did you clamor to stay in that relationship and ultimately end up single and happier than you’ve ever been? Have you stressed yourself out over an unexpected move or an unseen lay-off and later found that God had you the whole time? That He actually knew what He was doing? Even though He tells us He has good for us, did you doubt His plan?
I ask these questions because I’ve been a Christ follower for a long time. You would think that by now this question of whether or not He is ultimately in control and has my good in mind would’ve been settled a long time ago. I’m here to tell you that I have to re-learn it from time to time.
I have story after story over my life that I can look back and see the providence of God even though I was a nervous wreck and each time I reflect on those times, I tell myself to chill out! Not to let myself get knocked off my feet so easily when the unexpected comes.
That He’s got this.
I must have some chill.
We must have some chill.
Know what I mean?
If I put my child into a new school system because I know it’s the best place for them, I want them to trust my actions and walk in with a fresh hair cut and a smile, not sweaty palms and a doubting attitude of my love for them.
If my child wants 30 people to show up for their birthday party and only 8 come, I want him to embrace those 8 and take advantage of the smaller crowd. Get to know the ones who came and trust that those were the friends meant to be there.
If my grown child is looking for a job, I want them to talk to their heavenly father daily about it, get out there and push on doors, and trust that the right job will open up at the right time. In the meantime, maybe use their spare time to grow closer to God, to invest in some relationships or take on a DIY project.
I get it, it’s easier said than done. I just lived through this. But, can we do this? Can we trust Him a little more today than yesterday? Can we look back at the stories of His faithfulness in our lives and make the decision to believe that HE’S GOT THIS? Can we do these things with some chill?
I’m going to try better next time. Less worry, more thankfulness through the process.
One thing I know too, no matter how well or horrible I do this, I will be met with grace. When our motives are in the right place, He parents us with gentleness.
Ya’ll, He’s just the sweetest.
Praying we trust Him more with each new day,