Way back when...

Looking forward is so encouraging because there is so much that could be done! HOORAY FOR POTENTIAL! The one exception is when the past reminds you of the pain you've experienced.

I greatly enjoy watching the Texas A&M jobs board because I like to see what jobs I could potentially be doing after this one. Some are full-time while others are technician positions. Tech jobs aren't glorious and don't pay very well, but if you're provided housing, it's perfect! You don't have to worry about a $500/mo. rent fee while being paid minimum wage, living with some pretty neat people, and getting awesome field experience. The problem, though, arises when I find a really cool job opportunity that I have all qualifications for.... and it hits me. Memories of my first technician position. It was a fantastic opportunity where I got along with fellow technicians, my housemates were phenomenal,but the work was tough and my boss was a poor communicator. He had perfectionistic tendencies and a short temper. At one point, I was threatened with job termination because I wasn't fulfilling his expectations. What if that happens again? What if this next boss is as bad as my last? 

This thought was stopped in its tracks with, you guessed it... Spotify. Check out these lyrics:

"You brought me to the desert so You could be my water. You brought me to the fire so You could be my shield. You brought me to the darkness so You could be my morning light. ... Wherever You lead me, I know you won't leave me. Wherever you call me, You will make a way. Wherever we're going, I will be holding to the promise You have made. You will make a way." 

God allows us to fall into pretty rough patches because He wants us to see how much we need Him. What does it say in Romans?
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (5:3-5, emphasis added)
And what does it say in James?
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (1:2-4, emphasis added) 
This year has been pretty dynamic: Completing college with a week-long trip to the Everglades in Florida, driving to Oklahoma for three months, and, after only a couple weeks of being home, turning around and heading down to South Carolina---driving the 15+ hour total trip by myself. Every trip has been surrendering control to Christ, running headfirst into the great unknown, especially with my naturalist job at Camp St. Christopher. Before this job, I had ZERO teaching experience (lab assistant positions are fantastic in college, and I highly recommend them, but they don't help with teaching so much as they do with grading and setting up labs), so I really had NO idea what God had in mind when He sent David my way to offer me a job. What's cool, though, is I have a relationship with the One who knows me better than I know myself, and He knows what I need in order to be shaped in the likeness of Him.

I'm going to tell you a little secret... I was planning on writing three short blurp posts, but I realized they're all connected (GOD THING), so I'm combining them into a gargantuan blog post (muhahaha).

Here's an update-slash-praise report: I have been church hopping for the past three months (eight churches over the past three months is exhausting), but this eighth one, I think, takes the cake... if I had cake to give them. I digress. BUT... a new song for me was sung during the worship time at church this past Sunday, and some of the lyrics go like this:

"Jesus, draw me ever nearer as I labor through the storm. You have called me to this passage, and I'll follow, though I'm worn. May this journey be a blessing; may I rise on wings of faith, and at the end of my heart's testing, with Your likeness, let me wake."

Sure, my calling to Oklahoma was difficult to grin and bear through. There was blood, sweat, and tears shed on that tallgrass prairie, but I would do it all over again in a heart beat if I could. Yes, I sometimes wish I was home because I miss my family, my furbabies, and my boyfriend (five hours is WAY better than ten and a half), but God has a plan for growth in my life and is using St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center to do just that. I have met phenomenal men and women of Christ through this job that I am blessed to call friends and coworkers, and working with so many children on a weekly basis warms my heart (and wears me down, phew!).

Jesus, I am thankful for Your willingness to have a relationship with me. I thank You for the fellowship of believers at Saint Christopher. Keep shaping me. I can't wait to see where we will adventure to next.

I guess this post is mostly for me to see how God continues to reassure me that everything is going to be alright. This is also to make it apparent to others that I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen once May rolls around (it'll come before we know it, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it) and I'm not enjoying that feeling (I have a bad habit of throwing a smile on my face when I'm really having a hard time with holding it all together). I always covet the prayers of my friends and loved ones for peace that surpasses all understanding in all aspects of my life (as we all know, I'm prone to worrying about almost everything... I'm one of God's works in progress...) and remembering that God is in control despite my attempts to steal the reins.

God bless! :)

P.S. I'm writing cover letters left and right for tech jobs. Nothing can stop us now! MUHAHA.

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