Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart

I just finished reading the New York Times Best Seller Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. I highly recommend it. The whole book is something you have to read slowly. Chapter by chapter, in order to really understand and digest what you just read. There are simply too many pearls of wisdom to share, so I encourage you to get yourself a copy and read it. Then we can share together!

One thing Katie said towards the end of the book that struck me was about getting nearer to the heart of God. After counting several stories of terrible situations such as a baby who had a nine millimeter hole in her heart,  having a baby daughter taken away by the biological mother, and the sheer numbers of orphaned, starving children, Katie said that through her suffering and hurts, she is getting nearer to the heart of God.

As I read that statement, I was struck dumb. Whenever I prayed to be a woman after God's own heart, I didn't think about the anguish He is constantly going through because of all the pain and chaos we have in this planet. I didn't realize that with love, there is long-suffering. The people you love are the ones you are most vulnerable to. God is vulnerable to every hurt we chuck at His face. As I try to prepare myself for the mission God has given me at Holbrook, I am now starting to comprehend all that it will require of me. This is not a job that demands my skills or talents. This is an assignment God has placed in me that will require all of me and then some. I will be in a beautiful, self-sacrificing place, with God being my Source of strength, wisdom, and direction.

I ask for prayers that God will continue to train me and teach me. That He may continue to work in my heart so that I can be an acceptable temple for Him. I long to be a reflection of Jesus and His character.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nearsighted

I am legally blind according to some people. My prescription is -6. What this means is I can't see anything that isn't within about a distance of six inches from my eyes. I am nearsighted. I, however, have slowly come to the realization that not only am I physically nearsighted, but I'm spiritually nearsighted.

I was offered a job teaching 7th and 8th grade at Holbrook this February. I prayed and fasted during lunch for a week asking others to pray for me, as well. I was desperate for God to show me which path to take. Should I go to Holbrook or Korea? I found myself battling these inner questions: Do I just not have enough faith? Am I just trying to find a way out of making a decision? Can I put God within a time limit? After a week long journey of squinting in the dark, hoping for a prick of enlightened understanding, I ended up making a decision based on feeling. I felt that Holbrook was my path. After the relief of finally making a decision came the head-pounding stress of gathering the needed paperwork from the dusty corners of the administration offices and abandoned folders. Then, came the chest-tightening season of waiting for the interview. It was a phone interview. I now know that I hate phone interviews. Not only did I feel I was grasping blindly to the meaning of the questions thrown at me, but I felt my tongue and mind weighted down in a stupor caused by nerves. It's upside down, it is. Normally, one is supposed to have an intense stomach full of nerves when talking in front of people, but for me, the nervousness was ten times worse when I couldn't see the people. It was terrible and I did terrible. I couldn't help but flinch at my vague, circular answers. In the end, I didn't get the job. I couldn't say I was that surprised. Instead, I felt a mixture of resolution tinged with disappointment and a feeling of relief.

The following day, I continued where I left off on the process for Korea. I assumed that since I didn't get the job at Holbrook, I was supposed to go to Korea. I was on fire: making calls, getting copies, and making lists.... I was so sure of Korea and hyped myself up. There was always a nagging prick of fear at the back of my excitement, though. I was afraid of doing more harm to my spiritual life than good. I have always assessed my weaknesses and knew that several would be triggered by the culture in Korea. I pushed these doubts away because I thought I needed to be courageous and not shy away from difficult situations.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I got a call on Wednesday, May 16th at 8:30 in the evening. I did not recognize the number but went ahead and answered. It was from Holbrook. I was offered a job as Girls Dean.
Now, we need to go back in time for a bit. While I was at Holbrook last year as a task force worker, I didn't really enjoy deaning at first. I found it stressful and an energy drainer. But once I actually got into planning events, worship services, and decorating, I felt like something in me clicked. I was passionate! When I came back, I told close family and friends that if I ever went back, I would love to go back as dean. So when I get this phone call on a Wednesday night, I am in a state of disbelief. I could hardly think straight. I was interviewed right then and within 2 weeks, I was officially hired.

I am humbled as I share this because God knows I am a doubter. I fear to have expectations from God because I'm terrified the possible negative outcomes would destroy me. I would rather work with what I can see. I'm nearsighted. And yet, He continues to work in me and bless me. I never asked God for the job as dean. I didn't dare to seriously dream and hope for it.

Despite my attempts to stuff my desires into a small shoe box deep in the closet of my heart, God gently takes them out, one by one and wraps them up with gift  paper and presents them to my hand covered eyes.

As I type this, my heart is elevated by the goodness of my Redeemer. He will not give up on me, nor will He let me remain in my cramped, dark cocoon. I was meant to fly. He will not allow me to keep living my life by picking up situations and placing them within six inches of my face before I decide to take action. I was meant to jump into the uncertainty with the complete and firm expectation that He will always catch me.