Thursday, January 24, 2008

Running the Maiden Race

“The Lord foils the plans … of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” ~Psalm 33:10-11

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” ~Jeremiah 29:11

Guilt. That was the predominant emotion when this whole thing exploded. Oddly enough, it even trumped “humiliating” for the most part. I knew that God was leading us to this mission, and now, thanks to my stubbornness (at least the way I saw it), I was single-handedly causing (at best) a lengthy delay in getting to the field. My dear husband tried to reassure me that it was okay, probably even better this way, but I was horrified to be the fountainhead of such an impediment.

So it was with much desperation that I asked, “If our counselor says we are better before a year is up, can we come back, or do we have to wait a whole year no matter what?” They assured me that we could come back early. Though I had no idea how loaded those words were, it did provide encouragement to get help, get it quick, and “get this thing over with.” Yeah, as if spending time in the healing hands of Almighty God is something to complete ASAP. My priorities were a just a little out of whack.

Less than a year into counseling, the counselor said were were doing great and she was ready to sign off on us. We initiated the process to have our case reviewed. Short story from that point (the long story is burdened with laborious details better left alone), it was another nine months before the decision was finally returned. The whole time we were pregnant with anticipation, though perhaps growing weary from feeling kicked in the ribs.

We prayed that God’s will would be reflected in their decision, and while we can now say it was, it didn’t make their words any easier to digest.

“We would like for you to submit your resignation.”

Yes, they had their reasons, and their expectations, should we want to try again later. But, I felt misunderstood, to say the least. They didn’t really know us. They had no idea how faithfully God had worked and healed and restored us over the last year and a half. We tried to express it, and I think they heard what we were saying, but still, what could we do? If we didn’t resign they would just fire us, probably. How pathetic to be “fired” from a “job” you have never even had the chance to do. I felt humiliated all over again, but I didn’t feel guilty. We had done what we knew we were supposed to do.

Over the next year and a half, we continued to seek God’s direction in this. We truly felt, and had from the beginning, that God was leading us to this organization. We explored other options, but none plucked the chords of our hearts, so still we remained focused on the possibility of returning. Though my husband had originally planned to go as a counselor for missionaries, in the muddiness of this process, the shoes of his basic passion for counseling had been sucked from his feet. (No offense to our counselors, of course.)

In the summer and fall of 2006, he took some courses at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL), a required step for translators. I thought, for sure, that would be it - after all, he loves languages! But, no, it wasn’t, so while there, he began to network and explore other possibilities. What other positions was he qualified for or could he be trained to do?

I will never forget the day he figured it out. He came home so excited.

They have this thing called Member Care. It’s kind of a cross between administration and counseling, except it’s not really clinical counseling. Just kind of helping people – you know, debriefings, crisis management, coordinating meals for sick people, ….

While I listened, he described the mold he had been created to fill. My mind flashed back to the words of the committee,

“We would like for you to submit your resignation,”

which we had long ago come to recognize as the words of God … just as we’d prayed for, of course. Oh, my – what could God have done if we’d chosen to retain a rebellious, frustrated spirit? What a dead track that would have been. Thank you, Father, for helping us lay aside our personal desires and allow you to choose our post position.

And with that, the starting gate flew open …

1 comment :

  1. Reminds me of a little card I have framed and sitting next to my computer:

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

    Not a religious quote, but it sure spoke to me! It's one of the reasons I'm starting grad school this year! :-)


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