Thursday, October 4, 2007

Warning: Complete Rambling of Thoughts Ahead

So I’m in a new season of life. A new one that involves me not knowing a lot of things, which normally would completely freak me out because I like to know the order of things—I’m a detail person if there’s ever been one—but now there’s no way of knowing. And for the first time it’s ok that I don’t know.
For those who maybe don’t know, I just graduated from Carolina (that’s North Carolina—go tarheels!) with my degree in Elementary Education, and a scholarship/loan that binds me to teaching in the state of North Carolina for 4 years as a way to pay back the amount of $26,000 that was granted upon my entrance into the Teaching Fellows Program. All of this is great, except that about a year and a half ago my heart started breaking…and not for the students in my class. Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE CHILDREN. (Otherwise I wouldn’t be working as nanny now! And just for the record, I want about 100 of them myself one day when that time comes.) But as I got further into my major, I realized that teaching was not a passion of mine. Sure I could do it, and I was sort of naturally good at it which made it harder to conceptualize that what I had just spent the last 3 years working towards, was not only something I didn’t want to do, or something I really felt called to do, but I also wasn’t reaching my full potential doing it. So what began as an 18 year old happy to accept a scholarship covering 1/2 of her tuition for college, had now turned into a 21 year old scared to death because she knew she not only had to tell her parents that in a few short years after graduation we might owe the state $26,000, but for the first time she was going to have to not only say she was trusting God with her life, but also DO IT.

So a year and a half later, here I sit. Graduated. Not in North Carolina, but in Tennessee. Nashville, TN. With a degree I don't feel called to use right now. And to be honest, scared out of my mind. Maybe scared isn’t the right word…but whatever the opposite of confident is. That’s what I am. Well, that’s what I’m feeling at the moment anyways.
Back in May, I went to a Beth Moore conference in Boone, NC and the Lord made it SO VERY CLEAR that I was headed the right place, and that this town was exactly where He wanted me for right now. And I had never felt more at peace without a plan. I still do because He has daily reminders and confirmations that I am in the place He has called me to. This is a season of growth and a clinic in trusting Him. But let me just be honest. It’s hard. And at times a bit lonely. I do have 3 roommates, but they are all in school—and we all remember how busy college is—the season of never-ending assignments and papers due at the most inopportune times. So sometimes I feel like I live in this huge house (that was a total God-send to us because the rent is unreal just one house in either direction, and for the size of this place, ours makes no sense…except to say GOD DID IT) alone because as of right now, almost 2 months after moving, I’m STILL job-searching. I am employed by the Nannies of Green Hills, but I’m still interviewing with families to find the one that’s right for me. I really feel like this could be a great opportunity to pour into a family and really make a difference in some kids’ lives, and so I don’t want to just take the first job that offers the most money. In the meantime, the Lord has totally provided with random temp. jobs and belated graduation money that showed up out of nowhere (today actually! PTL!)…but it just works on your heart to feel like you’re not moving forward.

Uh…sorry I feel like I’m rambling, I guess I have just needed to be honest and get out some things that I don’t feel like I can share with many people here. It’s hard to feel like you’re not moving forward, even if you are in the destination you’re supposed to be. My roommate gave me a piece of paper with a scripture on it the first week I moved here, and today I pulled it off the wall beside my bed to look at it again. This is what it said:

“But those who live to please the SPIRIT will harvest EVERLASTING LIFE from the spirit. So don’t get tired of doing what is good.. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for He WILL REAP A HARVEST of BLESSING at the APPROPRIATE TIME.” ~Galatians 6:8-9

