I sat on my living room sofa, weeping bitterly. In the span of just two months, I had suffered some serious losses. So, this last loss…the loss of my job, which came so abruptly and unexpectedly, left me at a complete loss for what to do. Losing your job when you’re 25 is bad enough, but losing your job when your 49 in the middle of a job crisis?…That’s quite a bit scarier. So, there I sat crying out to the Lord, asking Him to please tell me what I was supposed to do now!
With thoughts of Job’s story playing continually in my head, I sat there feeling crushed and lost, when my cries were interrupted by one quiet thought…. “Go to school”.
WHAT??? Go to school? Are you kidding me? I’m having a melt-down here Lord and you’re telling me to go to school? I was beside myself! Why in the world would the Lord even consider my going to school at a time like this?…And how? The very thought was absurd!
Yet, the moment the words of protest were out of my mouth, a ‘scene’ began to unfold in my mind’s eye. And, instantly, I was brought back to a moment the year before at a women’s retreat as my roommate and I shared hopes, dreams and aspirations. We were talking about going to school and I jokingly shared with her that I had been feeling a ‘strong urge’ to pursue a Social Work degree. Then I laughingly said, “Yeah, like that’ll happen. When there are 72 hours in a day!”
As that memory flashed and replayed in my mind, a spark of hope was planted. In that moment, and in the days immediately following my ‘crash-burn’, a plan began taking shape. Though the reason and purpose of the circumstances made no sense at the time, I began to deeply sense GOD at work. Much like Abrahm as he was called out of Ur, I was being taken on an unfamiliar path to an unknown destination. One thing I did begin to understand was that the destination was purposeful.
So…like Joyce Meyer, I told God: “Show me God and I’ll go. And just as He said to Joyce and Abrahm before her, God replied: “No. You.Go. and then, I’ll show you.”
“There is a powerful shifting that takes place as we abandon the right to understand and we yield to God’s working in our lives.”
~ Jo Ann Fore
There’s something about brokenness and the ‘unknown’ that keeps you completely ‘dependent’ on Him. And, maybe that is the true purpose of the pain after all. So, I began every morning intentionally asking the Lord to lead my every step throughout the day. And for those ‘weeks’ and months to follow, I marveled as I witnessed the Divine guidance and leading of God with intense purpose. In the midst of this deep, desert season, new doors began to open. Not all at once…but one by one. Stormie O’Martian has a wonderful book called “Just enough light for the step I’m on”. And so it was with me and God during these months to follow that pain-filled summer. It was only as I walked through one door that the next one would open. First the door to go to school, then the door to receive free State Certified training and certification as a Rape Crisis Counselor. Then, door after door after door…all bringing me, step by step, along this path that God had ordained.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55(NIV)
I write this post now, on the other side of that painful time. Over the last two years, I have earned my Associates Degree in Community and Human Development and will be graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree next year. I hope to continue on for my Masters in Social Work and open up a Christian “Healing Center” for women focusing on Faith & Creative Arts Therapy.
His thoughts are not our thoughts and His WAYS are so much Higher than our ways. If I had not lost my job when I did, I would never have returned to school and be able to pursue this dream that God Himself had birthed in my heart.
Time does not heal all wounds, but Time can bring you to new beginnings with new-found appreciation for Grace in the fire.
Let Him Lead you in your desert. He will bring you through. He sees the end from the beginning and He knows the Way we should go.
How about you? Have you been able to see “A Purpose for the Pain”?
Would love for you to share your heart, thoughts, comments or even prayer requests.
God bless you!