SUMMER 2018: A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE.

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Although summer is far from over, for Ashlynn and I, the start of August starts the transition into fall.  I’m wrapping up teaching my summer classes and helping students get enrolled for the fall semester.  Ashlynn has returned to her school where she will begin a new year teaching fourth grade.  We always like this time of year.  We love getting into a routine, getting things done.  This has been a wild summer for us and we can’t believe it’s coming to a close.

So much has happened this summer.

We moved into a new neighborhood.  Family visited.  One of our very good friends stayed with us while he transitioned to a new professional role here in Nashville.

We traveled to Mississippi and Chicago.

I took a step towards a career in writing.

Old wounds that have been haunting me for the past 15 years resurfaced.

I didn’t get the job that I had prayed for.

By default, I’m the type of person that is always living in constant expectation.  It’s just how I’m wired.  I’m always looking for God in everything, looking for signs and ways he reveals himself.  This year, one thing I have struggled with has been believing that I see God in certain places and areas, but then I turn out to be wrong.  I hear a voice in my head saying, “That wasn’t God.  That was your imagination” or “You really think that was God?”  First, that voice is a liar and I know this, but I’m learning something from the events that have unfolded.  What if it really was God.  What if he’s always been showing up and responding to every prayer I have, even though I can’t see it?  My perspective for the first half of this year has been a constant let down by God if I’m being honest.  Places I’ve seen him, songs I’ve felt him, nudges that have moved me, all seemed to be going in a direction I didn’t understand–I still don’t understand.  But, what if all of these nudges and feelings and glimpses were him preparing me for what he has for me… not what I have for myself?

In late spring, I got a call for an interview.  It was everything I thought I wanted.  It was working with high school students preparing them for college level courses.  It was a remote position, working from home, and traveling to various schools within a 4-county region.  It sounded like a dream.

My interview came and went.  It went great!  Then, I prayed.

I prayed in my sleep.  I prayed on my way to and from work.  I prayed at church.  I prayed at dinner.  I prayed at… you get the point.  I even drove to where I had my interview twice and prayed for God to provide.  My prayer was something like this:  God, we just want your best for our lives, and if this is your will, please open this door.  You know the desires of my heart and if this is what you have for me, please let it happen.

Well, it didn’t.  A month passed by with no word.  Finally, I received an email saying they had filled the position.

That email was the third rejection of 2018.  But that rejection got me thinking… What does God really want for my life?  Am I missing something?  And if I’m honest, I don’t have the answer.  I don’t know the extent of what God is up to, but do we really EVER know the extent of what God is up to?  Isn’t that where faith comes in?  All I know is this:  I’m passionate about lifting others.  I want others to know the God I know and how much he loves me.  Writing has been on my heart my entire life, but it’s always taken a backseat.  This rejection has made me take a look at myself, what I want, and what God wants.

All year, I have been praying for a breakthrough and felt like God either didn’t hear or was ignoring me.  But, what if the rejection letter WAS my breakthrough.  What if that was a catalyst to something greater?  It comes down to trust, something that I struggle with daily.  I’ve lived long enough to know that God reveals himself when it is his perfect timing.  Still, I’m impatient and I want things when I want it.  How comforting it is to know that we have a God that knows us better than we know ourselves.

So, please keep praying.  Please keep seeking.  And even though you don’t understand, one day soon, God will shift your perspective and open your eyes into what he is doing in your life.  That I can promise you.

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