The God of Surprises

About a year ago, I woke one morning feeling particularly sad. Nothing seemed to be going well in my life.  I was in a temporary job that I hated. I was still single at 42 and incredibly lonely and feeling disconnected,  but as I had been trying to be in a more positive mindset, I made the choice not to sit in the sadness or dwell on it.   As I drove away from my apartment, headed to work, I decided to pray:

God, thank You for waking me up this morning.  Please help me not to be sad.  You are an all powerful God who is full of surprises.  I will be hopeful and expectant today, God.  This could be the day that you choose to surprise me, God.  This could be the day I get that unexpected phone call that changes my life, or this could be the day I get a call for a job that I actually love!  You can do more than I ask, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20 – 21). Your ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). You are the only wise God (Romans 16:27), a god of infinite possibilities!

I was in a place where I really, really wanted my life to change and was so tired of being sad, lonely, not purposeful in my work, and all the other worries that come along with being a 42 year old single woman living in this day and age.  I had been reading books like “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale, and “Hope Will Find You” by Rabbi Naomi Levy.  I decided to make a conscious choice to think and be more positive. I went to work and decided, that day, to live out my new, positive mantra.  I made conversation with a nice woman in the elevator that carried on into the hallway, and later, shared a genuine smile and wave with her as I walked back the same way.  I just wanted to be happy and hopeful and share (exude) that wherever I went.  I had some good conversations with prospective candidates on the job and felt really good about my productivity.  Imagine my surprise when, at 3:15 PM, I was called into the boss’ office and summarily dismissed.  I knew this wasn’t a long-term thing for me, but I still hadn’t really seen this coming, and especially on DAY ONE of my “I’m gonna be super-positive and happy anyway” journey!  I mean, seriously, God?? For real?? 

As I drove home, still a bit shell-shocked, fear and doubt began to creep in.  The prayer that had sustained me on the way in to work was gone.  Tears began to well in my eyes, but I choked them back with what felt like the last ounce of strength and positivity that I had left in me.  I got in the house and recalled my prayer from that morning, that God is full of surprises, and how ironic it was that this certainly wasn’t the kind of surprise I was expecting.  For a few moments, I thought about the ramifications of what this seemingly negative surprise meant for me, especially after praying such a positive, hope filled prayer.  Doubt kept nudging me forward into the darkness.  The questions began to form in my mind: “Is God playing some sick joke on me? Does He really want me to be afraid? Does He care? Is He even real?” It seemed the questions flashed before me, one after the other, like headlines on a marquis.  I stopped myself, stopped those thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5), and I remembered that “Yes, God IS real!” but “so is Satan, and I know what he came to do (John 8:44 & John 10:10)!”

I stopped and realized and recognized what was happening and I made another choice to continue to exercise (an action) my faith and to choose, again, that no matter what my circumstances looked like, to trust and believe in God.  He would take care of me.  He would provide! (Philippians 4:19) I also recalled how, just the week before, I had given the largest amount of money that I’d ever given to the church because I had felt led to do so.  I knew that I was being tested, and that I could either cower in fear or I could walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).

One month later, I began what I considered my ideal day job, working from home as a recruiter, which is something I had prayed for.  I did not search for that job.  I did not apply for that job or send in a resume.  They found me.  They called me.  They approached me and made the offer. God hooked me up!  I was fired from that dreadful job on October 3, 2015 and began my new job on November 2, 2015, almost a month to the day.

Fast forward to present day, I just celebrated my one year anniversary on that job and I just read my journal entry from the day I was fired, which is what you just read here.  I am still on my journey and I have good and bad days, but I am increasingly learning to stop striving and allow what will be to be and trust that God always has my best interests at heart.  I believe God is ushering me into a new season of my life and setting me up for the next level in other areas.  It’s my time. I am claiming it and continuing to pray my “God, you are the God of surprises and infinite possibilities” prayer. There is absolutely nothing too hard for God!  Reading this journal entry reminded me to seek Him and to trust Him with my whole heart.   What we think is the worst thing ever, can eventually work our for our greatest and highest good.  (Romans 8:28) After all, He IS the God of surprises! I can’t wait to see what He has for me next!

 

 

 

Remember What You’re Made Of

What are little girls made of, made of?

What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice,  and everything nice,

that’s what little girls are made of.

What are little boys made of, made of?

What are little boys made of?

Snips and snails, and puppy dog tails,

that’s what little boys are made of.

Last night I was sitting on my patio praying for God to cleanse me and to make me into what He wants me to be, to make me into who I know I am inside.  In that moment, the nursery rhyme above, one from my childhood, popped into my mind.  It speaks of all the good and innocence that we are born with.  Somehow the world changes us.  We learn of pain, loss, and betrayal.  We learn of lies, deceit, and unfairness.  And it robs us of our innocence, of our ability to dream, to hope, and to believe. We stop believing in people and ourselves.  But when I catch a glimpse of my childhood innocence, as I did tonight, I feel a sense of joy and warmth and I pray to reclaim it. When the beauty of art or song makes me cry, when a baby’s laugh or the sunset takes my breath away, I remember and celebrate the good in me and in the world; and I pray for it to stay.