Friday, May 30, 2014

what will I do with no...

I woke up that morning extra early, knowing that something was up. I had interviewed for my "dream job" the day before and had gone to bed still awaiting an answer. Something told me that was not a good sign, still, they had told me I would know by the end of the week, not by the end of the day.

I did my usual morning routine, checking emails and getting on facebook for a few moments before starting my day. It seemed that every post I saw in my devotionals and in pictures was some encouragement about choosing joy or about what to do when things didn't go as you'd hoped. It was on Facebook that I saw one of those picture sayings. You know the ones. The picture that has some quote that you then hit 'share' and post it for others to see. The picture was of an open door and it said "God opens doors no man can shut." Such an encouraging little picture. Then why was my immediate thought, "And if the door doesn't open then what is on the other side wasn't what God intended for you"?

I went for my morning run with questions still in my head. I knew I did not get that job but still hoped to hear otherwise. I had done well in the interview - I knew it. So why did I have this sinking feeling that the answer was going to be "no thank you"?

I had planned to spend some time with my daughter that day and we went out shopping. In my mind I secretly hoped that we'd be able to do this more often if I got that meant more money. I decided to check my emails while I waited on her to pick out shorts and there it was, the email with my answer. I quickly opened it only to read, "Thank you for your time but we've chosen someone else." 

My heart dropped. The door had closed. I wanted to cry, but I don't cry often and certainly not in public. Honestly wish I did sometimes because it might make the ache feel a little better. Well, that was it. I had prepared and prayed and hoped and now....the answer was no. It was over. 

We went on with our shopping but the wind was out of my sails. In my mind, I had made plans...I had figured out how I could "serve God" in this new position...I had pictured myself giving away all my old classroom supplies and working with other teachers to help them. In a flash all those hopes crumbled. In fact, since I had changed to a lower grade level than I had previously been teaching, the devil tried to push the idea that instead of promoted I had actually been DE-moted...pushed to the back of the line. Now, I know that is ridiculous, but I'm just saying how it felt. Okay, now I'm finally crying. Funny how admitting how your feel about something releases emotions.

I spent the rest of that day and the next in a funk. I tried to cheer myself with reminders that it's not about me. It's about where God chooses for me to serve. A sweet friend sent a message reminding me that there might be some student that needed me next year. Others let me know they cared and understood. I was wanted, so why did I feel so rejected? I had waited so hopefully to hear "yes" - what was I supposed to do with "no"?

I went for my run yesterday hoping to hear from God. Usually I hear, "Trust Me" when I am confused. This time I heard, "Listen to your husband." You see, my sweet husband, who is my biggest supporter - God bless him - had said that he just had a feeling it wasn't over yet. When I told him I didn't get the job and extra income would NOT be coming in, he smiled and said it's going to be okay. God has always provided and He won't stop now...and that he just had a feeling it wasn't over yet. Now, for those who don't know him, my husband is the most patient man I've ever met. We are complete opposites. I bounce off the walls and rarely go anywhere in a straight line. He is slow and steady - never wavering. So when I ran and heard, "Listen to your husband" I heard, "Trust Me."

I know I'm not the only person who has ever been told "no"....that has felt like the destiny that they KNEW was to be theirs was somehow stripped away and they had instead been sent to the backside of the desert to herd sheep. I'm not the only one who has looked to heaven for direction and been sent the OPPOSITE way they thought they were supposed to go. Yes, I get the connections here...honestly hadn't thought about Moses until I started typing this blog, but now they seem pretty clear. 

The past weeks my mind has been on learning to "embrace the place" where God has me. Honestly, at times I don't like it...but it's not about me. No matter if God chooses to place me in a position of leadership or chooses to have me working the back of a garbage truck, I am to serve Him with joy where I am. It's not about what I want, it's about where I can best serve Him. I remember years ago dreaming of preaching and teaching in church. I dreamed of encouraging people with God's Word and sharing the insights He showed me for them. I dreamed....are you getting the constant in this? I wanted. Years later, I'm finally figuring out it's not really about me. 

The question remains. What will I do with "No"? Will I grow angry? Will I pretend I never wanted that stupid job anyway? Will I take my ball and go play somewhere else? Or will I look at my Father and say, "Not my will but Yours be done"?

I'm still working through the process of hurt, discouragement, and disappointment. I may even shed a few tears today. I will probably sit on the desert floor for a little while and wonder what happened to the dreams. I will remind myself of all the blessings in my hand. Ultimately, I hope I can hang my hope on the truth that God will use a willing vessel to achieve His will. I will embrace the place where I find myself and will do my best to tend the sheep. 

It's not about me. It's about trusting Him.

Proverbs 3:5-12 (MSG)

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

Micah 6:8 (MSG)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously.

Galatians 6:7-10 (MSG)

7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

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