Friday, September 6, 2013

Go back the way you came...

I haven't written under my "Adventure Chronicles" label in ages, therefore this will be wordy but please grab a cup of something warm and let's chat.  Or rather, I'll chat and you can chat back in comments if you'd like. 
 Since last September, my man has been seeking a job transfer within his company, to his headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has had phone interviews, face to face interviews, he's been flown over to do what my man calls the "car wash" interview where you go from guy to guy for four straight hours and interview.  Almost each job since September has felt like a really good fit, Adrain has been qualified, (in lots of cases he was the most qualified after almost 20 years with his company) yet at the last minute someone they didn't expect to try for the job jumped in or someone who had been doing the exact position in a competitor's company applied, etc, or they went with someone local... time and time again.  As he funneled through the year, he received tons of encouragement not only from the group of guys he's been interviewing with- having them tell him to "just hang on and not give up, they want him on their team, they just want to have the "right fit" etc, but also his current boss has told him that they truly do want him and it's only a matter of time.  Except that it's been ongoing for an entire year.  

Here's what happened behind the scenes of my heart over the past two years, and more specifically THIS past year.  Watching my man get pushed into a position he hated, take a huge pay cut in order to stay employed and seeing ends not quite meet made me mad.  Mostly at God but just mad in general too.  Watching my kids bounce along on the roller coaster behind us made me sad.  Watching my man's schedule turn upside down with long work hours, having to pull out of the things that made him who he was such as daily gym visits, (I know, that's silly... but it's really NOT if you knew my man) volunteering in the missions community at our church- something he DEEPLY loved was heartbreaking.  He lost a part of himself with that job change.

Adrain had an interview in early May and the guy really felt bad about hiring someone else but said, "I'll be in touch, I really want you on my team and I think some things are opening up soon..."  Weeks went by with no contact.  Then, I began a Daniel Fast at the end of last school year on the same day I started the Gideon bible study on Beth Moore's blog. It was late June and I bowed my head and said, "Okay I'm willing to stay here, do this thing, accept all the NO's and be content with financial hurts, watching my man experience a season of personal loss, and I'll do it.  I'll let go and I'll quit hoping for something else if that's what You want."  Then I prayed, "However... if you do want us to keep searching, hoping and looking for a job transfer, please make it obvious and let that last man that Adrain interviewed with call today and give us hope and encouragement to keep pursuing this."  

I didn't tell a soul that I prayed that prayer.

Two hours later, Adrain called me and said, "You'll never believe this...."  (The guy had called him and wanted to fly him to Ohio that weekend for a big interview for a job that hadn't even posted yet.) I thought, "Wow God.  Okay then, Ohio it is!  Again."  Because how much more obvious could it be?  Right? 

Then Adrain didn't get the job.  

That rejection left me hurting and telling God, "FINE! If You're going to do ANY thing, You're going to have to do it without MY prayers, or my FAITH."  (Like I had some sort of ingredient God couldn't work without.) Because obviously my selfish "option A or B prayer" didn't seem to be answered.  I was confused.  God could have just as easily NOT answered me, but He did.  Very specifically. It all made no sense.

A week later, I began reading in 1 Kings, about Elijah and how God used him, sent him here and there and spoke softly to him in a still, small voice etc.  Then, my pastor started preaching on the same passages and I knew I needed to listen up!  I felt God softly calling me to let go of ALL the hurt and the confusion and the bossyness in my prayer life.  I bet a dozen times a day I prayed, "God, You aren't a God of confusion, You're a God of order and You have a plan for me.  Please help me because I am so confused."  I'm still praying it almost daily.

Then, as I stood on a mountain top a week ago, having a heart to heart with one of my dearest friends, I said something out loud and I felt it's truth.  I said that perhaps the reason God answered me in the first place was because I simply needed to KNOW of His presence and His nearness in the situation.  He may not have intended to give me what I prayed for with my choose option A or B prayer, but He knew I needed to hear HIM.  And for goodness sake, God basically created the alphabet so if I lay out the only options I can come up with as do this (option A) or do that (option B) God must shake His head and think, "Little girl... you're forgetting all about option C-Z and beyond.  Cause um... I'm GOD." 

