Just over a year ago, I was meeting with a Literary Agent at a conference in North Carolina. Less than a day before I flew to the conference I had been downsized from my corporate job. I enjoyed agency life but this was my second downsizing in almost 14 years– a lot of time to feel comfortable. Settled. Complacent, actually.
As I packed my belongings, I had an indescribable peace knowing God was taking full control. My six-year plan for my life was now on His timing and I would be best to let Him fully take the wheel. This was a huge leap of faith.
My husband is self-employed and nearing retirement [age].
We have a lot of business and personal debt.
We have virtually no savings.
We have a child who is college bound.
Um, yeah… all of these things should make a person dig their heels in deeper rather than turn away from a well-paying industry. And yet, I knew in my heart it was time to walk away for a time to let God show me a thing or two about what He intended our life to be. Rather than overwhelming anxiety, I felt tranquil.
While I was in North Carolina, a Christian sister from Raleigh happened to be in Charlotte due to an unexpected family emergency. She and her family took the time to stop to see me at my conference for a short visit. We talked of the situation, the options, the peace I felt that God put me there so quickly after my dismissal. One of her favorite scriptures is found in Isaiah 55:8
My intentions are not always yours, and I do not go about things as you do.
I often recalled this verse over the past year when situations presented themselves in a way unbecoming of this world. He has proven to be incredibly unpredictable, yet reliable. He has brought much into my vantage point that I hadn’t seen before in ways I never imagined. As the one-year mark of my downsizing approached at the end of July, I marveled at all He accomplished in just one year. I recall learning in catechism as a teen that God’s day is like a thousand years to us. This is found in 2 Peter 3:8.
Don’t imagine, dear friends, that God’s timetable is the same as ours; as the psalm says, for with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.
It was quite evident to me that God has an incredible capacity to do much more given the chance to have full control of our lives. That being said, it is hard to fathom turning back to a life I once knew in the corporate world. I’m not surprised the market is tight and the few jobs that might be available are hidden from my view. I trust as long as I continue to breathe, I am living as a small part of a magnificent unfolding.
Using the world’s measure of time and accomplishment, I am wasting away. Decomposing, in a sense, with each passing day. Should I interview for another position, how will I account for in the passing of time? I become frustrated by health insurance options and think it would be easier to bite the bullet and return to the masses and the 9 to 5 world which is more 8 to 7 [and then some]. I cry out that life is unfair and I come close to shaking my fist at the God I adore. I hold a pity party and invite Him, my closest friend. Instead of mollycoddling me, He floods messages my way that remind me to BE STILL. TO WAIT.
Last week I had to exercise my faith and called on close friends to pray. I had gotten two bits of news that made me frustrated and I responded with anger and self-pity. I tried to understand the sovereignty of God but not before seeing my husband as my adversary. How could he put us in this situation? Why was he being so passive rather than looking for solutions? How could he be so selfish in so many ways? It’s easy to make your mate your opponent when you’re not working together. That in itself was my frustration… after all these years, why couldn’t he rise up to be the leader of our home as God expects??
Yes, I put this out there. Transparent reality. Ugly as it was and is, it was my reality.
It took a few days for me to come to grips with what God wanted me to learn through this. I know well His sovereignty and can praise Him through a storm. I was frustrated that I hit a brick wall when I thought I was on His path. As a result, I felt emotions about my marriage that I hadn’t felt in quite some time. I responded in ways that reflected who I was before rather than the new woman He wants me to be.
What did I learn?
While I don’t know how either of our uncomfortable situations will end, I have come to accept that God might be saying ‘No’ or ‘Not Now’ to my desires because it may prevent me from taking on another appointment He has waiting for me around the bend. Even though what I wanted is nobel and worthwhile, I need to be content and wait a little longer for His light to shine on the next stepping stone.
As I looked for the verses above, I came across another that is bookmarked in my Bible.
It is God who alters the times and seasons,
and he removes kings and promotes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Please continue to pray for me to be patient as God provides wisdom so I can be discerning of His will. Not mine.