March 14, 2017

I'm Finished!

Well, it is a good Tuesday morning in Norfolk, VA. I am sitting at the airport, typing on my wonderful MacBook Air (Thank you, Jesus!), while sipping Starbucks Verona Blend, and eating a cinnamon Raisin Bagel. It has been a good two days, but I am so ready to leave the wintry weather and return to the southern warm skies. I had a wonderful day yesterday. My defense went very well, and I am ready to graduate. I have some very minor changes to make, and praise be to God, I am going to be able to send my document to the proofers on Thursday. In all, this has been a blessed adventure, and as this chapter of my life closes, I cannot help but give all the praise, the honor, and the glory to the Lord. He has done this -- He has made this possible, and I can take no credit for it. He deserves the honor, and because He is in charge of this outcome, I simply give Him the credit. All of it. All the credit goes to my heavenly Father, the blessed Son, and the awesome Holy Spirit! Selah!
His Next Steps

Now, I am ready to take the next steps, and to see what the Lord has in mind for me. I was saying this yesterday, as I took a nice drive over to VA Beach. I have never had the chance to walk out on the beach in all my 5 trips back east. Yesterday, it was very cold and windy, so I simply drove out along Pacific Avenue and looked at the ocean. It was a good way to unwind after my defense. As I was driving, I couldn't help but think about how tentative I was when I first came to VA back in 2013. I really wasn't very confident in my abilities. I had just graduated from my Master's program, and while I had gotten good grades, I didn't feel very comfortable in this new unknown discipline of Communication. My colleagues were all pros -- communication majors and professionals -- and I was this little English person. I wasn't even teaching at that time. I was working at CVS Caremark, and at that time, I was pretty content to stay in corporate communications. But, the Lord had other plans for me, and after I came to VA for that first residency, I realized that I had to make the commitment to the program, and that meant a change of career.

The Lord provided a job for me at Grand Canyon, and praise be to God, I am still there after almost five years. Moreover, as I developed my skill as a teacher, I was able to pick up other jobs at ACU, and then more recently at Regent University and Arizona State University. It is a good thing, really, and over time, I have come to this place of contentment. I would really like to be able to teach in one job only, but until the Lord changes these plans, I will remain at peace with what He has provided. I give Him all the praise, and for this path I am on, I thank Him. I cannot imagine doing anything different nor can I imagine living a different kind of life.

I was thinking about this while I was driving out past the NAS Oceana and the big jets were flying so low over my car. The sound or should I say roar was deafening. Yet, as I looked up at the military planes, I thought how blessed I am to live in this country, to be protected by such a great military. More so, as I drove out toward the ocean, I marveled at the beauty of the surrounding area. The trees were all bare and brown, but even in the winter drab, they were so lovely to look at and so impressive as they bordered the road way. My heart was at peace in this blessed place, and I thought to myself, "Lord, this is a special place to visit." I appreciated the fact that with DST, the skies were still light at 6:30 p.m. Furthermore, despite the cold and the wind, the outdoors were such a nice change from my normal and sunny life.

The Lord has richly blessed my life. I have been able to do most everything on my bucket list, and praise be to God, I have experienced some really wonderful things. God has given me a rich life, a life that has had ups and downs, and yes, a lot of heartache, but overall, my life has been sweet. I have met people who have changed my life, impacted my life, and given my life such pleasure. I have good friends, loving family members, and dear sweet colleagues and peers. More so, I have so many wonderful students. I have almost 300 this semester, all told, and I enjoy all of them. And, I should say, the Lord promised me that while I didn't have many children of my own, I would have influence on thousands of children over the course of my lifetime. I have already done this -- with children's ministry and Awana -- but now I have the double-blessing of impacting the lives of these young people for eternity. Praise God, I am right where I belong.

My professor and Chair said to me that I need one job now. I agreed with him, but I couldn't help but think that this is not the Lord's will for me, at the least, not yet. Perhaps in time this will be the case, but I love what I do, and I love being busy. I am thankful for each job, each school, and I will heartily work unto the Lord until the day of His return. I will wait on Him by serving my schools and my students, and in the way, I will honor my Father in Heaven. I will do this work to the best of my abilities, and then I will work with His abilities to accomplish whatever He has in mind for me. He is good to me, and He meets my needs with sufficiency. He has a great plan for my life, and I am excited to think that I am right where He wants me to be. God is good, so very good to me.

Possibilities

As I consider the possibilities the Lord has for my next steps, I think to myself, "What more do I need, Lord?" I mean, I have good practical work. I have a nice life. I have a good home, and I have my needs met financially now. I really have everything I could want, desire or need. It is a rare thing to be in this place of security, whereby your needs are met. This is where I am today. This is where the Lord has placed me, safely within His blessed hedge of protection. I trust the Lord, and I thank Him for this gift of peace, of comfort, of modest style. I can think of nothing to add to my life, and while I certainly do not want anything to decrease, I am grateful for what I do have today. I know I am in this good place, this safe place, and for that, I give Him all the praise. I asked Him to be my shelter, my security, my protection, and He answered me and provided this want to me. More so, I asked that He take the role of husband and Father to me, to provide for my needs, and He did this as well. In truth, He is my provider and my protector. I have looked to Him for this need, and while I have at times struggled to let Him lead, guide AND provide for me, I have come to learn the blessedness of reliance on the Lord. I have come to understand what it means to "lean" unto the Lord. I lean upon Him for my stability. I place my weight, my burdens, and my cares on Him, and He gives me peace, rest, and comfort. The more I draw near to Him, the more He comes closer to me. It is a fascinating relationship to be close to the Lord. I know Him well, but not nearly as well as I can possibly know Him. The depths of the Lord's love, care, and mercy are endless, and thus, it will take the rest of my days to come to know Him more intimately, more completely, and more joyfully. I take pleasure in this thought, that over the next 10, 20 or 30 years, I will know the Lord more than I do now. WOW! How amazing is that thought?

Thus, as I sit here and think about my life and what might be His next steps for me, I am safely and securely dependent upon Him. I need Him for everything, and I trust in Him to provide and meet my needs. I look up, and I wait. I don't know what He wants me to do, but whatever it is, I believe it will be GREAT! It will be great.

In closing, I think about this day and how I am about to board a plane to head back home. Back home. Those words sit with me now because I believe that for this season of my life, the Lord has opened doors for me to work, to live, to grow, and to remain content in Phoenix. My heart still longs to go elsewhere, but for now, the Lord seems to be saying to me, "Wait, my child. Just wait." I am content. I will wait on the Lord, and I will trust that whatever He does next, it will meet my needs, provide for my family, and bring to me even more adventure and excitement than the previous 7 years. Yes, the next 7 should be amazingly wonderful! I believe it, I believe it!

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