The passage that has stuck out to me time and time again says, "And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet." (I Kings 19:10-16) (emphasis mine)

How many times have I been very zealous for the Lord, trying to His will and follow His plan for our life, seeing His voice in loud, earthshaking answers and giant gestures that should seem so very obvious?  Maybe God's plan is for me to go back the way I came.  Go back to the start again and reassess.  Not only that, but there are possible changes on the horizon that might send us back the way we came once again, and it's confusing when I look at all the details that stretch out in front of me.  I think I'm in a season of being still right now and though I don't have all the answers or pieces to this puzzle, it's possible that I don't need them yet.  I simply need to turn around and begin going back the way I came, waiting to hear that gentle whisper and resting in the confidence that He who whispers must be awfully close to your ear.




28 comments:

  1. You are right. You are SO right. God knows the C's through Z's, when we have NO CLUE, and can only see the A and B options -- also that sometimes we just need to be reminded that God is still there, and still in control. I know that you've done a lot of thinking and praying about this, and God has indeed given you some insight. I really believe that sometimes God doesn't show us the next step because he knows we wouldn't take it if we knew... Keep trusting Sweetie! Your life is an example to others -- and sometimes THAT's what it's all about, too!!! xo ~Sal

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can soooo relate. I went back and was reading some things I had written a couple of years ago and this is the quote that stood out to me and I think it fits your situation too. It is from the book Lies Women Believe. “Our suffering may endure for weeks or years, but it won’t endure forever. God won’t let it go one minute beyond what His purposes dictate.”

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a true believer of everything happens for a reason.
    My hubby was laid off, he was without work for 2 years. You can say I lost a little faith. He did what he was too - go to college, get a degree, get a good job. He is a computer programmer. He was on unemployment for 1-1/2 years (he got lucky for all the extensions), and then 6 months without income coming in on his end. He tried,it was not for trying (under or over qualified or passed up with someone else with more knowledge) within that time he has gone back to school as well besides looking for work. We cut out a lot of splurges. He was even planning on changing his work field - that did not pan out either. Well, he got a call for a job, worked for 2 weeks and was let go. I honestly don't think they where ready to hire for that job opening. He was worried about me and what I thought. We talked about his job while he worked for the 2 weeks. Told him he was better off not working there,everything happens for a reason. Within a few days of being let go, he was contacted for a new job opportunity. He has been working for 2 months now - added bonus he is making a little bit more then the place he got laid off at over 14 years. He is contracted for a year, with a possible chance to be hired full time or contracted for a few more years.
    It was a very humbling time. I look at the good in everything, sometimes too much. But as i told him lets be thankful for what we have - we have a great set of friends and family for support. I was able to get on my works insurance, which in the long run I found out I had better insurance then what he had gotten from his org. job. Trust me, we where getting to the end of our rope. The man above gives what you can handle, which I have asked, how much can I handle? So chin up! Wait n listen. Something good will happen, just what he has in store may take a little more time to get done for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a relief it is when we realize and truly believe that His ways are ALWAYS better than our ways. And His timing is always right. In my own life it has seemed at times that God was leaving us in limbo for way too long, only to look back and realize he was growing our faith and preparing us for His best. I believe you're on the right path now. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. He KNEW you needed to hear Him. . .so He revealed himself clear as day--to remind you of Jeremiah 29:11--to give you HOPE and a FUTURE, friend!!! This life. . .His plans. . .ours. . .so much easier for me to speak it then even follow myself. . .but you're not alone. So many of us can relate on SO many levels: )) Happy weekend to you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You know Sasha, this post hit home for me and I believe that maybe it was a message that I needed to be reminded of as well. I have been upstate NY for 9 1/2 years now and all along I am so wanting to get back to Long Island where my "home" really is! I miss my dear friends and family all the time, hard to not feel the need to be back there when you have no real friends up here (with the exception of one that moved back to the area though she is still an hr away). I now know that I would have never taken the foster path and got my 2 boys if I was not up here so I know he is working but I still long for my real home. I ask all the time to still my heart and be happy for being up here. It is work and it need to a constant reminder for me.

