The Story I've Waited to Tell

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This blog won't be like any other that I've written.
You see, this is one I have been preparing to write, even though I had no idea how the end would turn out. I have wondered exactly what this blog would look like. 
If you've been keeping up with me, you realize that I have been waiting to find the right job, that this season of waiting and wondering what the Lord has is one that has been trying, hard, and truly a test of my faith. I have learned so much in the last 2 months and I will share more, but before I tell all of the story, I wanted some help.
I couldn't write this without asking my Mom to tell part of the story.
She's an incredible writer, with a blog of her own coming soon (you won't wanna miss her writing and all she has to share) so keep reading to hear what the Lord was teaching and telling my Mom throughout this waiting period. 

…… July 11, 2012… I jumped in the car to go to work, nothing special, just like every normal other normal day. As I drove to work, I heard God say to me, “Becky, why don’t you fast your lunch this week, and pray for Bethany’s job, or should I say “jobless” situation. 
Ok, I thought, Yeah I can do that uh…. I’ve never really tried fasting, but yeah, I’ll try it. (Knowing that it wouldn’t kill me for a week, I mean it was one meal a day, how hard could it be.)

So lunchtime came and I grabbed the bible that I had stowed away in a drawer in my office, drove to a quiet, “off the beaten track” kinda place and turned the car off. I began to pray for… well, for Bethany to get the job… that she wanted, needed, desired, and in my humble opinion, Deserved!

Let me rewind this novel for just a minute and paint a backdrop for you, to better explain where we’ve been in these past 5 months.

In February I received a phone call from Nashville, “Hello mom, I have decided I would like to go to grad school to be a nurse practitioner. I want to go to UCF and it’s part time, and most of it’s online so I could work and get my Masters as well.” “Ok Bethany, that’s an amazing idea. What all will you need to do for that to be a possibility?”

Here’s the way it worked.

Bethany had exactly 2 months to get her application in, including:
recommendation letters from her clinical instructors, complete an essay as to why she wanted to go to grad school, not to mention the Infamous Dreaded GRE test. (I still get cold chills when I think about how horrible that test is.)

My prayers went something like this….” God if you want Bethany in grad school, there are a whole lot of doors that need to open, and a bunch of cards that will need to stack up to make this happen, (and did I mention that we were able to attend a meeting that she just happen to be home for on the weekend of my birthday, coincidence ???? I think not.) We found out that about 100 people apply and only 40 get accepted.
So yeah …”God? If you want this to happen, you will have to work some magic, but that’s what you do when it’s your will, so we’ll trust you to work in this situation and except whatever is best for Bethany’s life. You know her future and love her even more that I do.”

In March she took her GRE and passed it! I still smile and shake my head in disbelief over that one.

In April we found out that Bethany had been accepted to the DNP Program and if she so desires can even get her Doctorate before she graduates. This meant she would come home after graduation and passing her state boards and in August 2012 she would begin grad school.

Just a side note.

Have you ever prayed for things that you thought could be a roadblock and sure enough God answered those prayers and the roadblocks disappeared …. and then without warning you see a dead end sign with a cliff at the end of the sign that you didn’t see coming, much less ever thought that you should pray about it? Yeah me too.

I mean really? She’s going to grad school, she passed her state boards, she’s at home and everything is as it should be, what else is there?

A job?

Of course she will get a nursing job, I mean there are ads all over the Internet for nurses in Vero Beach! Why wouldn’t she get a job? You mean that could be a problem? Really????

Now God was going to have a chance to teach or should I say reteach me to
Oh how I hate this road.
Yes I’ve been down it before and I think I can even see my own footprints, why haven’t I learned this lesson well enough that I must learn it again?

Now this is really where the story, (at least the part that I really learned a lesson from) begins.

Bethany arrived home on June 18th and remained jobless ( after applying literally 10+ places, and having 2 interviews with NO callbacks.)

As I sat in the car (on July 11th) praying, pleading, questioning, arguing, and yes maybe even a tiny bit, well I was really aggravated, I took my bible and said, “ I don’t even know what to read, God please just give me something. “ I opened my bible (which happens to be the bible I gave my mom 1 year before she died I gave it to her on Mother’s Day and it’s a Women’s Devotional Bible. )
I opened it to a devotional entitled “Dare to Begin”

The scripture was Isaiah 63: 7-9 and I read the scripture before reading the devotional. I wasn’t extremely impressed with what the scripture said, nothing earth shattering or life changing and I said “yeah ok.” Then as clear as a bell God said to me,
“ Read the devotional.”

I began to read the devotional and could not believe what I was reading. When I got to the bottom of the page, I knew that the last 3-4 lines sounded vaguely familiar. Not only did it speak directly to the situation that Bethany was in, it was a part of a book called “Hinds Feet on High Places, “ that my mother had quoted to me when I was young. She had read the book and had quoted parts of it to me about the character “Much-Afraid.”

I remember it like it was yesterday.

She talked about how so many times in her life when she had questions of what to do, or where to turn, and she would refer back to “Much Afraid” as she said it so reminded her of herself and some of her fears.
She talked about how God had spoke to her through this brilliantly written book .

There it was in black and white.

As if it had been placed there again to remind me, that the same God that my mother expressed her fears to, and taught me about, was revealing His love and His promise to me to give to my daughter.

As I finished the devotional I sat in the car knowing that God had met with me and had given me a promise for Bethany and the job searching process.
I didn’t know when or where, but I knew a job would come and that some valuable lessons would be gained in the process.

I wiped the tears from eyes, asked God to forgive me for questioning His perfect timetable, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that at the right place and in the right time, a job would come, but more importantly I would share this precious promise with Bethany.