I couldn’t help but think of this today as I was pretending to be pitiful watching Grey’s Anatomy on my bed. (ps…tv in my bedroom was probably the worst idea I ever had…between that, my computer, my books, and my ipod I could potentially never leave this room…much less the house) This scripture was a timely reminder for me today. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED AND GIVE UP, for HE WILL REAP A HARVEST OF BLESSING. I know the Lord is going to open doors and pave the way and show me exactly where and what to do. The part I always forget to cling to is the Last phrase… “He will reap a harvest AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME.” Appropriate time. Not when I think a “God-blessing” would fit well into my day, not the day that I’m feeling the worst or least confident, and not at all because of anything I will miraculously do to deserve it. In the mean time I’ve got to learn how to be better in the small things. Faithful in the valley…confident in my Jesus because He is worth me believing Him. He has never broken a promise to me, and I know He’s not going to start.
I am most definitely in a period of WAITING. And even now as I sit here typing, I’m reminded of the NIV version of the Psalm I just put up a few days ago…”I am still confident of this: I WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. WAIT for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the Lord.” (v 13-14)

Other places that I’ve received a timely blessing today…
“So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised…we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” ~Hebrews 10:35-36; 39

“But you, keep your head…endure hardship, do the work…discharge all the duties of your ministry.” ~2 Timothy 4:5

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” ~2 Peter 1:3

I know the passions that the Lord has placed on my heart to use for Him. I know them and I love them, and I am so excited for Him to continue to mold my passions to match His heart. But in a town like this where everybody is good at their gifts and talents (and I mean GOOD), is it hard to be sure of your own. But I know what the Lord has given me is to be used for Him, and when I get up from here I am pledging to stop being silly and trust His timing for the development of those things in me. One of my dearest friends sent me a card in the mail today (again, I don’t think a coincidence with all I’m thinking through tonight) with this quote on the front..

“To find your talents and nurture them, to imagine your dreams and live them, these are among life’s most precious gifts…Always remember that you are unique in your talents and abilities—so never be shy about the gifts you bring to a welcoming world.”

I’ve always been scared to be confident about the things I’m good at—worried that others will see it as cocky or showing off or something. But in a recent conversation with a friend of mine we concluded that if we are being HUMBLE and OBEDIENT to that which Christ has called us to, and we don’t use what we’ve been given to our fullest potential, we are selling ourselves and God short. He GAVE you your gifts and me mine, and by shying away from the very things we were meant to bless others with is with-holding that blessing that was meant to be given, and the joy of serving Christ that is meant to be ours.

I was again blessed by a portion of the Nashville commissioning that I needed to speak over myself (and I’m praying over each one of you as well)…so I’ll leave you with that. Sorry for writing so much…guess I needed an outlet more than I realized…and thanks to anyone who made it this far and is still “listening”. I love y’all…I really do.

“…No matter what awaits you
Or who doesn't believe you
You are at a crossroad
Don't miss God for the world!
Move past your offense
Forsake every stronghold
And go with God.
You are dearly loved
Completely forgiven
Deeply called
And thoroughly equipped
When you study God's Word!...”

22 comments:

Fran said...

Girl i'm coming back to you tomorrow....there is so much I want to say to encourage you but my brain is so tired right now. I want to give you a decent thought or two! :) I'm gonna come see you soon....i'm too dern close to you. Would that be completely freaky or what?? I've been where you are and know exactly how you feel.

God is faithful and true. Take Him at His Word. Did you do "Believing God?" If so, go back over some notes.....

anyway...i'm off to bed. I'll be back tomorrow.

I love ya siesta!

Lindsee said...

I mean seriously, are we sisters separated at birth or something?!

How come I never knew you were an education major? You know I am too, right? Graduating in May and been realizing for the last year or so I just don't know if I want to do this the rest of my life. Oh girl, it is a HARD place to be.

You are speaking MY heart and to my heart RIGHT NOW.

Love you!

Have fun with Shelly and give her a hug for me!

Linds

P.S. I might just be sending you an email. That is if your address is on facebook! :)

Lindsee said...

P.S. I like your new signature! ;)

Bev Brandon said...

