Saturday, March 28, 2009

Coming Back Into Focus

The last few months have been a long and difficult road. After spending a year in a job that in many ways drained me mentally and emotionally, I began the long search for a replacement. Now as we turn the corner to enter April, I am still searching. The declining economy has been my enemy, and I have struggled with remaining positive throughout the ordeal. God has been faithful; He has provided for me every step of the way…a lot of times in ways that I never expected or would have, honestly, really wanted. But His ways are not our ways, and I have seen that over and over.

I have had ideas of what I thought God’s plan was for me. I got stuck with a one-track mind, and anything that didn’t fit in line with that track couldn’t possibly have been God’s plan (right?). And now I realize how out of focus I have really become. While I believe that God has given me certain gifts and abilities that would best be used in the meeting and event planning industry, I also now believe that God’s overall plan for my life is not for me to realize that dream. I have been battling that idea for some time now, and it still hurts to even write it down on paper for the world to see. Why would God do that? Why would He place in me this desire, only to take me in a different direction and ask me to give that up? I don’t know the entire answer to that question, but here are a few things I have learned:

It’s not about me and what I want. Novel concept, huh? But sadly, I have lost sight of that in recent months. I became so focused on achieving my own dreams, working toward my own goals, that I forgot to focus on what God wanted for me. Sure, I thought I was working toward God’s plan for me. But I forgot a few basic things along the way. I forgot that God has a bigger purpose for me than my career. My purpose in life is to honor and serve Him in whatever I do.

God’s plans for me have an eternal purpose. Thank goodness that His plan for me is not temporal. His plan for me is not to make me a successful meeting and event planner. And now that I actually say that out loud, I feel silly knowing that I actually believed that for a period of time. That’s not to say that God can’t use me in that industry; I still hold out hope that He will- if not now, maybe in the future. But in all reality, His overall plan for me is so much larger than that! His good plan is to draw me closer to His heart, to walk with me in intimate ways, to shape me into a godly woman, to mold me into a soldier for His kingdom. If I get to experience that intimacy and advance His kingdom through meeting and event planning, then praise God! But if I don’t…I praise God for that too.

It’s about loving God and loving people. I typically do ok loving God. People…not so much. Haha. I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth. I happen to be an introverted person, which means I draw my energy from being by myself. Translation: people drain me. The up side to my personality is that I spend a lot of time alone…which allows for good times of reflection and quiet time before the Lord. The down side to my personality is that I spend a lot of time alone…and I forgot too often to go out and share the things that God teaches me with others. I forget to go out and just love people. I am working on that. I have started by having conversations with people in, of all places, the elevator. It’s the most awkward place to talk to people- think about it! People step on, press the button to their floor, then commence to stare at the floor or ceiling, avoiding any eye contact or conversation. But when I thought about it, I realized that Jesus wouldn’t stand in silence in an elevator avoiding talking with the people he rode with. So neither should I.

That’s a silly example, I know, but it is just one of the small ways that I am realizing how out of focus I had become. How self-absorbed I had become. I worry too much about my own schedule, my own plan, my own space…and before I know it, 4 months have passed and I haven’t shared my faith with anyone, I haven’t shown Christ’s love in a meaningful way to anyone. And now I realize that I am missing out on God’s plan. The plan that God has for me is far better than anything that I could ever conceive. My finite mind can’t even imagine what God could do in my life. I have to trust my loving Savior with that.

So now what? Now I have to learn to be content in any and all situations. I need to trust God despite my circumstances, trusting His overall plan is better for me than what I had thought. I have to be ok with serving Him anywhere…in a glam or a drab job. I have to learn to make the best of my circumstances, exhibiting genuine joy in everything I do. I have to remember that it’s not about me and my plans, it’s all about God’s plans to show His glory through my life. It’s time to come back into focus…

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