July 22, 2017

Saturday and More!

It is a beautiful day here in hot and sticky, Phoenix. The monsoon is here, though it hasn't been real active the past couple of days. The weather forecast for the next 7-10 days calls for a chance of storms, which simply means, the conditions are ripe that storms "could" develop late in the afternoons each day. In our monsoon season, which occurs every year from June 15-September 15, the chance for storms is a regular occurrence. Some seasons, we end up with scattered rain showers. Other seasons, we get pounded with micro bursts and torrential rains. It is a "give and take" most days, and we never quite know what fickle Mother Nature will throw at us each year. So far this year, we have had some good rain and a bit of dust. Perhaps as the month wears on and we turn into August, we will see more rain, thunder, and lightning. Who knows!

In all, the day is starting off nice. It is humid out, and I can tell that by my bedroom temperature. It is not quite as cool as it could be. Weatherbug says that it is currently 98 degrees with 34% humidity. The dew point is sitting at 64, which means the air has plenty of moisture to fire up storms later on today. My AC is cool, but I also have my ceiling fan running to keep the air circulating. I am comfortable while I sit at my desk and work on my classes.
Fall Preparation

My classes at Regent seem to be fine, but I can tell that the summer students are struggling more than my normal spring or fall students do. My online class in teaching strategies at ASU is going well, despite the fact that there are some 96 students (as of the last count) enrolled. I haven't really learned anything new, and the course design is a bit overwhelming -- too much information to absorb. Still, I am checking off a required course so I can remain active as an adjunct at this school.

Speaking of schools, I am still pondering what the Lord has in store for me come fall. As of today, I have four classes scheduled. I have my 3-contracts at GCU (ground), and my online class at Regent has just populated Blackboard (a good sign it is to go). This means that with ASU, I should end up with 5 classes for fall. Grantham may or may not come to pass, and I am okay with that fact. But, I feel confident that something is going to change for me soon; it is just that I don't really know if that will be the full-time instructor position I applied for and interviewed early this month or if I will be called (finally) by Regent for the full-time assistant professor position I applied for last February. I am in the dark, so to speak, as to what the Lord intends to do. I was pretty comfortable with the idea of teaching full-time online up until today. I have had a lingering feeling that perhaps the Lord would move and open the door for me at Regent, but thus far, there has been no real movement toward that end. However, I know Regent, and they tend to move slowly. So, the job is not off the table for sure. It is just on hold, I guess.

My prayer is to be offered the position of the Lord's choosing only. I am content to remain as I am -- adjunct for another semester if that is His will. He knows my needs, and He knows that I cannot move forward without some commitment to do so. I can certainly live off adjunct for a while, but with my student loans coming due, frankly, I need some settled plan of action. I am comfortable living here in AZ just as I am comfortable moving to VA, should that be His provision. I am also comfortable going anywhere in between here and there, should the Lord decide that there is good work for me to do in another state. However, right now, I feel that the two most viable places for me to live are here in Phoenix and there in VA Beach. I mean, I work for both schools now -- ASU and Regent -- so really, one needs to offer me a job full-time. Doesn't that make sense? I think it does, and while I have already interviewed for one, I just need the other to get moving so I can be considered for more secure employment.

The Lord knows my needs, and He knows the needs of these schools. He also knows my son's needs and those of my parents. Thus, I am content to remain or to go. I am content to live as He calls me to live. I am content to be promoted or to remain as I am. I am content in all things because, honestly, I am stuck in this place until He chooses to do something for me.

It was just a couple weeks ago when the Lord said to me that I had to make a decision. He was ready to move, and He wanted my permission to open a door. I know that sounds weird, but what I really mean is He wanted to know if I was okay with Him opening the door. The idea here is that He wasn't going to open a door for me -- IF -- I was unwilling to walk through it. I had to agree to walk through the door, accept what was offered, and then go where the door leads me. I couldn't back out. I couldn't change my mind. I had to go.

I remember thinking, "Oh, Lord, is this it?" Of course, I don't recall if anything happened after I said, "Yes, I would go." I don't recall any bells or whistles going off. I simply recall some silence, and the words, "Consider it" echoing in my head. I am not even sure if I have considered "it" yet or if I wanted to think about other things. I have been pretty well distracted the past couple weeks, so honestly, I really think I let it slip. I've prayed over the situation, asked the Lord if I "goofed" up or if I am right where He wants me to be. His response is that we are good, which means that I haven't done anything to really set the matter back, mess it up, or delay His will in any way. I am glad for that fact simply because I tend to get in His way.

Yesterday, I watched a clip of Bishop TD Jakes on Twitter. He said, "Sometimes you just gotta get out  of God's way!" I thought to myself, "Amen, sir, you are so right!" I know that there have been many times when I have stood in the way and the Lord has waited for me to move. I have wanted to move, but I was unable to do so. Sometimes it was due to fear. I was afraid of what He was asking me to do, so I panicked like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car. Other times, it was more that I was confused, confounded, and as such, I stood there pondering the Lord's command to me. It was like I was dazed, and I couldn't respond to what He was asking me to do. And, then there have been times when I have defiantly stood in His way because I simply didn't want to do what He was asking me to do. I wanted my way, not His way, and as such, I stood there with a willful and stubborn attitude while He patiently waited for me to relent.

