a test of character.

A couple months ago I was called into my bosses office. I was very unsure what lied ahead, all I knew was it was unexpected and seemed to be a very serious meeting.  I had an uneasy feeling mixed with a strong peace, that was one thing I was sure of. I was nervous walking into her office; I had no idea what was about to be said. I had worked for this company for seven years, and had been in a leadership position for more than half of that. As I sat in the chair waiting to hear what this meeting was about and how the  “restructuring” of the company would effect me, I felt the Lord reminding me that He was in control. It was in that moment that my boss stated that the agency decided to give my position away. They wanted to give it to a licensed therapist, which unfortunately I am not. I felt so hurt, and so confused. Why had they not told me that they wanted someone licensed in that position? Why was it that the restructuring was only effecting me? What position would I be given…if one at all?

Everyone who had encouraged me prior to walking into that office told me that I had nothing to be afraid of… that with all that I did for the kids, their families and the staff, the agency would be crazy to alter my position. All  that encouragement seemed to go out the window when I was told my position was being given away. My boss talked to be for about 10 more minutes, but I barely have any recollection of what was said. My feelings were so hurt, all I can remember was that I was trying hard not to cry. As I walked out of my bosses office and into mine, my heart sank. I wondered why the Lord would allow this to happen to me. I was scheduled to meet with Human Resources in three hours. I called my roommate, and my dad for encouragement and prayer. I had no idea what was going to happen to my status within the agency…if I still had one. As I waited for HR, my heart was pounding, I was extremely nervous. I said a quick prayer before entering her office. When she started talking, I could feel my emotions getting the best of me and tears started rolling down my face. She quickly tried encouraging me and telling me of how much the agency valued me working there…and that is when I saw the Lords final move. The agency created a position for me, and with it I was able to make more money than I had in my old position. I could not believe my ears as she was talking. Here I was panicking, unsure of what the future would hold and the Lord had it all planned out to work for my good. In this new position I would have much less stress, be able to make more money, and would get to work with the clients (which is my ultimate passion). While I did love the administrative side, I often times longed to work with the clients one-on-one again. The Lord knew my heart and worked all things together for good.

While the next couple weeks would be nothing short of an emotional roller coaster, and test of my character…it was also filled with peace and so much encouragement. I saw how the Lord wanted to use my faith within the work place, how He cleared up time for me to be more intentional in my relationships, and how I learned what laying it down at the cross REALLY looked like.

We are all definitely going to go through situations that seem overwhelming at one point or another. Its pretty much inevitable. The amazing truth is that even in those times we have a Savior who continues to shower us with grace and blessings. We have a Heavenly Father who is working things together in such an intricate way that when all is said and done it will be a masterpiece. And we have the Holy Spirit who gives our hearts and minds peace in the midst of the hard times. The Lord knows that we will face tough times, but He also knows that He has equipped us with the tools we need to overcome. Its hard to trust God in the hard times because we just want to know what the last hand dealt to us will look like, and how things will turn out. The amazing thing about our God is that He knows that we desire to know the future and how things will play out in those hard times. He knows that we will face tough times and feel overwhelmed, so He provides us ALL we need. We can go to His feet and lay down all of the burdens we are carrying. We can ask Him for the strength, peace, and grace we need to overcome the storm. We can praise Him for what the outcome will be, knowing that He has our best interest at heart. We can dive into His Word and cling to His every word.

Don’t allow stress to keep you from the Lord. Don’t allow yourself to put Him on the back-burner when times get hard. The Lord is in the business of promoting His children. While the world may seem overwhelming and make you feel like a failure time and time again- you are so precious to your Father. He is working things together. Romans 8:28 says “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. When you begin to feel overwhelmed- pray! Pray for grace, for strength, for patience, and for guidance. I had no idea how my “demotion” would work out, but God worked it together in such a way that spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally I was promoted. God is good!

The Lord has great plans for His children- take that step and trust that He will walk you through the storm.

HBD

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are”. 1 John 3:1

I was young when my parents divorced. My dad moved out, and my mother raised me and my three siblings. Things started out “normal”. My siblings and I would see my dad often, but after a while, we saw less and less of him. Even though I was in fifth grade when he left, I didn’t have many memories of my dad being a father. 

When I started learning about a personal relationship with God, relating Him to being a “Father” was hard for me. In today’s culture, family relationships can sometimes fail to reflect God’s heart. I had so many questions…Would God leave? Was I good enough? Did He feel that I was worth being loved? Could God love me?

Thankfully, I did not have to deal with the feelings of rejection or absence of a father for too long. My mother remarried while I was in eighth grade to a man named Gary. He treated my siblings and I like we were his very own. He guided me spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Despite my flaws, stubbornness, and bad decisions- he showed me Gods love and grace. He taught me about God’s love for me- and that He would never stop loving me despite my mistakes and mishaps.

As I learned to trust Gary has my earthly father, I learned to also trust my Heavenly Father. 

Trusting God completely is one of the most rejuvenating feeling. Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you, that He is good, that He has the power to help you, that He wants to help you, and that He will help you. Jesus tells us in John 15:5 that apart from Him, we can do nothing. Through trusting Him, my spirit has grown stronger. When our spirits grow in strength- we can hear God speaking to our hearts, and make decisions based on His leading. God wants us to put Him first in our lives. He wants us to put our confidence and all of our trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5,6Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean no on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. I have learned that life is simple and peaceful when we come to Him as His children.”

Learn to trust in Him. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He wants to stretch His hand of grace out to you. He wants you to lean on Him. And He wants to love on you and bless you.

 

*On a side note….Today is my dad, Gary’s, birthday!!! Even though I live hundreds of miles away now, I will always consider myself his ‘little girl’. Hours and miles of travel hasn’t changed the fact that he continues to pour spiritual wisdom, guidance, love, and truth into my life. I am extremely blessed to have him as my earthly father. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you and miss you*