Stay The Course

I was fired from my job in January. Although I was buckling under the obscene amount of pressure of the job, I was still devastated to be fired - especially behind a client's ill intentions. Amidst the devastation, I could clearly hear God speaking confirming words over me that it was time to stop trying to stuff myself into safe life and career paths. Telling me it was time to throw my whole self in the direction He'd been calling me since childhood. Timing was perfect. The weight of that job was lifted. My days were free. So, I started taking classes. I started asking questions. I traveled to events to learn. I resolved not to go back to what was comfortable/familiar.

I revamped my resume and applied to jobs in the new field daily. I got NO callbacks. FOR MONTHS I didn't get a single call back. When I finally did get one in June, and attended the interview, I instinctually knew it was not a fit. Part of me started to question if it was all really worth it. I had bills and even though I wasn't destitute, I didn't have the cushion I once had. I could’ve put out an app real quick in my former field and be making great money again, but God impressed it on me to stay the course. I resolved to keep trusting that the right opportunity would come at the right time. Not only that, it would put me in the presence of every learning opportunity, mentor, coach, audience I would need to grow. A few days before I had emergency surgery, I received an email for an interview doing almost EXACTLY what I asked God for. But when I emailed back about the time of the interview, I never received a response. Another bust…

Sometimes we're doing all of the right things - we're trusting God, we're seeking His guidance before making a move, we're looking for the good instead of the bad and it just seems like we keep getting disappointed despite truly being our best selves. In those moments, I've found it imperative to snatch my focus back and to put it on all of the things that are going right. I could focus on the fact that the interview never materialized and allow that to make me question myself and God or I could focus on the fact that I was still in the land of the living after a 3-hour emergency surgery without which my doctor said I would have died. I could focus on the fact that I wasn't making the money I used to make or I could focus on the fact that every gift and talent God had placed in me had started to become multiplied since being terminated from a job that was killing me. This was the second week of September.

Last week, Monday, I received an email from an application I put in two months ago. I interviewed Tuesday afternoon. I got a job offer Tuesday evening. I started Wednesday. I flew to Dallas Thursday for Woman Thou Art Loosed (yes, cane and all) and the first message I heard was about how God incubates us and causes us to go through stages of germination, gestation, and manifestation. It was purposed. Everything was purposed. The termination. The months preparing/hoping. Even the surgery and recovery. The timing of the job offer. THE PLACE where I now work. God is truly a God of intention, process, purpose, rhythm, and timing. You won't always know why you're going through what you go through. SOMETIMES God gives us a glimpse into His plan but most often, if we really want to see His glory in our lives - it will be by faith that we walk and talk. By faith we'll find clarity and a testimony.

When those nurses put that hairnet on my head and started wheeling me away from my mother toward the OR, all I had was God and I didn't understand why this was happening to me. Any of it. The whole year. In those moments, sometimes you want to ask, "God, haven't I been faithful?" "What am I doing wrong?" "Are You even here?" But honestly, all I could do was watch them strap me to the table - it was designed just like a cross, my arms stretched out on either side and my body on a skinny slab - and recite the 23rd Psalm until the anesthesia put me to sleep. "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want He makes me to lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restores my soul He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." THIS PART: "Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil For You are with me Your rod and your staff comfort me You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies You anoint my head with oil My cup runs over." "SURELY goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

When you get through the valley of the shadow of whatever - death, anxiety, lack, hurt, guilt, whatever - there will be a table prepared for you. There will be an anointing waiting for you. There will be goodness and mercy chasing you. That's not to say that other valleys will never appear in your life, .but if you made it through one. You know what you know now. And you know that you know that you know what you know.

God's got you. Stay the course.

By: Ashley H.

Twitter: @ashleylatruly