I feel that this last experience was more of His way hitting the wall against my way. I have said I will go anywhere He leads me to go, but more and more I find myself getting upset as I think about the options. It is not that I don't want to go to any of the places He has shown me, it is more so that I am tired of waiting, and I am tired of looking. I think I am just "ready to go," but I cannot go so I get frustrated at the stalemate. Am I to go, Lord? If so, when? If so, where?

So as I sit here today, and I think more about my fall plans, I find that I am running up against a mighty and immovable force. I cannot make Him do what I want, and He will not relent in this matter. It is His way or the highway, so to speak. I want His way, of course. But, I also want to know the details now, and I want everything to start moving forward now. Like NOW!

My heart and my head are filled with all sorts of thoughts, and there is this part of me that simply wants all the unknowns that I am facing to finally be settled. I want to be settled. I want to be established. I don't want to wait anymore. I want to go now.
His Timing is Perfect

I sit here today, typing on my blog, putting off what I know I need to do, and there is this lingering doubt brewing within me. I want to have all this "ICK" situated so I can know what the next 3-6 or 9 months of my life will look like. That is all. I am not asking for much, am I? WHINE!

I know the Lord's timing is spot-on, and with that knowledge, I also know that I am not going to get Him to make a move that He is not willing to do. First, He is not going to give me a job in a place where He doesn't want me to work. Done. Secondly, He is not going to move me to a place where He doesn't want me to live. Done. Third, He is not going to promote me from adjunct to professor until He has the position lined up, ready to go, and if this is why I am waiting, then I cannot do a darn thing about it. I have to wait. Done. Last, He has other people to contend with right now, not just me. He has my son and his school to think about. He has my parents and their care to consider. He has my life in His hand, and where He holds me, well, I am safe and sound. He has all these things under His control, authority, and with His assurance that I am good, He will provide a way soon. I know it. I believe it. I am sure of it. He is good to me, I know this is true. He loves me and cares for me, and I see His faithful demonstration every single day of my life. He has a good, no a GREAT plan for me, and I have watched that plan develop over the past 10 years. He is not going to short change me now. Nope, everything He does is perfect and complete. He will bring my life to its conclusion, and everything He desires for me to achieve, accomplish, and enjoy will come to pass.

So, silly little me. I am trying to best a GIANT, and the GIANT in front me happens to be the Lord. So not gonna win this one. I am so not going to win this battle. Therefore, it is in my best interest to just relent. I need to let go of this horn, and let the Lord have His way. Honestly, I thought I had let Him, but I guess I was being stubborn. I guess I was being childlike when He was asking me to trust Him with adult faith. He wants me to be mature in this matter, and that means I cannot have my 'cake and eat it too,' if that makes sense. I have to take what He is offering, and then I have to accept that this is His will, His way, and His provision. There is no other option on the table -- take it or leave it -- so I would be wise to take what He is offering to me this good, good day.

Going to Rest Now

I am going to stop contending with the Lord on this matter, and instead, I am going to rest. Yes, I am choosing rest now above all the other options, and I am going to trust Him to make my path clear, to open the door of His choosing, and to push me (literally) through the open door. I figure that I have two options with the "take it or leave it" ultimatum. I can accept it, taking it, I mean -- cheerfully; or, I can reject it -- with great sorrow. I am choosing the former so I must take His offer with gladness, cheerfulness, and an upbeat and happy attitude. Yes, I am choosing to be grateful for His provision. I am choosing to accept what He is offering to me with wholehearted happiness and joy as I receive His blessing and new opportunity.

What is this new opportunity? What is He asking me to accept, to receive with joy and a happy attitude?

I believe that the Lord has determined that I am to be promoted to assistant professor and not to an instructor role, no matter how convenient that role is to me. What I mean is that all along, from the time I started at Regent through to the end of my time there, I have believed that the Lord was positioning me as an Assistant Professor of English. I have worked as an adjunct building "skill and resume" and now that I have my Ph.D., I am ready to be promoted. I am ready to be put into a role where I will continue to develop leadership skill and ability, to where I can engage in academic pursuits outside of simply teaching.  I have long believed that this is the next step, and while I have interviewed for a non-tenure track position, honestly I just don't think this is what the Lord intends to provide to me. It is a good job, mind you. But the work load is heavy and the pay minimal. The requirement is a Masters degree and not a Ph.D. I need to be hired where my education matches the salary and where I can have a future for growth. This says to me that the only job for me is the one at Regent University. The Lord has not shown me any other jobs, no other applications have been submitted, and when I ask, He tells me we are good. We are fine. We are where He wants me to be.

Thus, without speaking out of turn, I feel that the Lord intends to plant me in this place. However, I cannot make this happen on my own, and who knows if this will be today, tomorrow or sometime in my future. I honestly do not know. I have to wait. I have to be patient. I have to let the Lord move me. I cannot run ahead of Him. I cannot make something happen out of thin air.

Therefore, today, I relent. I accept with cheerfulness, joy, and gladness the offer on the table. I accept what the Lord desires, and I rest in my efforts to make something come to pass that is not meant to come to pass. I simply rest now. I let go, and I will wait patiently for His open door.
In Closing

I am going to step out in faith today and let the Lord lead, guide, and provide for me. I am going to patiently wait for His best to come to pass, and in this way, I am going to trust that He will move me, provide for me, guide me right into the job of His choosing. He is good. He is so good. He is so very good to me!

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