Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Long Cold Winter

It’s been over a month since I've posted here, mostly because I’ve been at a loss for words.

Back on November 1, I made mention of a season of change taking place in my life, a winter season that had suddenly and unexpectedly entered in leaving me icy cold and wondering just how long it would last. It truly has been a long cold winter, the longest I can remember, both literally and figuratively.

Job loss can feel like a death.

To have something I held for 10 years suddenly ripped from my life was shocking to say the least. It’s one of those things I had seen happen to the “other guy” time and time again, but naively I thought, that’s just not going happen to me. 

But it did.

Walking this icy winter path has been both dark and scary at times. Though I still had hope and never for a moment lost my faith, there were moments, I’ll admit, that were filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and on some days, complete frustration.

I was thankful to find new work within a month of being laid off, but was honestly still mourning what had been lost. A job is not just a job, but a really big part of your life, and in some ways, a part of your identity. Good friends at work were like extended family to me and when those daily relationships were suddenly severed, it left some gaping wounds that are just now beginning to heal.

I was hopeful that the new job would be the next best thing in my life, that God led me there because He had great plans to use me there to shine “this little light of mine” all for Him. Soon, however, things seemed darker than ever. I began to have a strong sense that I just did not belong, I was never going to love this job, and with the type of work I was doing all day, there was no time to make deep connections with any of my co-workers --- no chance to truly shine my light. 

“Why, God?” I kept asking. “Why did you bring me to this place? I just don’t understand.” 

But God makes something very clear in the book of Isaiah; 

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  
(Isaiah 55:8,9)

God’s ways can be so hard to understand. We expect things to go a certain way, thinking that’s what's best for us, but He knows infinitely more than we do, and His plans are always better than what we would settle for if it was just us calling the shots.

Today, I stand with new hope and understanding. The job He provided for me seems to have been a placeholder for the next best thing. The place where He really wanted me was not quite ready for me yet. 

He put me in one place, to teach me to trust Him.

Now He’s taking me to the next place, and I will gratefully follow Him.

The day I was laid off, I posted this song to my Facebook page. The truth in these lyrics spoke loudly to my heart. The words rang solid and true on that day as they have, and will continue to, every single day of my life. . .

This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
    they lie down and then can’t get up;
    they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.

- Isaiah 53:16-21 (The Message)

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