Not hating the waiting

Hello! It’s been a while. I haven’t been so good at the posting lately and I’m not sure why. Maybe I just haven’t felt inspired, which I fear is a sign of where my heart has been these days. I feel like I’ve been in a gray place – not completely dark, but not much light getting in. Maybe it’s the setting in of the realization that my life might not change drastically this year (more on that in a minute). But with the warm weather and sunshine beckoning me outside, I feel my soul reviving and my spirits lifting. And spending time with Jesus helps too.

So, on to life status. Maybe some background will help: when I moved back to North Carolina over a year ago (!), I felt strongly that I wanted to be here and that I wanted to be on Young Life field staff. In fact, I was pretty stubborn about the whole thing and just kind of assumed that’s what I was going to do. But then the economy happened and I got a freezing cold dose of reality. For the first time in my life I could not find a job, not in Young Life, and not even in the classroom (which used to be sure-fire employment). I sunk into a dark place of sadness, confusion and just a general feeling of loss. I felt the scary uncertainty of not having a career to cling to and realized I had been defining myself by the things I could do. And, of course, God wants us to realize that what defines us is that we are His.

As I hung my head and applied for part-time work anywhere I could think of – yes, even Cracker Barrel – I finally realized I should look for work in the “thriving metropolis” of Winston-Salem (that’s what us Mt. Airy folk think of the place). I got a job at Banana Republic because I worked there in Colorado and even though I did not want to be there, I knew it could be a lot worse (see: Cracker Barrel). And then I got an e-mail from my friend Lynn saying they needed some help in the YL regional office. So, within a week, I went from sitting on the couch at my parent’s house watching 30-Minute Meals re-runs to having two part-time jobs 45 minutes away.

God is so faithful. A year later, I’ve been free of BR for 6 months (even though it was annoying and I am no fan of retail, they really were good to me), have a free place to live in Winston, and I’m still in the regional office with two women who have become so dear to me. It’s funny because I really just thought this was a brief stopping point. I kept thinking I’d get a full-time job and say adios to this part-time mumbo jumbo. But God had different plans, as He usually does, and I’m still here. And so thankful to be. I have so much freedom and get to spend time figuring out life and being with the girls at school. All in all, I really couldn’t ask for anything better right now.

But I’m still wrestling with what is coming next. The door has closed on being a Wyld Life leader here and even coming on staff to lead WL. I would not have been ready to hear that a few months ago, but I feel that He was preparing me and I feel complete peace with letting that go. I really thought I would be the one to take the WL reigns here, but it is not to be. I don’t hear God saying NO to full-time ministry, just a “Not here, not now.” Oh, and the ever-constant, “Wait.” I feel good knowing that I can spend my time pouring into the girls at school and keep working hard at my job in the office. I’m even okay with doing all of this – the boarding school/office thing – for another school year. I feel a little tender and vulnerable not having anything in the future to cling to, but I am not afraid. I sense God preparing me for something, I just don’t know what.

So I’ve decided to spend this time really exploring myself and thinking hard about what I want to do. After all, slow seasons like this don’t come along very often and I want to take full advantage. It’s just fun and interesting remembering where I was and who I was this time last year – and thinking about how much I’ve grown up. Boy, it’s hard, but so so good. Whatever happens, I know in the core of my being that God loves me, will never leave me and has a wonderful plan for me. In the end, that really is all I need to know.

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