His Grace to me

I am a blog reader.  Yes, I am one of those.

But am I a blogger?  I’ve wanted to have a blog of my own for a long time, but what would I say, I wondered.  Would my writing be good enough or my words worthy enough of a blog?

I’ve journaled off and on over the years.  More off than on.

I walked down the note book aisle at Target tonight and smiled.  I pretty much love all things paper.

This caught my eye.


And it made me laugh.

But in all honesty, what am I doing here on Friday July 18th 2014 writing my first blog post?  This is just one more small new thing I am incorporating into my life.  You see, at this time in my life, I am desiring a future that does not resemble my past.  I am trying to get somewhere in: 1) my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and 2) my life that I’ve never been before – and getting somewhere new often requires doing something new.

Just about two months ago I lost my job.  I had not “lost” a job in 15 or so years and even then it was a lay off where numerous people were being let go.  No, this was losing a job – and under really bad circumstances – as a measure of discipline I was transferred, demoted and had my pay cut.  I had never experienced anything like this before.  It took the company I work for nearly three weeks to settle on a measure of discipline.  The voice of pride in me says the measure of discipline was too harsh.  Grace says I still have a job.  Somewhere around the second week, I was in my car during my morning commute, and I was talking aloud to The Lord saying how this must be what it feels like to be labeled a criminal, or when a seemingly one-time blunder renders long-lasting or ever-lasting consequences.  I said, “This job is like a never-ending punishment.”  Immediately I heard in my spirit the voice of the Holy Spirit, “Receive this job as my grace to (for) you.”  Woah.  I responded with a nod of my head, “Okay Lord.”  And since then I’ve realigned my thinking…and my words…and when I get out of alignment (with what God said) I must repent and get realigned.  This job is His grace to me.

Why or how is it His grace to me?  Well, surely, I could have been left without any job whatsoever.  Unemployed.  No steady paycheck.  Those unsettling thoughts plagued me many a day and night while I awaited my employer’s decision.

But my new job is His grace to me because He said so.

Bottom line: God is God and I am not.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” ~ Isaiah 55:8

I sit here and think and type and part of me says, “I wouldn’t have chosen this for myself.”  If only I could turn back the hands of time to April 7th, not do the act that got me into trouble and life would have gone on as I know it.  Hmmm…but maybe not.  I’ve already come to the conclusion that I was comfortable, overly comfortable in my last position.  I wasn’t looking around for anything other than what I already had.  My face was not looking upward to my Heavenly Father.  My gaze was on my little-safe-comfortable employment.

Well, I’ve been plucked from comfortable to uncomfortable.  No more crutch.  I gotta look upward now.

A friend asked me tonight, “Have you asked God why He placed you there?  He has a purpose.  That job is your mission field for right now whether you like it or not.  You are overqualified and underpaid, but don’t you remember those three weeks?  Don’t you remember day after day wondering what would happen?  This job is an answered prayer.  This job is a blessing.  Find out God’s purpose and plan for having you there, ’cause He won’t move you on until it’s accomplished.”

I responded that her words tasted about as good as I imagine kale to taste.

She laughed.

I got quiet.

And then I came home and started this blog.

I’m wrestling some things out.

My flesh didn’t like hearing what she had to say.  But I can’t run away from hard truths just because my flesh is screaming to be pacified.

I’m trying to get somewhere that I’ve never been before.  Wait…I said that earlier, didn’t I?  Hmm, well, maybe the problem is the word t-r-y.  Perhaps the route to this new place begins with the word y-i-e-l-d.

“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” ~ Job 22:21