Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Thoughts/An Introduction

Well... everyone seems to have one of these, so I decided that it was time I jumped on the bandwagon.

Let's see. If you're reading this, you probably already know something about me, so I can go ahead and skip the details.
This summer has been an interesting one. Such a time of transition for me. I graduated, and here I am, ready to start on my career path. I was recently offered the position of Annual Giving Coordinator at Messiah, and accepted with enthusiasm. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet, but I'm only a little bit nervous. I start July 7th, which is only about a week away. I hope I like it. Everyone on the team seems very, very nice. Hopefully I will be able to do the job successfully - just anxious to matter.

Things are going extremely well for me, which I am very happy to report. I believe in honesty, and I will uphold it here when I say that this year has been one of the most difficult for me; however, I have surprised myself with the decisions I've made. Some of the best decisions of my life. I have always known that I am a pretty smart cookie - I would hope that others would agree with me when I say that I don't think I made too many stupid moves.

To quote Dwight Schrute: "Whenever I'm about to do something, I ask myself: 'Self, would an idiot do this?'"

I suppose in this respect I live by the same code as Dwight. He's my favourite character, so it's only appropriate and fitting.

Either way, I feel truly lucky and blessed. I feel this every day. I am enjoying my life now, and as I've come to realize time and time again, God has taken care of me. Kind of like that Footprints poem: "During those times when you saw only one set of footprints? It was then that I carried you."

I am a living testament to God's enduring faithfulness; if there is one lesson I have learned this year, it would be that God answers prayers. I mean, everyone "knows" this - we want to believe that God will hear us. We want to believe that God will heal our loved ones, protect our friends, and care for those who need it. So we pray, because we believe that if we pray hard enough and ask sincerely enough, God will grant us the things we desire. Now, I am no stranger to having God say, "No, not right now". But I have come to realize that God always has an answer, even if it is not when I want or the one I want.

I applied for a job at an Art Gallery in Pikesville, MD earlier in March. I went to several interviews and shadow days, and I felt confident that I would get the job. When I got the call saying that they had chosen the other candidate, I felt disappointed and inadequate. The job search has been one that has tested the limits of my patience. I am also someone who desires security. For several months I have been feeling stressed about about the lack of a "plan" for my life. When I applied for the Annual Giving job at Messiah, I did not want to get my hopes up, knowing that I could be in the same position again. I had a Life Insurance job lined up as a back-up plan, but I was beginning to feel anxious about whether or not it would suit me. So, I told God that I was going to let Him decide (though I believe that He would have put me where He desired regardless of me surrendering my choice). God decided for me to be at Messiah, so here I am.

"When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases like [some] do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." - Matthew 6:7-8.

I have never been good at memorizing verses, but this always comes to mind when I pray. I guess I could say that I live my life by this verse - especially after this year.

There was a time back in September when I did not think I could ever be whole again. I found myself standing in the shower of my apartment, completely and totally broken, unable to keep my heart from breaking. I stood there for a good long time, as I can recall, numbly letting the water run all over me, sobbing. This was not the lowest of lows of my life, but it certainly takes 2nd or 3rd place. It is times like these - times when I can look back with clarity - that I remember my prayers said during difficult times. Have you ever had such a great wish that you couldn't even formulate words to express how deeply you felt? The only thing I could do was cry and remember the verse from Matthew. I know that my heart was crying out for peace. I know that I had endured and suffered more than I ever thought possible, but I promised God that I would not give up and asked Him to watch over me and give me peace.

He did.

The things that I thought would certainly break me are now only testaments to the strength that God has given me. I am not a stranger to pain, but I have learned that my faithfulness will never yield.

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