This week, I re-read my post on being in limbo, and I had to chuckle to myself because of everything that has happened since then.
When I got back from Europe about a month ago, my bosses announced that my job will soon be based out of a different city – over an hour away from my house (in no traffic, so it would be an even longer commute during my normal traffic times).
After the craziness of planning/coordinating two weddings back-to-back and a Europe trip on their heels, all I really wanted to do was be settled down. I just wanted to put my feet up, work on my Blithe Book, and start putting money back into my savings account.
God, though, had other plans. When my bosses made their decision, I knew I had one to make as well – do I move closer to work to keep my job and miss out on the life I’ve built for myself in El Cajon? Or do I find a new job to keep my church and miss out on my accrued vacation days and everything else?
After about a month of soul-searching, dramatic conversations with my mom, less-dramatic conversations with the leaders of my church, and nearly constant weighing of my options, I decided to move (with my current roommate) closer to work. Which means I’ll be leaving the church that captured my heart the moment I walked in three years ago. Which also means I have to pack up my apartment AND my office. At the same time. Yippee.
The soul-searching has been good, if rough at times. I’ve noticed that through the emotional journey of the past month, I’ve been tempted to believe several lies.
Lie 1: I shouldn’t have to go through the process of finding a new church without a husband to be my leader and ask all the right questions to make sure I’m taken care of.
I know, this is kind of lame; but for a few days, I totally resented that my roommate and I had to be big girls and ask all the right questions of people at the new churches we were visiting. I was a teensy bit bitter about not having a spiritual leader like God calls husbands to be (Ephesians 5:22-23).
When I realized what I was resentful of, I took my concerns to Jesus, and He reminded me that I’m never without a spiritual leader when I have Him. Because of His death on the cross in my place and His subsequent resurrection (I Corinthians 15:3-4), God has set Him on the highest of thrones to rule over everything (Philippians 2:9-11) – even my search for a new church. On top of that, I was also able to turn to my Bible study leaders and my pastor to ask questions and gain wise counsel. This experience has also provided opportunities for my roommate and me to pray together instead of just separately.
Lie 2: I don’t deserve to have to make this decision (whether to change churches or change jobs); rather, I deserve a break after the craziness of the past 10 or so months.
Less than a week after getting back from Europe, before I’d even had time to decompress from the stress of jumping straight back into work, I was thrown the curveball of my job relocation. What had I done to deserve that?!
I’ve written about this before, but I actually don’t deserve anything good – not from God, not from life. I’m a sinner, in desperate need of someone to save me from the death and wages I deserved. God provided that Savior (Jesus, Who took my punishment), and He didn’t even stop there! When I die, I’m going to a permanent, everlasting home in heaven.
And He didn’t even stop THERE! The very fact that I have a church I love AND a job I love is proof that He’s lavished me with gifts that are quite the opposite what I deserve from Him because of my sin.
Lie 3: If I tell God “no” emphatically enough for long enough, He’ll totally give me my way.
With my earthly dad, if I state loudly and longly enough what I want (or don’t want), I usually get my way. If I tell God “no” loudly and longly enough, it should work the same, right? In the past few months, I’ve told God, “I’m not leaving my church,” “I’m not going to be forced to move because of my job ever again,” and “No way am I working out of the other office in that other city.”
I know my readers can’t see my rueful grin as I write this, but I’m shaking my head at myself because I KNOW better. Every time in my whole life I’ve ever told God an unequivocal “NO,” He has changed my mind and shown me Who is boss. Now, in less than a month, I’m going to leave my church, move because of my job, and work out of the other office of my company. Nice one, Charity.
Lie 4: God’s timing is awful.
Every time something happens in the “wrong” order; when I get bogged down in thinking about my savings account and the big move and how I need to put money into my car; in the times things don’t happen exactly as I planned for them to happen – I tend to think that God maybe could have worked things out better, since He IS, after all, omnipotent (all-powerful) (Job 42:2).
But I’ve had to cling desperately to the truth that God, as the Author of Time, never makes things happen in the wrong order or at the wrong time. When I see God as the perfect, all-powerful Author and Creator of time itself, I can notice the kindness of God in many ways:
- This happened after the weddings and Europe, not before.
- I had just been gallivanting the globe, so I was a bit more restless and ready to make a major life change.
- Our lease was expiring on our apartment this month anyway, so we didn’t have to stress about a 30-day notice.
- Our new third roommate was planning to move into a new place at exactly the same time we are now moving out.
- I never found a house to buy in the area where we are leaving, so I’m not tied down to a location.
The more I look at my circumstances, the more I have to call my mom and have her calm me down.
But the more I look to Jesus, the more I see His kindness in my circumstances. I mean, just giving me a roommate who is willing to move with me to a new city – that’s HUGE! But to also provide a new church, a better apartment for less than we’re paying now, and a job less than a mile from the beach – that brings me to tears and awe of the grace of God.
As good as all that is, though, I know that I will have days when I miss my current church; when my roommate and I will argue; when my new job situation will seem like a drag; when our new place will have problems. As good as my prospects are right now, and as excited as I am for a new season in life, my eternal prospects are even better.
Because of Jesus. All because of Him. The gift of Him is better than the gift of an apartment five miles from the ocean. He’s better than a great roommate. And He’s ultimately so much more satisfying than a job.
Now excuse me while I go label some more boxes.