Abby, I did read every word...was on my way to bed and felt prompted to look you up on the LPM blog and I hung on to every word to hear your heart, a beautiful heart for Him---Psalm 45:11 says your King is enthralled with your beauty and you so honor Him...it was so evident from your post that that is what you long for...and I think of Phil 3:15 that whatever attitude or things you need to think differently about, God will make that clear to you cause you are listening to Him. And Hosea 12:6 says you are waiting on Him not on any man, waiting on Him and expecting Him to do much. I am so excited about what your good God is doing and will do in you and through you. What a beautiful heart you have and it's so evident, so obvious. I'm going to pray for you and I think of Paul's words when he said --- may God fulfill every desire you have to do what is right, every desire for righteousness...you are absolutely so precious...your new friend who is committing to pray for you...I have 3 children who have all graduated this year and wanting to connect with their God and find Him just like you are...

Teri said...

You are precious and in His will. Kepp your chin up girl....I see nothing but good coming from your blog...he's got you!

jennyhope said...

Hey Abby. you are so adorable. I am so about to go and pray for you and girl not w the same circumstances but in so many ways I can relate to you right now. Your faith will become sight girl! I know your fears though! be stong and very courageous! Josh 1. The Lord goes before you and behind you. I love that He is there in our tomorrow!!

Profbaugh said...

Abby,

I'm completely speechless right now (not an easy thing for mr)! I had NOT read your post before I e-mailed you tonight--just felt compelled by the LORD to do so.

Know that the LORD is answering your prayers and honoring your obedience.

Stay strong, my Siesta. And keep singing a new song.

Love ya,
~Cheryl

Patty said...

I was touched by reading your thoughts today. I am proud of you as if you were my own child. You have taken a step of faith and truly went where God said to go without further instruction.
God blesses obedience! Your heart sounds like it's with music and I believe God will culitvate that desire and open doors for you in that area. I pray that God will give you a Christian family to work with as their nanny. God has been teaching me how He is the Light of the World. I wrote a post on it. He is going to give you enough light for each step you take. He will illuminate your steps and direct you to His calling and plan and purpose He has ordained for you!! Read Is. 30:21. If you ever need anything, prayer, whatever, you better let me know. I do have friends in Nashville. God may be calling us to Nashville. I am waiting on His direction. Now wouldn't that be fun?! Something funny, the pic of you and Shelly in your sidebar, if you look closely there is a girl sitting behind you in a pink shirt, that is my spiritual daughter Georgia. That was the day we sat behind you and I got to meet you and hug your neck. Next time, we are getting a picture together! Now, I am asking God right now for this weekend to give you a BIG Delight, something that could only come from HIM!!
Love You,
Patty

Bev Brandon said...

I love your childlike faith Abby. Thanks for the comment. I just went back and added to my post this thought as I woke this a.m.---am I self obsessed or God obsessed as I face this moment---because for my current dilemma, I was caring way too much about connecting with other people and how they came across to me and what they were doing to me rather than allowing them to touch my soul and touching theirs...oh my, praying for you to live a God obsessed day today as you find Him with that childlike faith you have that Jesus talks about in Matthew 9:12,13--He has come for Abby and desires mercy not sacrifice...as you know it's not about doing but being and you are...thanks for stopping by...have a great weekend my dear...you are so precious

BethAnne said...

Girl, you just keep following His lead and you cannot go wrong! Sometimes life seems like a puzzle you just cant find all the pieces to. But God has every little piece and He is putting them together for you right now even though you cant see the outcome - it will be AWESOME because you are trusting Him. Keep on plugging and He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. I have so been where you are --- I havent always trusted and obeyed Him and many times I have gone my own way. You are smart to let His Spirit lead you...........

Amy Kate said...

