A few months ago, in my mom’s bible study group, we began reading and studying Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes”. I was so excited about this book, because with 3 young kids you learn quickly that unless you want to literally go insane, you cannot possibly say YES to all the things you WANT to say yes to. You have to have priorities and limits and schedules. But I for one have had issues in saying “no.”
Sometimes it’s because I want to look good.
Sometimes it’s because it’s an activity or event I feel strongly about.
Sometimes I just don’t want to be left out.
Most times I just want to help.
Long story short, this book helped eliminate any guilt I had in giving “no” answers when necessary, and how to find and pursue God’s “Best Yes” for my life. Well there I was going along and thinking to myself, “Finally I am getting in a groove where I feel like I’m managing everything really well.”
Well of course as soon as you think something like that, something’s bound to change.
A friend approached me about a small, part-time, paid position at my church. My initial reaction was, “As much as I’d love to, I’m being really careful about taking on too many new things right now.”
And then I began the interview process.
I watched a series of training videos that explained the roles of this particular position.
And I felt really strongly that God had been preparing me for this for a long time.
So, I continued through the interview process and I have to tell you: God gets all the glory for this. I don’t think I could’ve done it of my own accord at all. You know there’s a verse that says God goes before us and behind us (Isaiah 52:12)? Well he definitely proved that verse true. Why don’t I think I ‘earned’ this position of my own merit, you ask?
I was asked to tell of a time when I felt like things were really tough and I wanted to quit.
Do you know that I answered that actual, grown-up, real job interview question by talking about learning to ride my bike as a child? Yes, instead of using a real-life, grown-up situation where I felt discouraged and wanted to quit, I talked about learning to ride a bike. And trust me, there have been plenty of those times when working in the restaurant industry. Or being a mom. Or a wife. Or cleaning my house! But I decided learning to ride my bike was the best answer.
Maybe it doesn’t seem so outrageous written like that. But I left that part of the interview feeling like I had blown it for sure.
The devil will play funny tricks with your thoughts if you let him.
When my friend approached me and recommended me for this position, she said “I would love to see God surprise you.” And that He has!
There are several prayers that I’ve prayed over the past 5+ years that I knew would take time. They’re the kind of prayers that take time just by the nature of the request. For example, for me to have close, Godly Christian mommy friends who I can DO LIFE WITH. Relationships don’t pop up overnight. So I prayed, trusted that God would answer when the time was right, kept an expectant attitude always searching to see who around me could be that next Christian mommy friend, and waited. I kind of put that prayer, along with several others, up on the shelf for awhile.
And in this ONE thing, He has not only pulled those prayers off the shelf, but surpassed my expectations of what He ever would have done! Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Exceedingly abundantly. Yes, He did do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that I could have ever thought to ask for on my own.
And not only that – because answering one heartfelt prayer is enough in itself – but He also answered several of those prayers in this ONE thing. And even some things that I don’t even remember specifically praying for. They were just quiet, aching desires of my heart. And God knows my heart. How thankful I am that He takes the time to know my heart! Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
At the same time, He has shown me a completely separate opportunity that is flourishing and solves a scheduling issue I knew would have to be dealt with in the next few years. Working nights at a restaurant has been perfect for me and my family up until this year when A went to full day school, and started dancing with her dance company two nights a week. This means I was only home 2 nights a week. That’s rough. I realized this situation would not work for much longer. I want to be home with my kids at night. Be able to attend their activities. Help them with homework. Read and pray every night before bed. Our current schedules and commitments wouldn’t allow that. But God has dropped an opportunity in my lap that I can’t deny will solve this problem before it becomes a bigger one.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
In Joshua 1:3 God promises He will give us “every place where you set your foot…”
There was a season of life (not so very long ago) in which I felt I wanted to do more to help others and advance God’s kingdom. But that particular season of life didn’t allow that to look the way I thought it should. So I just did my best to “bloom where I was planted” as they say, taking delight in the Lord whenever and wherever possible.
Now check out this verse from 2 Chronicles 20: “…Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…”
The Lord our God hears our prayers. Even when it looks like nothing is happening, there is always something going on in the spiritual realm. Stand firm and hold your position. Watch for what God is going to do. He will exceed your expectations in a way that, all at once, makes you feel unworthy, grateful, blessed, and so thankful that He cares about YOU. His love, grace, and blessings are overwhelming.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. – John 15:16