    THANK YOU for this post hun. ~Hugs~

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh sash. it's been a journey of a lot of downs. i'm sorry. i wish the path wasn't so bumpy. but He is going to keep giving you grace upon grace to keep you walking along or heck, He will just carry you, if need be.

    i remember when kelly was out of ministry for three years. he had to do a soil testing job that caused extreme hearing loss and his need for hearing aids now. i wondered how in the world God could have let my musician/worship leading husband lose so much of his hearing when music is what He was made to do. but, even so, we've seen His grace and presence in new ways because of it.

    love you girl.

    ReplyDelete
  9. oh girl. I've walked this whole thing with you and reading it back is just exhausting. seriously what a hard year...but God is close. He is unfolding His plan...like you said...just be still and watch the Creator create something amazing out of your lives. i totally believe it's on the verge of happening! i love you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sasha, my husband and I are not Christian, but I wanted to say just how beautiful I think this post is. Your strength in your faith and listening for the "whispers" is lovely, sweet, and inspiring. Hold on, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's been a long trial of emotional highs and lows. And you've survived it. And will again. But I hope, with all my heart, that you find some resolution and find your perfect space. So glad that your family is strong and help each other through these tough times. That's what it's all about. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh friend I am so sorry for this season of unrest within your family. It is so difficult to be diligent in prayer and still not hear an answer. I prayed for another baby for ten years. It was not until I accepted the fact that God had answered my prayer - with a no- that I had peace with His choice. I still don't understand why, but I know that He had my best interests at heart. I hope you find peace with God's plans for your lives and I will continue to pray that you move to Ohio so we can be neighbors:) Do you have any idea how excited I would be if you lived close to me?! Blessings! Susan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for being so authentic...I am encouraged by your walk. Hang in there, praying you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey sweet Sasha! We have emailed one another about this quite often. Up until recently we were in the same boat as well. I kept fighting God on being complacent where I was. It wasn't until I stopped doing that and embracing where we were at the time that He then threw us a curve ball. He answered my prayer. LOL, we need to be careful how we pray, what we pray. He is God! He hasn't taken you on this journey to make you mad. He has a reason. When you get to the other side it will make so much more sense and come into focus. Hugs girlie! Hang in there. Psalm 46:10

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too hate the valleys. But you blessed my socks off with your post today. It's tough right now but as my Momma use to say, "Satan fights the hardest when the battle is about over" so hang in there kiddo, and know that I'm praying for you and your family. Some of my riches memories (when we were a young family) are when we went through a valley such as yours. God showed me over and over that He was right there beside me at every moment and He even gave us treats! We were on a tight budge and the groceries couldn't be stretched to include treats, and that's a character builder too (not bad)But as a mom I "wanted" to treat them sometimes, and it bothered me. One day we got a knock at the door, a Schwans (ice-cream, frozen foods that sells door to door)driver was giving away half gallon ice-cream for people to try!! We know God is there for us, but in these times it's so awesome to see/feel Him shoulder to shoulder with us. We are AMAZED that He is so close.....but why? He said He would be. Hang in there Sasha this too shall past. LOVE YA

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hang in there the corperate world is a bear, keep positive and as you said keep living for now dont miss any special moments.
    Have a great day!
    Happy birthday weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved reading your post and know that The Lord has his hand on your family. Your desire is to be in his will and he will reveal it each step of the way. Wouldn't it be great to have a road map? Instead, he gives us one piece of the map at a time to build our faith! It is hard though, especially for those of us who are natural planners! My experience with this was when I dealt with infertility for years and years. One setback after another. We decided that maybe god wanted us to build our family through adoption. It was a long process of first anger, grief, fear and then acceptance to get to the point of adoption. We love our son so much and can see now that we were totally meant to be his parents. We were ready to start the adoption process again...not sure where the money would come from...but just stepped out. Then, after doctor after doctor told us it was impossible, I was pregnant! Nothing is impossible for God. I share this to encourage you in your time of stillness and acceptance. God is working behind the scenes and has a better plan for your family than you can imagine! He LOVES to surprise us!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We recently had a lesson in my ladies Bible class on "holding patterns." We discussed how so many of our days as a woman are spent in holding patterns and how super important it is for us to realize that even holding patterns are a part of God's plan and that they are no less magnificent in his eyes (and often our families eyes). The teacher offered the example of the lifecycle of a Salmon, which God created with loooong holding patterns that are essential to its success as a "family". ((literally traveling great distances in deep waters for a long time before swimming upstream to spawn)). I can't tell you how many times since that study that I have felt like I was swimming in deep waters just waiting for the chance to swim upstream & move my family forward! What a blessing that simple example has been to me!!

