Keeping my eyes open to glimpses of God

Friday, June 17, 2011

Doubting His Timing

It's been nearly a decade since I began following Christ, but if there's one lesson that my head fully knows yet has not made it to my heart, it's that I need to fully trust God's timing. There is no reason that I continue to doubt, besides my human nature, that is. Time after time I have felt frustrated waiting for God's timing, wanting to move ahead, complaining to God that I truly knew best, only to have everything work out so much better than I could have planned myself.

There was the time I was frustrated waiting to hear about where I would attend college, disappointed that my first choice didn't pull through, only to attend EIU where I was part of the most influential ministry of my life thus far. Then there was waiting to see what job I would have after college, feeling like the clock was ticking, wanting to send out resumes, only to find a great job was just waiting for me at my home church.

Most recently I have been waiting, wondering what job God had for me next. I have to admit, I've been more than frustrated. I've gotten angry with God, spent time crying, and devoted time to submitting resume after resume - even if I didn't feel they were a very good fit for me. The frustration only grew as job after job either didn't call me back (the response from 75% of the places I applied for) or sent letters of regret weeks later. It's been nearly 10 months since I first felt the nudge from God to begin moving on, and it was beginning to feel more than helpless. Not only that, my current position was ending fast. Soon enough I would be without a job instead of leaving on my own terms. How could God want that for me?

A shift happened, though, when my husband Jim and I sat down to talk about what might be next for me. I expressed my frustration (which he already knew all about) and the feeling that time was running out. On top of that, we're currently feeling the crunch financially since my job has been paying me less for the last 5 months. In the midst of my near freak out, my husband was calm and stated that God would provide just as He has in the past.

It was his calm response that called me to reaffirm my trust in God's timing. God had told me it was time to move on. It must be time. Even if I didn't know what was coming next. I decided I needed to officially resign from my job. With that decision fresh in my mind, I felt empowered to act, empowered to look once again at job listings without feeling frustrated and desparate.

Lo and behold, on one of the first sites I visited a position caught my eye. An internship posted just two days earlier. Responsibilities including proofing, editing, and writing resources for churches and Christians in general. Better yet, I was already familiar with the company. I already used several of their resources in my ministry and my personal life. Could it be? A position I was not only qualified for, but also passionate about? I applied immediately.

The next day I was a little giddy thinking about the possibility of the position. What would it be like? Who might I meet? What projects might I get to work on? At the same time, I knew better than to get too excited about a job I applied for - I had fallen into that frustrating spot way too many times. This time, though, I felt excited about the possibility of the position, yet was fully content if I didn't get the position because I trusted God's timing.

And that's when it happened. I got an interview. And then the position. And then I started almost immediately. And I love my job. I absolutely love it.

And I had the audacity to question God's timing. Ha!

I officially resigned from my job (which felt wonderful!), but that also means that I am now bringing in no money except what I bring in through my personal business. But I'm trusting in God, knowing that He will provide just as He has time and time again before.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Patterns

I love summer! I've started this new pattern in the mornings, unless it's raining, of course. After feeding our puppy, I let him into our backyard, take my prayer devotional book (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals), a cup of coffee, and sit down at our patio table. While my puppy occupies himself chasing flies, running around, and even chasing his own tail, I get in some sweet, undisturbed moments of prayer and reflection.

The beauty of this new practice lies in the fact that it fits seamlessly into my existing schedule, and the fact that it allows me to enjoy God's presence while in his creation. Spending time regularly in his presence at the beginning of my day has done so much for my life already. The consistency of the schedule gives me something to look forward to as well prevents me from forgetting. Addtionally, this is shaping up to be a month of some pretty major transitions, and spending this time with him is helping me make sense of it all and sort it out. It has also brought a peace during this time despite the uncertainty and waiting.

During my morning reading time, I recently came across a great verse that has encouraged me to keep on in this new pattern: "For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power." - 1 Corinthians 4:20 I know that I am not perfect, and I will forget to spend time with God, but the more time I spend with him, the more I will be able to live by his power and not just be a lot of talk.