A Crossroads on a Precipice

We all make plans. Even those of us who like to shoot from the hip and make rash decisions, ultimately make plans. I think it’s built into our DNA to plan for the day and our lives.

I probably like to plan a little more than my average friend. I like to know where I am going and how long it might take. Throughout the last few years I have had a plan of where I think I’ll end up in the long run. Chaplain in a hospital. It’s why I thought I went and got my Master’s, it’s what I’ve seen myself doing for quite awhile.

Now, it seems as if God is starting to reveal a different plan.

When we get so caught up in our little charts of how our lives will go, we tend to lose the awareness of how God is doing his own planning. Right now, God is removing my blinders.

I have made the decision that I will be going to the first ever Joni and Friends’ Global Access Conference and I think I’ll get a better grip on where I’ll go from there.

To be honest, the idea of change scares me too death. I hate the idea of failure. I’ve had so many of shakes with failure in school, even though I was able to surpass that thanks to God. The idea of possibly walking away from a solid job to do a ministry that doesn’t pay? The idea of trusting God to provide financial care?

Nope, no reason to to be worried.

So I continue to pray and ask that God reminds me continually that the only thing I need to be concerned about is doing God’s will. Right now, I am continuing to work as I get ready for February’s Conference and spending more time on my knees as I wait for God to show me the rest of the road before me.

I’m stepping onto the crossroads on the precipice. Indiana Jones’s style, the crossroads- well, bridge- is invisible, and it’s got to be in trust and faith Indy

that I make that first step. It’ll be a doozy, but I know it will ultimately be worth it. Just got to force my foot to move first.

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And as always, prayers are desired as I make that step. 🙂

Check out this amazing conference that will be held in California! Global Access Conference

7 years later…and the questions that come

For seven years I was on the same campus. Through my bachelor’s degree and then through my master’s, I walked the same grounds, sat in the same classrooms. Not only did I go to school on that campus, I worked on it, and lived on it.
For the first time, I do not know what is going to happen in the Fall. Am I scared? Oh, yes.
Do I have any clue on where I am going to be living, be working, or where I am going to be serving? No.
I am eager to see where I will be, but admittedly, I am afraid of what is going to happen.
I always like to have a plan. I like to know roughly what is going to happen when. So being on this darkened road, where I don’t know what is around the corner, there is uncertainty.
I have to do CPEs still- Clinical Pastoral Education (basically an intense internship at a hospital). I need to do a minimum of two units, but need to think more of doing four for a better chance at a job. It costs money to even put in your application without the surety of getting a spot. Then there is the tuition on top of that.  I’m concerned, considering I don’t even have a job at the moment.
I have heard the internship described as a boot-camp for chaplains. It’s a place where multi-faiths and multi-cultures come together and dissect what we do, when we do it, and how we do it. So it is not just others of your own belief system debating what we should say, but from all walks of life. Also, just because you are a chaplain does not mean you  have the go-ahead to talk about your faith openly.
First of all, I am excited about being in forced interaction with other faiths. I believe that there is something that can be learned from any person on this earth if you are just willing to be taught. It does not mean that I will accept their theology, but perhaps I can learn how to be more focused in my spiritual life, or more caring, by talking with those who follow other doctrines.
Secondly, I am glad to have this chance to be in a ‘safe’ zone in some ways, that I won’t just be tossed in a hospital and expected to swim. I can just imagine how much damage I would cause.
Thirdly, I am terrified. I have spent the last seven years on a campus where the professors, the staff, and the students, have poured into each other with love and encouragement. I have had struggles with difficult personalities, yes, but I knew that when I looked at someone on that campus, I was looking at a fellow sister or brother in the Christ we follow. So to be in an arena where you do not know how things are going to happen, how people will react to the way you minister, or your faith, is scary. To be at the point where this internship will either make you or break you in the career that you have worked so hard for- terrifying.
So here I am. Seven years of paper cuts, sweat, tears, smiles, and prayers, have come to a cap and gown with a weird Master’s hood and the beginning of a journey. I do not know if God is guiding me to start my CPE right now, or to work for a bit so I can have some money to live off of. I am unaware of what is around the darken corner on this road, but I do know God is in control. I am putting myself fully in his hands as I look at CPEs and jobs, because I know his plans for me are so much bigger than anything I can attempt to come up with. I have until August to know for sure, because that is when my apartment lease is up. Will I continue to live with my roomie because I found a job (or a CPE position)? Or will I move back to my parents to commute to a hospital?
This August, for sure, I will be volunteering for a week at a Joni and Friends family retreat. So maybe I will make some awesome connections there that will be sending me somewhere totally different?
In Spring, I will be back at my campus, but this time to be a co-teacher with the Dean of the Seminary, on my Biblical Perspectives of Disability class. Seven years of working on that paper is finally coming to an actual class, hopefully a lot of people will come. So maybe I’m not done with the school yet, maybe God still wants me to be involved? I do not know.
A lot of questions, a lot of prayers, a lot of uncertainty, and praying for more trust. God is in control. I trust that God has only the best plans for me, because he will not lead me somewhere to only abandon me. For the last seven years I have lived in faith, and in faith I will step out while God unfolds the journey before me. But, in that faith, I still covet your prayers, because having someone pray for me is always good.
We’ll see what happens this summer and how God works. I know it will be amazing.

Letting God guide

Letting go of a sure thing for something that is not set in stone is so scary!
I was led to make the decision to leave my job of 6 years on campus to find another job. I was also led to finally move off of campus after those same 6 years, to make a home with a former roommate where I can actually start to feel like a real adult. 🙂
I moved home for the summer to do an internship for three months and find work for three months. Both of which are unknown and I need to find before the first of June.
I also have no apartment (my roommate and I are looking into this still) and no new job to go to in August.
But, I’m not panicky. I get momentary stress, but ultimately I have this peace that is hard to explain.
In the last 6 years, when I thought about changing jobs or moving off of campus, I got worried. I actually started to have panic attacks twice. I was where God wanted me to be at that time. I had thoughts that I could take control of my life, when I had allowed God to have that power, and I was reminded about that aspect before I made a mistake that I would regret.
This time, at the end of the semester I let my boss know that I wouldn’t becoming back for Fall, and I felt eager. Eager to see what the next step is. Eager for the chance to get out there among non-campus people and see how God is moving to bring people to Him.
The idea of living off of campus is the same thing. Of becoming neighbors with all types of people and living out my faith so that people might become curious of the God I worship.
I made the choice to let God guide me where He wanted me to go. I decided that I wanted to be fully invested in His plan for the world, and for His plan for me– to do so I have to allow him to guide me in all aspects of life, not just the big moments.
It’s hard to remind myself sometimes to wait for the guidance that I know is there. It’s a lesson of trust. Sometimes I succeed in waiting for that guidance, sometimes I fail. At this moment? I think I’m succeeding. I have a possible internship and a possible job.
But prayers are always sought after! 🙂 God’s got a plan for me, I know that, but He also shows me the way by people who pray for me. How thankful I am once again for fellow believers!
How are you doing with letting God guide you in your life?
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