As I sit and ponder how I am going finish telling my story my thoughts are scattered, I wish I had a had a warm and fuzzy Cinderella like ending but I don’t, my story ends with me waiting. I am currently in the season of waiting, when I realize that my story while I am living on this side of heaven, the story of my journey will never end, my destination is my journey, and until the day comes that I meet Jesus I will always be on that journey. Starting with my post on January 8, I started sharing parts of my journal that I started writing in January of last year, I think I am going finish it here. Continuing on….
It was the start of a new year, January 4, the first official day back to normalcy, holiday breaks were over, people were back at work, change was in the air, the month of June was on heart, and I was coming off a three year stint of a season of preparation, it was a time of faith building, prayer, trust and obedience. It was during that time that I buried myself in every book I could find on Christianity, I read my way through the entire Christian section at the public library, I would haunt book stores in search of anything I could find that I had not yet read. When I exhausted every piece of literature on Christianity I could find, I signed up for a bible study class armed with the meager pew bible that I snagged from the church across the street, the bible that was on the receiving end of my wrath when I was angry at God, the bible that had seen better days.
I had a sharp tongue and quick temper that He had to get under control. Practice makes perfect and my season of preparation was rife with practice, sometimes making sharp u-turns to take me back to the beginning, with a loving correction “that was good, but I know you can do better, lets try it again” and other times harsh discipline when I went completely off the rails, by the end I was a champ at holding my tongue. I am not saying we should sit back and let people walk all over us but we need to choose our words carefully and thoughtfully, and there are times, when as hard as it is, no words at all, and if you knew me back then, I did not choose my words carefully or thoughtfully, and in my world silence was not golden. My ultimate challenge would come in the form of a woman that found no redeeming quality in me and did nothing to hide her disdain for me, never in all my years of living have I met someone who disliked me as much as she did. With every snarky remark and roll of the eyes I never said a word escaping into quiet solitude to pray, God please get me through this, God help me control my behavior and on particularly bad days I would pray to God that He keep her away from me for five minutes, and then I started to pray for her. I prayed that she have a life of happiness and I prayed for God help me in my relationship with her. Don’t ever doubt the power of prayer because I can’t explain what happened next. It had been about a week since I started praying that this woman, who looked like the same person, but she wasn’t, she was nice, it was as if the aliens came in and abducted her sometime during the night. Not entirely convinced I proceeded with careful optimism thinking the aliens are going to bring her back eventually. I wouldn't say we became friends, but by the end of our run together we had a pretty decent relationship.
I don’t think I ever questioned why God put me in that position, I knew it was from Him, I knew there was a reason and I knew that He was with me, He gave me a lot of peace during that time, and even though I felt like I was being dragged over a bed of hot coals, I knew it wasn’t going to last forever, it was a time that a very good Christian friend called “the people test”, how to deal with difficult people. I like to think I passed that test.
I didn’t like where I was and would never choose it for myself but in general I still found a lot of peace and joy in the everydayness, there wasn’t the overwhelming sense of hopelessness I once had in my former life, I spent a lot of time there, I know it all to well. There is a big difference between not liking where you are and being sad about it, and feeling hopeless. Hopelessness is from satan, it breaks your spirit and deceives you into believing that there is no way out.
What could have been a simple straight forward journey to my destination turned into an epic trail of back roads and side streets, “ummm…… God, you do realize I am going to be late if I keep taking this road, Hellooo God are you there? I am going to be late”, His only answer was “turn here” taking me further off course from where I should have been, I eventually arrived at my appointed destination, late. I stopped questioning after that, I wasn’t going to get an explanation I may as well just do what I am told and save myself the migraine of trying to figure it out, thus began my journey of doing things that made absolutely no sense to me, save yourself and don’t ask there are just too many to count.
As easy as it would have been, I never lost faith that God was at work, I trusted that He knew what He was doing and it became ever so clear to me that this season of testing is what the last three years had been all about. Teaching me to trust Him and have faith, to learn to hear His voice and to keep the joy even when my circumstances said otherwise, He was teaching me obedience, to do what He told me even when it didn’t make sense.
I Suddenly I found myself failing at things I once excelled at, God was saying no to things that He once said yes too, new dreams had been placed in my heart, and the month of June was a constant nudging on my heart.
I knew there was something more for me, there had to be, I did not believe that I was put on this earth to do what I was doing. Day in and day out I would anxiously await my break through, expecting it to come in some sort of grandiose revival, instead it came by way of being summoned to HR and informed that as of that moment I was unemployed, the day was June 15th, (read here for the devotional that delivered just hours before) I would be lying if I said I was surprised, I wasn’t, I had been expecting it for months. I was granted my one request to say goodbye to my friend, a fellow Christian that had been a consistent source of strength. She pulled me into a bear hug and held me there as she prayed and tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. This was God’s hand releasing me to live out the next chapter of my life and I could not think of a better person to do it than Pat. I virtually skipped my way onto the elevator and rode it down the 19 floors to the ground level, offering myself up to like a turkey on the Thanksgiving table, “here I am God what do you have for me?” What I got next was a monster headache that left me bedridden for the rest of the day and night.
As morning came, the sun was peaking through the clouds that had left the sky dark and gray for days, the gentle breeze blowing through the open window above the desk where I sat felt like kisses on my cheek, the leaves on the trees were rustling, the birds chirping and I could not think of a better way to start this new journey, it had only happened the day before but my job seemed like a million years ago. It is a little scary, I am my only source of income and it is now gone, but I am not afraid.
I wish I could say something great has happened in the last seven months, but it hasn’t, I am in a season of waiting, at times I find myself mumbling under my breath “God, there had better be something really earth shattering on the other side for putting me through all of this”. I don’t know what is waiting for me up ahead, I am just putting one foot in front of the other and stepping out in faith as I continue on this journey.
It has been a long road, a road filled with tears and heart break but also with a lot joy and hope and love. I still have a long road to travel, but it is what I will find in that journey that will be my destination.