    Thank you for being so transparent & always sharing your "real" side. I appreciate your kind heart so much!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just want you to know that I am SO thankful you shared this. I've been believing that God is going to provide work for my husband, but it's slow going when you leave the business you've built up for over a decade and start all over in a new place. Slow and HARD. But God (my favorite two words in all of Scripture). Trusting He will have His way and that it will be GOOD. But there are days. Days when I throw a fit and want him to hurry up! So thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a lovely, inspiring post my dear. And, never forget that God's timing is so perfect and one day you will most likely look back on this situation and see that it truly was perfect. It's just really hard when we are in the "thick" of things and want it NOW. Praying God's blessings for you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am so encouraged by your walk with God.
    Look at all these comments....your journey is not only being used by God in your life, but it's being used by God in the lives of so many who come to read the words from your heart.

    I am standing and believing that God has the most amazing plan for you guys...a plan that surpasses your understanding...a plan that is far more amazing than you could have ever dared to dream for y'all.

    ReplyDelete
  22. oh sasha...nothing like having your faith jerked all over the place. why does it have to be so hard? i'm in a weird place right now. I don't know what to think. the last 12 months have been SO hard for us too and I can't make any sense of it. not that I need to, I just hate this place i'm at; emotionally, spiritually, yuck. the only think I can feel like I CAN do right now is love my family, take care of them, make life normal even if its not. i'm so sorry this has been your year. its got to get better.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, your story sounds so so much like my parents that I can hardly stand it. My stepfather has taken jobs paying 1/3 of what he was making, forcing him to work extra jobs and miss out on church activities and time with family/friends. He kept flying all over the country for job interviews and being told how perfect he was for the job, only to then not get it. Through it all, there was one job that kept popping up, but the employer kept saying "soon". Soon turned into a couple years, but recently soon became the job. It wasn't the job with the employer, but with a different company who worked with that employer on projects. Had it not been for the original guy, however, my stepdad and this new job wouldn't have connected. Every so often, my parents who pray the prayer you described and God would answer with a phone call, an e-mail, or an interview....and no job. Ultimately, I always felt like it was God saying "I'm Here. I'm Listening. Just Hang on.". We all cried the day the new job came and now we can see how God was working the entire time and patience was what we needed. I don't know if I've ever commented on here, but I felt called to today. I continue to pray for your family and that God provides answers for you soon. We're studying Revelations in church right now and the theme from this past weekend was "Hang on. God knows what you are going through and understands. We just have to hang on.". It's kind of corny, but I've made that the wallpaper on my phone so I see it all the time as I go through my own time requiring patience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know why my name didn't post, but it's Colleen, not Unknown. :)

      Delete
  24. You are amazing!! Your words are amazing! Your faith is amazing...even when you're "mad" at God, you're still listening. I loved your plans C thru Z realization!!!! I'm totally using that ;)

    Much love to you and your family, and I can't wait to see how He completely blesses you and blows your mind and heart wide open :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful words from a beautiful lady. Your husband is blessed beyond measure to have such a warrior on his side. Notice that your prayer was "However... if you do want us to keep searching, hoping and looking for a job transfer, please make it obvious and let that last man that Adrain interviewed with call today and give us hope and encouragement to keep pursuing this."
    --You didn't pray that this man would offer him the job. I'm totally NOT SAYING that you prayed the wrong prayer or that you left something out, I'm pointing out that God may just want you to keep looking. Who truly knows except God himself. But how beautiful is it that it was so immediate and EXACT. God is so amazing.
    Blessings and joy to your family!
    Holly

    ReplyDelete
  26. Let me just tell you from experience, when that job offer does finally come (and it will), you'll all be so happy he didn't get all the other ones. True story.

    ReplyDelete