January 17, 2017

Moving and More

Happy Tuesday! What a blessed day it is today! I woke up after a rather fitful night's sleep. I am not sure why I didn’t sleep well, but I tossed and turned all night long (hot flashes mostly). What is more, I really didn’t feel like I rested deeply — when I did sleep — and when the morning broke, I sighed at the thought that I had to get up and get started with my day. Thankfully, the coffee kicked in, and after a time of quiet reflection (and some good java), I started to feel much better.

Now, it is several hours later, and I am befuddled somewhat as to what the Lord is doing in my life. The Lord seems to be pushing me, moving me, preparing me to move, and well, I am feeling a bit frantic about it. Let me explain…

Thoughts on Moving

This morning, as I was moving about in my room, I heard the voice of the Lord speaking into my heart and mind. I heard Him say to me, “Carol, I am moving and this is going to change your life completely.” Okay, so those are my words, but that was the gist of what I felt He was saying to me. I really felt like He was saying, “Hang on because I am about to do something really big in your life!” In truth, I have felt this way for a while. It was sometime right before the end of the year when I felt the Lord was preparing me for this BIG CHANGE. Initially, I assumed it had to do with finishing my PhD and with learning how to juggle so many part-time contracts at my schools. I am overloaded, slammed as I like to say, and yet the Lord has been moving me bit-by-bit until I am right where He wanted me to be. He has gently created waves of change in and through my life, over the course of the past 10 or so years, I have been slowly inched closer and closer to His will (as in His next step in that marvelous will).

At first, this changed seemed to come only to reposition me as a teacher. I have blogged about it many times, but I came to teaching rather late in my career. I had always wanted to teach, but life didn’t cooperate, and in the end, I took a different path, a path that led me away from His will for my life, and a path I later came to regret. Still, God was always with me, and through the hardship and hard knocks, I came back around to teaching in 2010 when the Lord placed the desire on my heart to return to graduate school. I obeyed His call, and seven years later, I am teaching part-time at five different schools, and I am about ready to graduate with my PhD.

Despite His clear mandate, I haven’t always believed I was to stay on this path. After all, teaching is not the most lucrative career path, and frankly, I have struggled to make ends meet since I started my PhD program. The Lord has provided for me, don’t get me wrong, but I panicked during the course and ended up following other routes that seemed “safer” or that provided more income for me. I even I applied for several positions in industry, thinking that I could use my degree to get a high-paying job in the communications field. No doors opened for me, and even though He allowed me to apply for several good jobs (and even interview for one position in particular), no job offer came to pass. Each time I would suffer the rejection of a job interview, I would come back to teaching part-time, and I would focus on my studies. In truth, the only time I have been happy, content, filled with joy, so to speak, was when I was working on my studies and teaching students.

Last summer, I made the conscious decision to be settled as a teacher. I finally gave up all ideas contrary to teaching, and in doing so, the Lord blessed me by bringing me some extra part-time work. With His blessing, I started teaching online over the summer, and after a successful experience, the Lord brought me more courses — at Regent, at OCU, and now at ASU. Clearly, He has blessed my decision to stay put, and while I still don’t have a full-time position, what I do have is good, so very good. For the first time in three years, I have enough money to live comfortably. I am “slammed,” LOL, with work, teaching and dissertation, but I am well-covered. He has been moving me, repositioning me, and I think making me ready for His big reveal. Yes, He has been making me ready for the position of His choosing, the job of His choosing, at the school of His choosing.

What does this mean? Well, I think it means that He has a place in mind for me, a school where He wants me to teach and do ministry. I have believed in faith that He would open a door for me, and today, well, I think He may have done so. After the Lord spoke those words into my heart, I felt Him say that I was to go to Regent’s website and look at their job postings. I did, even though I was uncertain why He would have me go there since I am already hired as adjunct staff. Regent is growing, and this year they had record numbers for attendance. I knew that they were hiring COM professors (my friend works in the department), but I didn’t think they would hire English faculty. After a bit of a shock, I saw that they were hiring full-time faculty (on campus). I thought to myself, “No, Lord, not here!” This reaction was in spite of the fact that I have said on numerous occasions that it would be a delight for me to teach at Regent full-time. My heart is simply pulled toward this school, and I love everything about it — I always have.

So with a bit of a prayer, I stepped out in faith and applied. It is a long shot, really, but I believe that if this is the Lord’s will for my life, it will come to pass. If it isn’t, well, then I did what I thought He was asking me to do. I was faithful to obey His word to me today.

I am still in shock that I even applied. This is a tenure-track position on campus, which means that I would have to move to Virginia Beach in July. I don’t want to get my hopes up because between now and then there is so much hanging in the balance. I have graduate. I have to deal with my son’s schooling, his living place, and of course, my parents care. All of this is just too much for me to handle right now. Yet, just yesterday I heard Greg Laurie speak and He said “If your God is big, then your problems are small. If your problems are big, then your God could be too small to deal with them.” I remember agreeing to this thought, and I said aloud — “Lord, I believe you are bigger than these problems of mine!”

What is more, this morning, after the conversation with the Lord on moving, K-Love’s word of the day was from Psalm 20, verse 4:

May He grant you your heart’s desire And fulfill all your plans.

I don’t mean to interject more here than there really is, but I believe that (1) God has a plan for my life, and it is a good plan; (2) that He knows my needs (past, present, and future); and (3) that He is moving me someplace for ministry purposes more so than for a job. That last part is part-and-parcel with a video clip that a good friend and colleague sent me this morning from Lisa Bevere:

I have believed this testimony for a while. I know that what God is calling me to do requires a special anointing from Godly ministers. I don’t mean to sound all Pentecostal here, but I believe in the anointing power of prayer and oil for commissioning before any ministry effort. Moreover, I have believed that before I could begin my communications ministry, I had to graduate from Regent (one of the ceremonies is an anointing/commissioning ceremony). I believe that I have been under attack lately, not because of my sin, but because of the work the Lord intends to do through me in the future.  My destiny is in His hands, and that means that I have to go where He sends me, and I have to do the work that He has planned for me to do. Selah!
In Closing

As I close out this blog post, I think to myself, “Lord, I am so tired. I am so ready to be set free, to be released, and to go and do your work.” I know the plans He has for my life are good. I know that everything that I have done thus far has prepared me for this next step of faith. Until He moves me, however, I have to stay focused. I have to complete the work that is on my to-do list today. He is good, He has me well-covered, and in this way, I can truly rest in His abilities, His provision, and His sufficiency over, in and throughout my life. Selah!

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