Take Your Best Shot; You Are Not God

red dart hitting the target

It was a September. Tuesday. Less than a week before¬†my 30th birthday. It was a day that was supposed to break me, but didn’t. It was the day that I learned without a shadow of a doubt that God is on my side.

I had gotten a new boss at work a couple months prior and things weren’t working well. It was so bad, my teammate quit. She didn’t even put in two weeks notice. She didn’t have another job lined up. She just sent an email early one morning to say that she wouldn’t be back. Yes, it was that bad. I don’t blame her. I was contemplating up and leaving myself, but I have financial goals, so I didn’t.

Instead, I was attempting to change teams. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I’m very analytical and perceptive. Some people might argue I’m over analytical. ūüôā I have this ability to read situations and people and decipher what’s not being said. I knew I was not going to be able to change teams because I knew the type of person my boss was. I even told my coworker, “She’s not going to let me change teams.” My coworker reassured me she would. “Den*, (the boss’ boss) isn’t going to let her stand in the way.”

I was hoping she was right, but my analytical brain was picking up on all sorts of things. The manager who was supposed to hire me onto her team would walk past me and stare at the TV screens on the wall so that she didn’t have to speak to me. I could sense a good friend of mine giving me a different energy. She didn’t want to tell me what she knew. There were more signs and wonders to analyze. I’ll save you the details.

It was Monday afternoon and a meeting invite popped into my inbox. It was for the next morning at 9 am with my boss and HR. “Tomorrow’s D-day,” I thought.

I had been feeling a bit let down by life lately. My grandmother had just passed away. An investment deal went way over budget even though¬†I was doing a good thing. I used my talent. I didn’t bury it in the ground like the servant in Matthew 25. I also invited my family in. I shared my talent. Yet, I was feeling like I should have buried it. Now, I’m getting fired too. God, where are you?

So here I am driving home from work on the eve of Fire Charlene Day with recent heartbreaks weighing on me. I said to God, “I need to know if I can trust you. I need to know if I’m falling off the ledge or better yet someone is pushing me off, will you catch me?”

I went home that night, and I was antsy. I was nervous. I got to work a bit early the next day. I wanted to just get it over with. When I got to work I felt at peace. I thought maybe I was wrong. “Maybe I’m not getting fired today.”¬†Well, I wasn’t wrong, and¬†I did get fired that day. I went to my 9 am meeting and was fired. Not laid off with a severance package. I was fired as in all you get is a trip to the unemployment office. Yet, I was at peace, and I was relieved I didn’t have to go to that place another day.

I gathered my things and left the building with my head held high. I never shed a tear. I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t discouraged. I was focused on my vacation. We were going on a cruise that Thursday to celebrate me and Marlene’s birthday. I went shopping for some last minute things. A few hours later I checked my email.

My now current employer emailed me at 9 am. Not 8:59. Not 9:01. The exact time that one door was closing another was opening. I knew in that moment God’s answer: “Yes, I will catch you.”

I like to think of this experience as my Joseph experience. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, because he was his father’s favorite and God had showed Joseph that his family would one day bow to him. He brothers wanted to kill him, but they ended up selling him into slavery to Ishmaelites headed to Egypt.

They thought they were preventing Joseph from reaching his destiny. They thought they could stop God’s plan. Long story short, a famine takes over the land. By this time, Joseph was put in charge of all of Egypt. He predicted that the famine was coming and lead Egypt to save food during a season of¬†abundance.

When the famine came Joseph’s brothers had no food. Hearing that Egypt did, they made the trip. Genesis 42:6 says:

6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

Joseph’s brothers ended up bowing to him after all. I love this story because it says that even when someone takes their best shot against you, they cannot stop God’s plan for your life. We don’t have to worry about what anyone does or threatens to do to us. They are not God.

When Joseph was met face to face with his brothers, he was not mad. He blessed them with silver. He embraced them. He said that it had to happen. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

The other thing that I think is interesting about this story is that Joseph’s anointing wasn’t just for him. What if his brothers were successful? What if they did kill him? What if Joseph never got out of prison? Who would they have gotten food from? Would there have even been food to get?

We have to be careful when we despise other people. We have to guard our hearts against jealously and vengeful plots. Someone else’s blessing just might be our blessing too.

I now work in a great environment. My leaders are amazing. I tell them all the time, “If you leave, I’m leaving.” I’m so thankful to be where I am. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that my pay increased and my vacation days increased as well.

What was meant for my harm was simply the ushering in of a new opportunity, a new season. My former boss isn’t God. She can’t control if I have a job or not. It’s just an illusion. God is all powerful, all knowing and all in control.

*Name changed.

The Vision is for the Appointed Time

 

Clock, Time, Stand By

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:3

If you read my last post you may recall me saying that I had the faith of the mustard seed, but¬†the mountain didn’t move. Habakkuk 2:3 is my favorite bible verse. It adds an important and encouraging word to the sentence I just wrote. “Yet.”

The mountain hasn’t moved, yet.

I love this verse because I tend to be a person of vision. I am always visualizing a better future for myself and my family. Although I move towards my vision,  it always seems so far away.

This verse is encouraging because it lets me know that there is an appointed time for my vision. I shouldn’t give up. I’d like to break down my interpretation of Habakkuk 2:3:

For the vision is yet for an appointed time There is a date and time somewhere in the future with the answers to my prayers already stamped.

but at the end it shall speak, and not lie – I can trust the dreams that God has placed into my heart. I trust the vision, the intuition, and the perfect peace that leads me. It will not lie.

though it tarry, wait for it – This word tarry means delays. There will be some delays. Delayed is not no. It’s just not right now. And when I experience these delays my only responsibility is to wait. Not doubt. Not detour. Just wait.

because it will surely come, it will not tarry РThis needs no explanation. It will  surely come and will not be late.

Hope, Faith, and a lot of Prayer

Hope faith prayer

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Prayer is a petition before God for the things that we hope for which activates our faith. Or so it should.

I had the idea to start this blog during a period of prayer with my mom and sister. I understand how important prayer is. Theoretically I believe in the power of prayer. I have to be honest though. I’ve had my doubts. There have been times in my life where I’ve had the faith of a mustard seed, better yet the whole mustard jar,¬†and¬†the mountain never moved. At least not from what I can tell.

I didn’t get the job. My grandmother did not beat cancer. Relationships were not restored. Opportunities were not granted.

Yet, I still believe in the power of prayer. I believe prayer can save a life, heal a broken soul, improve a relationship, and transform a generation. Sometimes I do want to give up on prayer. I just want to throw my hands up and say, “God, just give me whatever it is you want me to have. I don’t have any more petitions.”

In fact, I’ve done just that. For a time my nightly prayers were limited to the Matthew 6:9-13 prayer. The “Our Father who art in heaven…” prayer. Nothing specific. Nothing that required any faith or hope on my part. Just “Your will be done.”

Although I’ve tried to give up on hopeful prayers that have at times led to heartbreak, I can’t. Something deep inside of me just won’t let me give up. It’s too important. There are too many people who need my prayers. My brother needs my prayers. My family¬†needs my prayers. My friends need my prayers. To be honest, I think the whole world needs my prayers. I may get weary, but I will not faint.

This blog was started to help my own unbelief. To build my faith muscles and to reignite my hope in the future. I pray it does the same for you.