Thursday Thoughts: The Back Door

I haven’t been much in the mood to talk these past weeks. As I wrote to one of my best friends in an e-mail, “I’ve been exceptionally brooding and contemplative lately.” It’s not necessarily such a bad thing to be there – but it can be to stay there, and so I am attempting to lift a silence that has been partially self-imposed and partially imposed by the requests of others. But, because of this, I’ve been a bit lapsed and unfaithful in my blogging, and for that I ask your forgiveness.

*****

For almost a year now, we have been praying for some very specific and practical things: a) that God would provide us a way to honor our creditors by repaying our debts, and b) that God would provide me a job, preferably related to my field, so that I could contribute and use what I felt He led me back to school to study with my master’s program.

And we have waited, sometimes patiently and sometimes not-so-patiently, for answers to these requests – mostly expecting them to come through the “front door,” or to be obvious solutions to such problems.

But, by the grace of God, the answers to these requests have not come in obvious ways. He has shown Himself to be infinitely more gracious and loving in granting answers to these prayers, as well as His complete control over this world, in how He has dealt with us these last 6-8 weeks.

The answer to our first prayer (concerning our debts) came through an unexpected and freak car accident that resulted in our Subaru being totaled. Christopher’s interpretation of the whole thing is that God looked at our situation, heard our prayers, recognized that we were too stubborn to sell the car ourselves to get out of debt, and decided to do it for us. In the accident’s wake, we have been able to pay off two sources of debt entirely, pay down a third, put aside money for a down payment, and learned that we can live with one car (though it can be a bit tricky, since I work in town and Chris works half an hour south of our home).

Not at all what we would have picked on our own, but incredibly demonstrative of God’s grace toward us in our foolishness.

The answer to the second has been a bit more slow to develop. I have been praying specifically that God would have a place for me where I could use my talents and gifting to further the Kingdom or help the little guy (since that’s what I felt Him lead me to go back to school for). What’s more is that I was hoping to find a part-time job (like, four days a week instead of five), so that I could build in time to work on and complete my thesis (and, consequently, my master’s degree).

But all I found when I started looking were full time positions that were not in any way related to what I ultimately wanted to do, so I shifted back toward admin and office work (which has kind of always been a foolproof fallback for me). I was blessed with four weeks’ worth of work in September and October and was scheduled to go back after a two-week break, but the project stalled out – in fact, every job I was put up for between then and the recent past stalled out because no decision was ever reached on who to hire. In January, with my gobs of spare time, I decided I wanted to make my time count and serve the body if at all possible, so I started spending my time with a family that is part of our teen family ministry (their oldest kids are teens – they have seven, and their youngest is 3). It turned into a job that lasted, conveniently enough, through last Thursday, when the family left for a vacation.

I say “conveniently” because God has finally found a place for me, and I started a new position with our church on Tuesday.

And while that is a long story filled with prayers, conversations, and seeking counsel, it boils down to this: At every turn, I kept hearing God speak softly and firmly to my heart to “Move forward in faith.”

God may not fulfill all of my dreams, but He continues to fulfill some of them and to satisfy my heart at the greatest of its depths. I may not ever be a biological mother to a baby girl or boy, but that doesn’t mean I stall out in the bitterness of that reality. At some point this spring, I realized that I want my life to count. I want to be fruitful. I want to further the Kingdom of God.

I want to march onward, to move forward in faith, in all of the things that God calls us to – regardless of what dreams He may or may not fulfill along the way.

It is certainly a back door. After months of waiting for any position to keep me busy, I am humbled and overwhelmed by God’s orchestration of events for my life at this time. When I interviewed for a different position with our church, the one that I’m walking into didn’t exist. God didn’t just find me a place, He made me one where none existed. And it will require faith, as a lot of it is experimental and filled with transition and unknown – but I’m walking forward in the faith that He has called me to walk in, and I’m looking forward to what He does with our body of believers.

And might I mention that I work four days a week? How ’bout them apples?

So there you have it. Back doors all over the place. Hidden blessings.

How beautiful to be reminded that He has not abandoned us, and He never will.

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