June 9, 2012

The Next Step of Faith

God is AMAZING! I cannot tell you how much I have learned from Him this week, and how my feelings have settled through knowing that MY GOD has everything in order!

I am not really sure what happened, but I *THINK* it has to do with my attitude and my willingness to let go of my worries. I wish I could say that it was a matter of "just letting go," but in truth, I feel that it was more than that, more like surrendering and allowing God to take control. Let me explain...

Last week was another in a series of horrible weeks at my place of employment. I was fed up, feeling miserable, and thinking that EVERYTHING was a mess. I was praying, praying, praying for some release, and for the opportunity to move to another job (anywhere) someplace else. I had applied to several good jobs, but nothing *SEEMED* to be right for me. I was hopeful that God would bring me to another job, but frankly, I wasn't believing that He would do it.

Yes, lack of faith on my part was there, but it was more of my knowing that God wasn't going to do it, that made the mess all the worse for me. I believed and I still do believe that God is able to extricate me from my job. However, there was this lingering feeling that at this point in time, God didn't think that moving me was a high priority. Of course, I don't know the mind of God, but there was this feeling that in His time and economy, He wasn't too upset about my job and my dissatisfaction with it. More so, it was more a matter of His provision for me, and His attitude that mattered.

My attitude was the culprit, and I knew this about myself. I also knew that at work there was a lot of crumbling about the job, the process, the policy, and I was getting hooked into that downline. I was being pulled into a place where I wasn't happy, and I wasn't trying to keep from being reeled in with the rest of my team.

I prayed about my job the other day. I prayed about my opportunity to go on to Regent University for my PhD. I confessed my attitude and my unwillingness to do this work, and somehow through that process, I came to see my life more clearly. At one point, I asked the Lord for His Help to make this job work. I asked if He would help me enroll students, and show me how to make the most of my time at UOPX. I also asked that He provide a way for me to go to Regent, and show me what to do between now and then so that I could accomplish His will. Sometime in between my grumbling and complaining and my confession that I was willing to stay put and do what God had asked me to do -- my heart, my mind, and my attitude changed.

Once my attitude changed, things changed in my life. Once my heart and mind became refocused on doing God's work, my life altered course, and I found peace. I began to see the plans, and I began to understand why things are the way they are right now. I also came to accept the fact that the work I do, all the work I do, is for one purpose -- to Glorify God. It doesn't matter what job I do, what work I choose -- so long as all my tasks, all my energy, and all my days are spent bringing God the Glory.

I began to think about my "job," the practical work I do and I realized that I have the opportunity to bring God Glory right where I am at UOPX. Sure, I don't have the freedom to praise His Name boldly, but I can be a good worker, and give Him Praise internally. I can also be a good example to my team mates, and when asked, give account of God's work in my life. Yes, I can give Him Glory in my dials and in my student conversations.

My job hasn't changed. My work environment didn't miraculously get better. No, I changed, and with it came a new understanding that God has provided good work to me so that I can live comfortably and easily as I focus on my planned "work" or His Ministry for my life. This job is for my benefit, and it provides a nice living so that I can have what I need to do His Ministry work. It is not challenging, and it is boring -- but it is good honest work -- and I am able to live comfortably without any worries. It is a very Good thing.

As I changed my mind about what I do, God began to intervene on my behalf to help me see a way through this trial. Yes, He provided a way for me to endure the work, to be patient and to rest in it. No, He didn't move anyone or move me -- He just made a way for me to remain and to endure. This is what James writes about in his book -- we endure and we learn to be patient through the trials we encounter. In doing so, we can give God the Glory, and we can rest and know that everything is in God's hands.

Since my mind shift, I have come to see the clarity of what is taking place in my life. My refocused attention to God's priority and plan has made it possible for me to experience other blessing in my life. First, I have found my enjoyment of cello again. I am excited to be playing the cello, and to be back in chamber group. Second, I signed up for a certificate program through my University. This program will give me that chance to brush up on my skills as a Visual Communicator. It aligns with my web design work, and will prepare me for Regent University. It is also free -- no cost -- and it will keep my loans in deferment. Third, my paperwork with Regent is in full-swing. I reapplied, and I am in the process of taking the GRE and sending the rest of my papers to them. I have applied for scholarships and financial aid. Now, God must provide a way for me to go there, but the work is done. I did what was asked, and God has taken the rest on for Himself. Last, I am content to be where I am. It is not perfect as far as having a satisfying career, but then the Lord has been clear -- I will have no career. I am to do good work until He is ready for me to do His work. My work is His work, and there is no other work to do.

As I think about my life, I give Him Praise. I am thankful that He is helping me to endure my job. I am also thankful that He has given me things to do, work to do that aligns with the plans He has for me. I am happy to know that everything is Good and in His Hand.

May God be Praised today and forevermore!

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