January 21, 2017

Experiencing Freedom

It is a good day here in cloudy and cold, Phoenix. Yes, the skies are gray, and for the most part, there is a sense of more impending rain. The weather forecast has called for stormy weather through Sunday, but I think most of the storm is now either north or south of us. Still, the weather is a lovely change from our almost constant “warm and sunny.”

It is 1:00 p.m., and I haven’t really gotten much done today. I did work on my finances some, and I even started my tax return. Mostly, I have been preoccupied with thoughts of what might be for my future. In truth, I am well-set, blessed, and I feel so very confident that the Lord has a wonderful plan for my life. I am busy, so very busy, but I believe the busyness of this first half of the semester will give way to a settled peace when the second half arrives. I will, for example, be finished with my PhD, and that will bring in such rejoicing for me. I will be so glad to finish strong, and I will be excited for the new adventures the Lord has in store for me.

One of the things I am excited about is the opportunity to begin a new life as an assistant professor. I love my work as adjunct, and if I could make a good living as adjunct, it really could be the “perfect” life for me. I love the fact that I get to show up for work, but that I don’t have to do anything extra. I simply do the work and then leave. It is great part-time work. Furthermore, I like the flexible schedule, the working from home two days per week. I wish I could work from home every day, sigh! It would be my preference right about now. But, praise be to God, I work as much as I can, and the days I am on campus, are special. I really enjoy my students, and I love to work with them in a FTF environment. God is so good to me, and He loves me deeply. He knows what is best for me. If He decides to see me hired full-time as online faculty, praise His glorious name. If, however, He chooses for me to work in a campus environment, well, God be praised just the same. I am content to teach online or FTF as it pleases the Lord. I am content to work one job or six, for I know it is my Lord who enables me to do plenty. He keeps me organized, and He keeps me focused. He covers my assignments, my work, and in this way, I am able to do more than I could ever imagine.

In so many ways, the Lord has blessed me, and as it says in His word, He has enlarged my borders and territory. I am receiving the answered prayer of Jabez, who cried out to the God is Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain” (1 Chron. 4:10 NIV). I love the very last words of this verse. Ezra writes, “And God granted him his request.” The Lord, God of Israel, has granted my request for prosperous good work. He has opened doors, and He has made it possible for me to work for schools where I cannot only learn additional skill, but where I can fit comfortably in as faculty. Yes, I am blessed to work at several schools, and in doing so, the Lord has seen to it that I have enough income to not only cover my monthly needs during the school year, but to have sufficient income to cover my long and dry summer. I am blessed and highly favored by His merciful and mighty hand. 

My continued prayer is for this blessing to not cease. I am surrendered fully, walking in obedience to His name and His word, and as such, I am seeking to honor Him in everything I do. My words, my actions, my thoughts, are all turned toward Him. I am in this special place where the word of the Lord is coming to pass, and I am the recipient of His good and gracious favor. Selah!

Making Headway on my Project

So this morning has passed as a purely administrative effort. I reconciled my accounts, and with my two refunds (financial aid and Federal tax), I should be able to pay off my credit cards completely. This is a fulfillment of the Lord’s word to me. I have had a long-term plan to be debt-free, and while my student loan debt will not magically disappear anytime soon, I will have cancelled all credit card and car loan debt by June. This means that my credit score should jump about 50 points higher, and with that improved score, should the Lord choose for me to purchase my own home, I would be in qualifying position. More so, my plans for relocating are set. I have prayed over remaining here, and while it makes sense to do so, I cannot feel any peace in remaining put. I know I must stay for a short time, but in truth, I believe the job the Lord has for me (that full-time one) is not in AZ; rather it is in another state.

My revised goals for 2017 are as follows:
  • Pay off all credit card debt (save one card) by June 2017
  • Pay off Nissan by June 2017
  • Prepare to relocate as the Lord opens that door (with cleared cards, I can actually contemplate moving — air fare or simply by car/truck)
  • Downsize my home, reduce the clutter and give away/sell anything not needed or used
These goals are in addition to graduating from Regent, getting a real-time offer, etc. I am finally seeing relocation as a possibility whereas before it seemed unrealistic for me when I was carrying around so much credit card debt. It is exciting to see how the Lord is providing for me to meet these existing needs.

Now, I feel ready. I feel confident, and I feel excited that what He intends to do will actually come to pass. I can see His hand moving in my life, and as such, I can see opportunity on the horizon. The Lord has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:6), and I hold high expectations that His favor and blessing will only increase the longer I seek to serve Him and others, seek to abide in His will, and seek to submit and yield to His authority in and through my life. He is my King, my Kinsman-redeemer, and He is the One with whom I am aligned. And, though I do my best to be at peace with all men (and women), it is the Lord who is my Counselor, my Physician, and my Ruler and the author of my manifest destiny. He calls the shots, He makes the rules, and I abide, obey, and follow. He is good to me, so very good to me.

With this in mind, I rest now and I relinquish control over my days. I know He has me well covered, and today and tomorrow, while busy and overwhelming at points, will be completed according to His most merciful plan. He will see to this work, and He will perform mighty miracles while I stand and watch. It will be like the Red Sea parting, and my God, who is infinitely more able to do all that I ask and need (Eph. 3:20), will perform for His Name and His glory. I will give Him all the praise for He alone is worthy to be praised this good, good day.

In Closing

As I close this blog post, I am reminded that I serve a mighty God. He is called a Mighty Fortress (Psalm 46), and as such, He is amazingly able to do work that is beyond our abilities, our expectations, and even our imagination. I, for one, could not imagine that I would be sitting here today, finishing my dissertation, teaching at multiple schools, and making myself ready for a full-time assistant professorship at a major school. I could not see this as a possibility 10 years ago. Even four years ago, I thought potentially I could do it, but not to the extent that I have actually experienced it. No, never. Yet, here I am, and God has moved in amazing ways, and He has blessed me beyond blessing. I am favored, I am set apart, and I am being made ready for His special work in and through my life. Now, I can say — MY GOD IS ABLE — and I bear witness to His abilities, His capabilities, and His consistent application of those abilities. He is good. He is worthy. He is able. He is I AM.

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