One of the things that made this past year particularly difficult to accept was the fact that the job that I had sought and desired remained open. On occasion the job posting would come down…and I would hear through the grapevine that internal or outside candidates had applied for what I had hoped would be my job. This went on and on and on.
What I found positively absurd was that if our company’s vice president had left the company…they would have filled that position lickety split. There would be no waffling or indecision for months on end. I’d be willing to bet they would have the job filled within the week. So as this drug on and on…it seemed even more and more ridiculous. That’s why every time the job posted again…I’d apply again. Every time…but to no avail. I’m talking…over nine months from when I first interviewed for the job. No one ever officially sent me a “no thanks” letter, nor did they call. That’s part of why I had such a hard time letting go of my dream.
I found it challenging to let go because it was hard to understand how years and years of good work and diligent effort amounted to nothing when it came to helping me earn the right to be given a shot. I had no doubt that I could do it and do it well. I know how I approach things…how I love to learn and master new challenges. But at the end of the day…my pleas fell on deaf ears, my track record was presented to eyes that failed to see and mouths were unwilling to speak.
I found it impossible to believe that it didn’t work out like I had hoped and dreamed. After all God had given me a promise…actually two scripture verses to cling on to. And cling I did. In the stormy seas of emotions…and in the dark of night…when the only support I felt was that of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At times…even He felt very far away.
The first and primary scripture verse came from 2 Chronicles 20:17 –“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ “
I clung to the verse…it graced the walls of my home and was ever present in my sight with a note taped to my computer. I have it as part of my e-mail signatures…and even made a bracelet with the words “Stand Firm See Lord’s Deliverance”.
Now I had no idea how God might answer that prayer…or exactly when. But God gave me the assurance that He indeed would be my deliverer. That I needed to stand firm and trust Him to work in my situation. There was many a day…that my stand was very wobbly. But when push came to shove…I stood. Looking expectantly to God and for what He alone would do.
As this New Year began…Pastor Bob Kraning preached a message in which he focused on the scripture verse from Joshua 3:5 – “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
I believed that God had given me this verse to encourage my heart…and remind me that He was at work in my life…and I was to look to Him to be my Hope and my Deliverer.
I felt as if I was on my tippy toes, looking expectantly for what God would do and how He would answer my prayers and fulfill His promises to me.
In the intervening time…I embarked upon that which I had neglected for far too long…a lot of dental work…that took months to complete. God helped me to conquer a great fear in my life.
God also made clear to me…that for far too long I had put Him second place…as I had spent far too much time and effort at work. Instead I should have been investing my time elsewhere or at least in a more balance manner. During this time…I committed to responsibilities at my church and was grateful when Bible Study Fellowship started up again in the fall.
All this time…I was hopeful and expectantly looking for how God would answer my prayer. I could hardly wait. But wait was the order of the day.
My emotions were all over the board…sometimes strong…and at time I was struggling to trust God.
One of my biggest disappointments and what felt like a slap in the face was when the folks I had worked with for many, many years had their Christmas party…and I wasn’t invited. Ouch…now that hurt.
Since I’m a straight shooter…I had to ask why. While I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the answer…I would rather risk being hurt than not know the truth. When a straw poll had been taken the feedback from my former co-workers…the response was not receptive to having me at their party. That one hurt! Then on the heals of that…Christmas came…and I didn’t get a Christmas card or a Merry Christmas e-mail from one who had done so over the years. It kind of made me doubt the sincerity of everything that had gone before.
Was all that had happened before was done out of obligation…instead of what was genuine and heartfelt? Being that whatever I do…I put my heart into it…I was surprised.
When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to remain in loss prevention…but instead go into a job not of my own choosing…I had to cut those emotional ties. In order for me to focus on the new work and connect with the new people…I had to let go of the old. I guess I did so quite effectively…perhaps too much so.
So why am I going into all this, sharing and bearing my soul on something in which doesn’t shine a very good light on me? Share that I failed and share about rejection? Well I love the truth. God has given me words…that have become part of my healing process through the ups and downs of life.
Also…I finally got the news that they finally hired someone for the job I had wanted. Over nine months later…I got a courtesy call to let me know. In some respects I was relived. I could now say that chapter of my life was closed for good…once and for all it was dead. When God closes a door…it can not be opened.
But more important than that I want to answer those critics who might be sitting back and thinking or saying, “See your God let you down. He was not faithful to keep His promises to you Susan.”
To those persons…and even to myself…I answer most assuredly…that my God, my Lord and Savior has not deserted me, nor failed me. Indeed my God is faithful. He is not slow in keeping His promises…He accomplishes everything in His perfect timing.
When and how exactly God will finally bring me the deliverance that I still seek…I don’t know. But I do know…even as I sit here and failed to achieve that which I wanted, even if some think of me as a failure…I am standing firm and choosing to trust God. Even if my circumstances currently don’t give evidence to God’s faithfulness.
He has given me Himself during this time. He has been my Rock, my Fortress, and my Sustainer…my Ever Present Help in times of trouble.
And yes…I still stand on my tippy toes…and look expectantly for what God is going to do in my circumstances. I know and have every assurance that He will.
I am most grateful that God has provided me with a good job in the mean time. I am grateful that He has helped me during this difficult time and to know Him better. I am grateful that He knows my heart’s desire. I do desire to move into another job…but will trust God’s timing and plan. I deeply desire to be married…and try ever so to trust God with my desire. Albeit not so firmly at times…due to wobbly faith. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled makes a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12
So it’s been a painful time…and hard time. But God has been able to use the pain for good. When people share with me their pain in their present circumstances…I know first hand how it feels to feel forsaken and alone. But I also know…how God remains ever faithful…and sustained me during that season.
Just like I know how unbearable physical pain can be following an episode of unrelenting pain from my wisdom teeth for over a month…I know what unrelenting emotional pain feels like. So now when people…share their hurts…I can honestly say I understand but offer the hope of standing firm and trusting God when circumstances and the ground around you crumbles to the sea.
That brings me to my life verse, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28.
So for those of you who think my hopes and dreams are dead…you are wrong. I am not discouraged…but ever hopeful in my God…my Lord…my Savior…my Deliverer.
Just as Lazarus was sick, died and lay three days in the tomb…the mourners did not know what Jesus would do. They didn’t foresee that He would come along as Lazarus body started to stink…and raise him from the dead. But Jesus is God…He is all powerful, all knowing and works everything for good and for His glory.
I remain standing firm…and look expectantly for my Lord’s deliverance. I will consecrate myself…and see that tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things. Today is yesterday’s tomorrow…and I’m awaiting my promised and amazing deliverance.