Ok I don't have anything really great to say to you but I did want you to know that I've been there, former education major and all. Sometimes the Lord takes us from what we thought were our dreams and kind of clears out those files so that He can fill them with something greater. However, know that no moment of our lives are spent wasted, sometimes God lets us do what we think we want for awhile and in that time He starts to change us into who He wants us to be. Sometimes he takes us to places and asks us to do "nothing" so that we can know Him better, but don't worry He won't leave you jobless and directionless forever. Thanks for sharing this, it encourages me so much to see God taking people like me and using them!

jennyhope said...

bethie is so cute. I think u kind of favor in that pic. LOL! I am jealous! he he :) not really. hope you are having a wonderful day abby. you have gotten to my heart with your love for the Lord. It is amazing the bonds that us blogging (golden girl) siestas have in Jesus.

Jennifer said...

Found you through Tara today, just came over for a look-see, and I did enjoy reading. Your transparency is refreshing. Your story so far reminds me a lot of my younger sister, whose life has not gone exactly as she always dreamed it would... it has been good, but things have come late or not at all... and she, too, is learning to trust and wait and be content. We who love her are also learning right along with her. So, in that way I can empathize with your experiences.

And, by the way, the verse you used in your header is just about my favorite verse in the Bible! That got my attention fast! Not many people notice it, and that's unfortunate, because it's amazing in its powerful brevity.

Nice to meet you!
Jen

The Millsaps said...

Abby-
I found your blog through LPM and just wanted to let you know your post today really touched me. I live in the Nashville area and would love to meet you sometime. I am going to pray for you as I think if we are honest with ourselves we have all been in the exact same spot you are right now. Keep holding on and He will not disappoint.
Blessings!!
Rachel

CrownLaidDown said...

Praying for you Abby. Praying for your strength to wait and your heart to fill with UNEXPLAINABLE joy!

I know He is guiding and guarding you, sweet Abby.

May you be held until He ushers in the next phase...
Love in Him,
Holly

Alana said...

Abby, you are wise beyond your years. I have been where you are at. And you are right, God will see you through in His time. And it is HARD to wait. But when His will comes to fruition, it will be so much better than you imagined!

Wish I was in Nashville and could afford a nanny. I'd hire you in a heartbeat ;-)

ImPerfect said...

Goodness, it seems like me and you are kind of going through the same thing when it comes to knowing what God wants us to do in life. I am majoring in music education/voice but know God wants me to do something in the music ministry. I don't really want to or feel called to be a teacher, yet I'm working my tail off right now for my degree. I'm also in need of a job majorly bad!!! I also feel like a highschool student all over again, worrying about transfering and auditoning for UNCG! But enough about me. Hope everything works out for you, I know they will!

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Hey girlie:)

I didn't know you were an education major.

Ya know, I have to tell you, I don't feel really for teaching either, but I feel passionate about God wanting me to do it, and I am not so bad at it lol.

Something someone asked Billy Graham once about being called, how to know when you're called...

if you can just get up and leave it...then you're not.

it's strange, but I couldn't leave my goal in teaching, I love it, it puts something in my heart and fulfils it with blessing more than most things can..

I mean I want to go to seminary too, but I know for sure that has to wait.

I know this is God's desire for me to do, so I'll make my desires His.
Always just follow His heart girl.

You'll never go wrong. I am so proud of you!

Your Siesta In Christ,

Angelina Bumbellina:)

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Oh sweet Abby! I wish I could put your face in my hands and look you in the eyes! I know exactly how you feel. God moved our family one year ago. Shortly after the move, our life was turned upside down. The job my husband had moved for was gone and we were left in a new city, new house, new church, with no income! BUT, God has showed Himself so faithful. HE has shown up and showed off so many times. I wouldn't trade this time for anything. Now, my man is in his dream job and God has opened the door for me to minister with a group called "Freedom's Call". (They do women's conferences..) I say all that to say, sometimes God has to physically take you away from what seems sensible to prepare you for the plans He has for you. Keep haning on to His words and promises.

Anticipating Him with you!
steph.

sorry to be so wordy!!!

BPG said...

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her WILL be accomplished. Luke 1:45
Hang on to His promises!
BPG

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