The day before my mom left for vacation, she opened up and shared what she had read in the bible on July 11th to me. I was somewhat curious as to why she hadn't shared this with me before, but it came at the perfect time. I felt so discouraged this day, but that was just what I needed. 
In all honesty, I'm not quite sure what I thought about all that my mom just shared with you. I felt peace as I selfishly thought ' at least God was speaking to one of us.' The 12 days that my parents were on vacation were long days and I found myself reading this story over and over and over, reminding myself that God is true to His promises. I was waiting for a call back from a hospital, I was waiting on another call back from a doctor's office, and I had another interview that week with a result that said it would be a month before I knew a yes or no. 

And so the journey continued. Frustrated and discouraged don't really describe what I felt like as the weeks were flying by and yet it felt like nothing changed. My prayers felt desperate and I was running out of words. As I continued to just keep reading this story and really try with all of my heart to believe that in His time He would open the door, little did I know that  God's promise for me was about to be revealed to me. 

To make a really long story short, I had a close friend ask me to fill out an application for Indian River Estates new million dollar medical facility. Somewhat interesting as I had worked in the medical building as a CNA in High School. I had thought about this before, and after my mom inquired with her co-worker, we found out that there were no openings available. The day that my friend was going to drop off my resume, the director approached my mom and told her to have me turn in my resume as there was a position available. In less than 24 hours I received a call, had an interview, and 48 hours later received a call that said they wanted to offer me the job. It still seems so surreal as I have officially gotten my first "big girl job" as I like to call it. Not only that but the money is better than I ever could have hoped for and I get to schedule my hours pretty close to how I would like, which is great considering I am starting graduate school in two weeks. I feel so incredibly blessed and I smile thinking that I was working here with the residents before I left for college and little did I know that 5 years later the Lord would open the door for me to work at such a great place with great people. 

I am not sure the exact day I begin, but I'm sure there will be blogs to follow about my first experiences as a new nurse. It's somewhat scary that I will be on my own but I have to remind myself that I have worked hard to get here and that the Lord has gone before me and brought me exactly where I need to be. 

Like I said, I'm not sure I believe I'm about to start my first job, or graduate school, but how exciting it is. I never would have thought in a million years that this is where the Lord would have me, but now that I know where I'm supposed to be, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I feel so blessed and undeserving of the opportunities in front of me, but I am thankful the Lord has entrusted me with this responsibility. 

Like the story said, and the words in the Bible say over and over, the Lord really is true to His promises and He really has given me the desires of my heart. 

I want to say thank you to all of you who have fervently prayed for me during this waiting period. I couldn't have done this without your prayers. A special thanks goes out to my parents who have prayed harder for me than anyone and who are cheering me on as I begin my first real job and continue on with school. And last but not least to my other half, Andrew,  thank you for your listening ears, your encouragement, and your belief in me during this waiting time. I know these have been hard days and most weren't the most fun, but your love and belief in me is something I cannot say thank you enough for.

I challenge you no matter where you find yourself to believe in God's promises even when the waiting seems as though it will never end. 

I pray that as I am beginning a new season of life that I will not forget the long days I just endured. May my faith continue to grow as God is revealing new pieces of His plan in my life daily. 

Break Me

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My parents have been on vacation for 8 days now. 
It's been quiet in the house and some of the days seem really long.
Still no word on the jobs, waiting for phone calls that were supposed to happen a week ago have left me feeling like they'll never call.
Interviews that result in - we'll get back to you in 4 weeks, have left me feeling frustrated. 
It's been challenging. 

Tonight I found myself at home with not much to do. I decided to listen to a sermon from the church I attended in Nashville.
Little did I know it was just for me.

In thinking about where I'm at, while I know something, eventually, is going to work out and the plan will unfold how it is supposed to, right now I feel like I'm at the end of my rope with the way things are with the situation. I've found myself doubting who I am and struggling with my identity in Christ. 

This sermon talked about the fact that in life we are either about to be in the storm, we're in the storm, or we just got out of it.  That's just the way life is. 

He described exactly where I'm at- being in a place you never thought you'd be, where your plans didn't work out how you thought, and you have no idea what's going to happen or how it's going to work out.
He then asked this: 
So what do you do when you're at the end of your rope?

Maybe you'll find out that it's the strongest place that you've been.

I kept listening.

"My grace is sufficient
the place where you are most broken, is the the place you will find me the most
the place where you are most empty, is the place where you will know who I am
the place that you dread most, is the place you will know Me best
that's what I will do for you.
My grace is sufficient."

Maybe God isn't ready to take me out of the place I'm in, but instead wants to give me His grace, the essence of who He is in order for me to deal with where I'm at, moment by moment.

Instead of praying to get out of where I'm at, maybe I should start praying differently. To see the grace the Lord puts in my life each and everyday. To see the blessings in this waiting time. To realize that I don't have to get to God, but that He comes to me, right where I'm at.

Maybe just maybe, this is the place the Lord needs me in, at the end of my rope to be able to tell me who I really am. Possibly the strongest moment in my life, and this whole time I've thought that I'm at my weakest.

A break me prayer. Humbling to say the least and kind of scary.
But that's what I did tonight. 
Trusting God enough to just spill out my heart.
I don't know who I am.
I don't know what to do.
I don't know where to go.
I don't know how to fix this.

Realizing that at the end of my rope, it's just God & me.

So Lord show me who I am.
Call me by name & may Your power destroy the lies I hear in my head and the things I call myself.
Hold me close during this time.
May I rejoice in the truth that You are a God who will never let me go, who is sensitive enough to know exactly who I am and You will speak truth to me. 
Thanking you in advance for all that You are going to do.

Maybe you find yourself at the end of your rope too, will you be brave enough to pray a break me prayer? Maybe in the time you think your weakest, God wants to show you that you're at the strongest place you've ever been. 

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