When things don’t go as planned.

On our way home from a full day of rafting down lake, I opened my email and saw a new message that was going to tell me about my recent job interview. The hiring manager mentioned I was a strong candidate and that she was going to reach out to a close branch and recommend me for a potential summer job position. Other nice details were included in the email and I began to really appreciate the time she took to write out this personalized and encouraging message.

Just to clarify – I did not get the job. I thought God had lined up this job for me since all the details seemed to come together flawlessly. The way I heard about the job, checking out the location, putting together my resume, being one of the 6 out of 60 applicants to get an interview, and feeling well prepared for the interview, all of it seemed to fit into what God wanted for my life. That’s it – I thought it was all from God and that it was His will for me to have this job.

I didn’t get the job. It didn’t happen. I was a little confused. Did I miss something along the way? I’m still not sure, but my focus has been less on the employment outcome and more on the details of God’s grace that have been jumping out at me. Like the timely conversations I’ve had with close friends during the whole process, the encouragement, and the prayers. Things don’t seem to be on our time table, but God’s. Sometimes I feel more adept with this understanding, while other times I’m thinking “What’s going on, God? I don’t understand what you want for my life!”

My friend Allison recently wrote a piece titled Let Me Love You. It couldn’t have been a more timely read. I was reminded that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). It’s not about how much we can do or how holy we can be, it’s about resting in God’s love and allowing that love to flourish in our hearts and in our relationships with others.

God’s grace is sufficient for us in any situation.

Even if we’re falling short in some way, we can trust that God is a very present help. He will direct us, guide us, lead us, and ultimately love us with an everlasting love that never fails.

 

The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11 NIV

 

On another note, have you ever started some type of structured fitness routine? I recently began a wellness journal and have endeavored to spend time doing physical fitness. Aside from working in the garden and around the property, I’ve set a small goal of going on the elliptical for any amount of time each day; However, there were gin & tonics available on the kitchen counter a couple nights ago. 1… 2… 3… uh oh. 4… 5? Wow! They went down so easily and as you probably guessed, the next day I felt like scum. It was terrible. I did not follow through with my fitness goal.

The entire day was spent laying down and recovering from my own mistake. During this time where my physical, mental, and emotional state were out of balance, I received such a sweet message from the woman I had just canceled hiking plans with. She had claimed healing throughout all my bones and body in Jesus Christ name, and that the Kingdom Wholeness was coming my way. She encouraged me to lie back in Papa’s arms and embrace His love. What! I felt like I didn’t deserve such tender words. I didn’t physically feel better right away but the love I felt in that message made me think about how God allowed me to experience this love when I was feeling so helpless. Getting stuck in self-condemnation is so tricky but God kept pouring on the love and the grace.

God’s grace is freely given to us.
We don’t work to deserve more and more of His grace.
It’s all God. God’s love. God’s grace.

If you’re having a difficult time relating to those two personal accounts, maybe this one will fit the bill. I sat down with a set of oil paints that were gifted to me and as excitement filled my bones I began mixing colors with a medium, adjusting the canvas and easel, and arranging a lily and purple delphinium in a vase for inspiration. You see, this was my very first time with oil paints and it was sort of a big deal.

Well, time passed… I didn’t realize that oil paints took more time to dry than acrylics. With no direction, I put globs of white paint on the canvas in an attempt to restart. As more and more paint was added, I was becoming frustrated with my “lack” of artistic ability. All the colors were blurring together and things weren’t turning out the way I intended. Where was the beautifully crafted and detailed work of art that was supposed to easily flow off of my paintbrush and onto the canvas? People on Instagram and Facebook make these things look so easy. Ever heard of Bob Ross? Yeah. The canvas is now grey. Completely grey.

Eventually I decided I wasn’t blessed to continue so I placed everything on the porch where it has remained, untouched, for over a week now. As I write this, I realize I’m not upset with how things turned out. I’m not upset that there isn’t a beautifully painted picture, or that I spent the other day hungover, or even about not getting the job. Life is filled with so many moments and the more I dwell on the moments that “didn’t go according to plan,” the less time I’m spending thinking on the wonderful blessings that God has already provided. Our time is stolen from us when it is spent being anxious, being doubtful, and being full of worrisome thoughts.

 

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance
[to the full, till it overflows].
John 10:10 AMP

 

Jesus Christ came so that we may have a life more abundant! God takes care of all our needs. Now, I’m not sure why things don’t happen the way we plan, but I sure am thankful that God takes care of me time and time again. Yes, I’m still applying to jobs here and there, but I’m also determined to enjoy the process, being mindful about the transition I’m in, and knowing that my prayers will be answered in some way that glorifies God. When I try to understand the ins and outs of life all in one single moment it just overwhelms me. For now I’ll be sharing my journey with you one step at a time and maybe you’ll be able to relate on some level.

God loves you so much.

He has made you His child. The God of the universe has made rebellious, mistake-ridden people His children. You had a rough week and made a few mistakes? Have you been feeling unwanted lately? You are a child of God. You are a dearly loved child of God already. You are His. He hears you and He loves you.

 

Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called “children of God”—and that is not just what we are called, but what we are. Our heredity on the Godward side is no mere figure of speech—which explains why the world will no more recognise us than it recognised Christ.
Oh, dear children of mine (forgive the affection of an old man!), have you realised it? Here and now we are God’s children. We don’t know what we shall become in the future. We only know that, if reality were to break through, we should reflect his likeness, for we should see him as he really is!
Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, for he knows how pure Christ is.
1 John 3:1-3 J.B. Phillips

 

Spend some time with Father today. Share with Him those things that keep nagging at your mind’s door, and find peace in the moment. This moment is for you. You are God’s precious one. He hears you. He wants to care for you in a way only the Creator can care for His love child.

Lord, what can I do to grow as your child today?

If you’re looking for some studying material, check out the Christian Family Fellowship website. They have an abundance of teachings in their archives. I’m thinking about starting the Power of God Series! Also, there’s something about Tonia Shroyer’s teachings that speak to my heart.

Many blessings and an abundance of grace to you!
May God’s grace flourish in your day in all that you do.

 

 

 

 

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