What a beautiful, freeing word! A chance to get away from the crazy of everyday life and do something new or relaxing. By the end of April I needed a trip and I was about to get it. Two of my college best friends were out in Nebraska and I hadn’t seen them in five years or had met their cute little girl, so I made arrangements and headed out to see them at the end of April. Now you need to understand something. This was just a trip – a vacation. Nothing more or less. And as I type this for you I can hear God chuckling like he probably was while I was traveling there.
See, what I haven’t mentioned yet, was I was applying to a bunch of different churches who had youth ministry positions open but was getting nowhere. The only one that I was still in process with was a church out in Pennsylvania, but it was a very slow process. Even though I was talking to this church, I really wanted to stay in Indiana or if I absolutely had to move – Florida. Except none of it was working out, so I decided while I was in Nebraska, I would put that stress to the side and enjoy being with my friends.
It was the best four days! Other than them having a child, it was like we fell back into our old rhythms again together. Have you ever had one of those friendships where no matter how long it has been since you hung out with them, once you’re together it is like there has been no time in between visits? Yeah, we were like that. They showed me the city, I visited their church, and we just hung out. It was so refreshing. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would love Lincoln, NE. I mean it is Nebraska! Who likes Nebraska unless you were born here?! (Don’t get me wrong…I feel the same way about Indiana.)
But there was something about this place that drew me in. I mean having Holly and Ralph here was a bonus, but it was more than that. After my trip though I shrugged it off because they had a youth director and I was not wanting to really leave my family. When I returned, I did what I did after Passion – returned to normal life, except both my roommates at the time were going to be getting married in the fall so I had to figure out where I was going to live after our lease was up in June. I thought maybe I would be through the process with PA, but I still was going through stages with them when I moved out of that house and moved in with my parents. That was June 30th.
July 1st, God opened the door.
Ralph and I were going back and forth on Facebook about me moving to NE and I jokingly said I need a job to do that. Not long after that comment I received a Facebook message from the senior pastor’s wife telling me that they would love to sit down and chat about me coming out and working for them. I remember my jaw hitting the floor as a weird and peaceful wave swept over me.
Have you ever had a moment where you know that this was right? As I read her words, I had that moment. I knew in my heart that God had just given me the answer to all my pleading prayers about next steps and as I wrote back to her, I wasn’t just writing it to her, but it was also a message of surrender to God. I wasn’t going to fight the peace I was feeling just because it wasn’t what I was expecting.
God’s plan isn’t always what we are expecting. Look at the life of Joseph. God gives him these dreams of how his family is going to bow to him one day. Do you think he actually thought he would have to be sold by his brothers and sent to prison for years for something he never did to get to a place where the dreams actually came true? Probably not.
We have to surrender. I will be going into more detail on surrender in another post of this story, but this was my first step. Sometimes you need to just take the first step and surrender, because you never know what voyage God is going to take you on out in his relentless waters.
So, what do you need to surrender today? If you don’t know spend some time in prayer and ask. I bet if you do he will start to reveal (slowly or quickly) something he has for you.