Friday, December 4, 2015

Glad He Didn't Let Me Leave

I was talking with a dear friend Sunday afternoon about the things God has been showing us lately and the ways we've seen His hand clearly in our lives.  She mentioned how it's hard to believe this time last year, I was heart broken.  Y'all, my heart was in pieces and I was crying "the ugly cry" over the feelings of rejection, failure and not knowing what God was doing.  You see, I had been in the process of applying for international missions and from the way everything looked and what my missions coach had said, everything was falling into place and within the next year, I'd be leaving for Italy to serve.  It all came to a screeching stop when I was told that I wasn't being recommended for service.  I wondered what was wrong with me or if I had been too open about my past.  Did my desire to love on people make me seem too naïve?  I kept getting the same answer, "wait."

I don't know about you, but I do not wait well.  I lament, question, cry, throw the occasional tantrum, etc.  These aren't necessarily done in a public setting but they do happen.  I had even thought that maybe missions was going to be God's way of bringing me to my husband or a new type of ministry since I've never had a problem with talking to strangers.  Did I not hear God at all in this?  Why would He have gifted me like this and used me in different countries if this isn't what I'm supposed to do?  I'm supposed to be doing those things HERE & NOW.  Not just in other places.

I have an incredible job that really was an answer to months and months of prayer.  I do not say that lightly or in the cliché Christian way.  God honored obedience in the timing of this and I am still beyond thankful to be working where I do and with the people I get to interact with daily.  There are often times I find myself praying with different employees throughout a week.  A few months ago, my boss said, "Jenny, this is your mission field."  Wow.  She is right.  God has me here for a reason and I'm glad.  There are opportunities here that are definitely of Him with the interactions I have with people during tough medical situations, losses, births, retirement and pretty much all things in between.  I can't imagine not serving here now. 

It's not just work though.  God had me step up to leading a ladies life group and I was finally obedient.  A buddy of mine said, "uh, it's about time."  Leadership scares me because there's a fear of failure that comes with it.  But, one thing God has reminded me of is that there's nothing I've done that will lessen the power of The Cross and His redemption.  Thank God!  These ladies are such a delight and I'm loving the time to get to know their hearts and walk through this crazy life with them.  Who knew there were women out there of all ages/stages that were just as sassy as me?  ;)

As for relationships, I can't imagine a more fulfilling life than the one I have.  My family is a consistent form of encouragement and spunk but then add in the friends I get to walk through life with daily and I almost can't handle the fun.  There are too many things to name here but this year has held a whirlwind of memories.  The Disney Half Marathon, my 30th birthday celebration (one heck of a party), NYC with the family and the daily laughter and quirks that come in between.  The text threads are hilarious, the trip planning is exciting and the accountability is something I'd never trade.  There have been people that I've met that I wouldn't have had the opportunity had I gone to Italy.  Seeing friends get married and have babies has been such a delight and worth it, even on the hard days.  I'll be honest and say that I'm excited about the last month or so and am waiting with expectancy of the months to come. 

I still have my melt down moments and tantrums about things, it happens.  But I also still have the grace and goodness of a God that loves me at even my worst of times.  It boils down to letting others see Jesus in our lives because without Him, there's no purpose.  It's knowing that even when things are good, He's still better and more fulfilling than even thing things I've wanted all my life.  All in all, I'm glad He didn't let me leave because while 30 started out incredible, it's going to get better!

Here's a glimpse of pieces of the last year and why I'm glad He wouldn't let me leave.