"I thought I was over that." Have you ever found yourself saying that before? I found myself saying it after a recent conversation I had with some new friends where I suddenly realized I was lying to myself and was not over something that I kept trying telling I was. It was blatantly obvious too as I sat there and blabbed away at how I had been so disrespected and it was just too competitive and hard to find someone willing to pay me to do what I do. I resented the success of others, of those who didn't give me notice...so who did I think I was kidding? Sadly the only fool in the room was me.
In my statements it was clear I was still snarling at others in my past as I sat there licking old wounds. That is exactly the picture I got of how I sounded as I heard myself share how I gave up a dream of a career path after it became such a frustration with door after door closing, of others who were "someone" getting all the business and God was not blessing anything I did along that path. I cringe to even write about how I felt, it hurts to clean this wound and get all the gunk out so it can heal.
I struggled with things in part because I am obviously gifted in many aspects of that career path and have a natural affinity for the subject of it. I was not at all prepared for God's plans to not marry with my vision of where I was going. Not prepared for Him to stop me cold in my tracks with disablitity that has brought huge refining in my life. God sees something deeper, more profound in me that He wants to bring out and use. My holding on to the past and licking my wounds does me no good towards being able to see what God wants me to do either. Honestly I didn't think I was terribly stubborn about this but evidently I was more than I though and my holding on to this junk makes that pretty clear I've been resistant to letting go of my dream, something He wants to fully surrender to His will.
What I was sharing about in that conversation last night was how I had applied for a dream job that looked like a total "God thing" but ended in devastation and disillusionment. This job opening looked like they had taken every area I had worked and volunteered in and designed the job specifically for me, right down to it the applicant not needing a college degree. It would have paid more than I have ever made, had benefits better than anything I have ever had and sorely needed and the no college degree item was the jerk of the pole that set the hook in my mouth and led me to believe it was from God. Presumption is such a trap that way. I jumped in with both feet on this one and as it turned out I was not called in for an interview, was not even thanked for applying but only given a short letter stating the job was filled. WHAT!? Not even a nod to my skills and a thank you? Why how dare they! Self righteously I stated I would never work for someone who treated applicants who took the time to properly apply as I did. Why of all the nerve! I mean how could they be so cold when I had even sought counsel on how to write that resume and had help editing it until it was clear I was more than qualified. But it wasn't them that closed the door, it was God.
I had honestly wished I hadn't say a word to anyone after it all came down as everyone was as shocked as I was and only fueled the first of disappointment and frustration over the whole ordeal. And since then I have found myself battling with resentments and being more jaded than ever about ever being able succeed in that industry so I tossed in the towel and have sat pouting about it ever since...though on the outside it isn't always evident. God has seen it though and said "That's enough of that! It's time for a little attitude adjustment my dear girl". This jaded, pouting, resentful attitude did not speak well of my trust of God and my so called desire to follow Him and He was done with it all. So was I really but as happens so often, change sometimes takes time and a nudge from God before it happens. Thankfully, God doesn't want to leave me here but wants better for me, in spirit and in my life.
After the conversation and God's little tap on my shoulder, I began to think about all I was feeling and why. Why am I struggling so? Why, if I know that God has something better, am I even holding court with any resentment towards anyone or feeling sorry for myself? Having such a cold response to that application was basically getting no acknowledgement for something I had given my life to as a career I was quite passionate about and had placed a lot of hope in, so didn't I have the right to feel that way? You might think so but I don't. Those feelings goes back to that old gnarly root of feeling the need for validation from man which ruled my entire life for decades. I thought I had gotten over that too back when I realized the work of Christ on the cross, that shed blood, had removed all my guilt and His love filled me up so much I wasn't striving for validation any longer. Well, evidently there was some root left that God made clear to me was trying to again take root and needed ousting. But I am not discouraged.
These old roots of resentments tug at my heart, skew my perspective and misguide the trajectory of my life as I try to move forward in God's will. My aim will be a bit off if I don't cut them away and let them fall to the side and will hinder me when I move to take steps forward into what God has for me. They will color how I see situations and affect my relationships for the rest of my life and I don't that! I want to see things the way God wants me to, have His truth do the affecting of those relationships and follow freely His lead...step by solid step in faith and trust.
God relishes my trust but I am not trusting if I am still feeling resentment, self pitty and putting the blame on others for something He actually did. He was the one who kept closing the doors, even withdrew His blessings in related non-work applications of this doing all He could to get me to stop and change course. Yup...it wasn't those evil HR people, it was God trying to get me to stay on His path for my life. And those old resentments needed to go for they kept me lashed to that past experience and on the path of my own will as I refused to surrender them to the Lord.
It is not so easy to let go of that future I had planned out as I thought it was; it's even a little heartbreaking. It's hard to not put all this up into God's face, all the hours and energy invested and the fact that I have a natural gifting for it. Hard not to say why did you allow me to like this so much that my heart is sick from hope deferred. Then I hear God ask "Where is your hope really?" and I am undone again. God said "No, I have something better." Even I understand this truth it's still at times hard to not fall into rehearsing that hurt and talk about that frustration I feel. But the Lord understands and is patient.
When people ask me what I do that's when it is hardest because I want so badly to be doing something but what I was planning on and had worked so hard for was denied me and now I am doing nothing. Because of the change of my life's trajectory God brought forth I keep saying I am having to reinvent myself but that is really not true at all. What I am trying to do is figure out how to follow God's path for my life which means finding what His will is for me in what I do with my gifts and talents. I keep tripping myself up with things I need to let go of and feel like I can't get my legs under me and feeling frustrated for the lack of forward motion in my life. This is what the reinvention for this Christ follower is really all about. Reinvention is about restoring order in my spiritual life first and about creating that attitude within me that will not listen to every fickle whim of my heart and busy creative mind that at present has no real focus when it comes to career, at least non that is viable yet.. It's about creating that heart within me that will not run like the wind into what "seems" right and instead sit quietly waiting for Him to say go do this. Creating that heart of peace and restedness that comes from complete and utter trust in God's will and purpose for my life. O Lord, have mercy and help me get this one right.
Finally, I encourage you to take time to read Proverbs 16...the entire passage and do it prayerfully. It doesn't take but a couple minutes at most and there is a lot in there relating to what I have shared here and more that we need to be reminded of. I hope and pray that God will bless the reading of His word to your life. Living a surrendered life is an amazing thing.
Copyright © 2013 by Patty Hicks
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