Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We've Come This Far By Faith

Three weeks ago, as Chad and I pulled away from Amarillo my heart was broken. There is a particular kind of hurt when leaving a place of ministry. I struggled with feeling like we had done something wrong, like we had sinned against God and were being punished. Or maybe I was never really called to serve in full time mission work in the first place. Maybe we were both just doing what came naturally and easily to us.

In my disgust I declared to the dash board how I'd never put my life in the hands of another church, pastor, congregation or ministry. After all, we had served for seven years with our whole heart. Even while I was in college I was putting in time in Tulia ministering to children. It was my time to live a normal life!

So, even before our feet hit the red Oklahoma dirt, Chad and I were both lined out with job interviews and prospects. Some of the jobs sounded more fun than others, all of them pay in American money. Honest work is good enough for me!

We took turns descending on the town with resumes in hand. Responding to adds and applying online. Chad found work quickly and leaving me resigned to take a less fulfilling job just to make up the extra income.

With the Sunday classifieds in hand I started out driving all the way across town to a school who was hiring pre-school teachers. I have no concept of where things are in relation to where we are living. When I mapped this school it looked like it was just a few minutes away.

Thirty minutes later I ended up at this run down looking day care center located right in front of the highway. The back playground equipment was encircled with yellow caution tape. All three of our children were with me and I almost didn't go in. However, the gas was spent to get here and I felt obligated to at least leave a resume. Ruby had fallen asleep, so I parked the car right in front of the door where I could keep my eyes on them.

The lady at the front desk wanted to interview me on the spot. She gave me an application so I took it to the car to fill it out. By then, Ruby was awake and I decided since I'm applying for a child care job it's not a good idea to leave my own children in the car by themselves. That meant taking all three children in with me for the job interview.

They behaved nicely and the lady was really kind. The last question she asked me was, "Who's going to take care of your children while you are working?" My immediate thought was, "Good question!" But, before I could answer, her phone rang. She took the call, hung up the phone, looked at me and said, "We'll give you a call."

I thanked her for her time and asked for her name. "Foshaun (sic?)" she said. I honestly could not repeat it back to her and was not going to ask her to repeat it. There was an awkward silent moment. She then said, "And my bosses name is Lateeshia. So. . . that might be a problem." I am assuming the problem she was referring to was my inability to pronounce their names. I was also thinking I'd have more of a problem telling small children not to tamper with evidence in the crime scene taped off on the playground.

As the Ladies Man would say, "Guess it's on to the next one."

I took another look at the classifieds. There was an add for a nursing home hiring nurses.

Now- I KNOW I am NOT a nurse, but I thought if this nursing home was hiring they may have regular jobs for the night shift. At this point I would humbly accept ANY job with a grateful heart. I walked in and there was a crowd of applicants. Smiling, and in my own personable way I approached the lady behind the window.

"Hello!" I said "I saw your add and read you are in need of LPN's. I am not a CNA or an LPN but I. . ." she cut me off and with a confused look she asked, "You are NOT and LPN?" "No ma'am." "And you DO NOT have your CNA?" she asked "NO, but I. . ." she cut me off again and began laughing in my face along with the 16 year old girl answering phones. "Honey, We will NOT and CANNOT hire you as a nurse. You HAVE to have a license!"

I refused to just walk away with her thinking I was trying to cheat the system , "I was wondering if you have any regular jobs available. That is the work I'm interested in." I explained. She turned to her receptionist and while she was still laughing at me she said, "HAhah, go ahead and give her one of the applications for a REGULAR job!" she then walked to her office where she and the director stood behind a window and both continued to laugh.

My first instinct was to walk away with my tail between my legs. Instead I took my seat right in front of her window and filled out the application. I filled it out completely and then came to the last question it asked, "Do you have any questions for us?"

About that time a current employee strutted in wearing tattered sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt. He was jamming through the hall to the tunes on his ipod. He apparently knew my fellow applicant. Thowing up a gang sign to her he hollered, "WEST SYDE!" She responded with a giggle and a smile. The lady who had been so rude to me called this young lady back to her office saying, "I'm ready to interview you now since you ARE a nurse!"

I looked down at their last question again, "Do you have any questions for us?" By this time I'm pretty sure they're not going to give me a job. So I answered, "Thank you for asking. Do you always humiliate and laugh in the face of job applicants instead of providing helpful direction?"

I could barely make it out to the car before I broke down in tears. I don't want to say I was feeling sorry for myself, but I was feeling sorry for myself. Apparently this was not my scene. It was time for me to give up on having it my way and ask my Heavenly Father, "GOD WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR ME TO DO?"

Last Christmas I had the opportunity to speak to a congregation two days before my father passed away. My heart was particularly tender and I was thinking about what I would share. It my Bible I had marked the passage Luke 1:37-38 "The angel replied to Mary. . . For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said to the angel, "I am the Lord's slave, may it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel left her."

I can feel the Holy Spirit at work in my life. He has called me to serve Him with my life and has promised to do the impossible for us and through us if we will obey. It's time for me to forget the way I think things should be and to trust and obey.

Last weekend while Chad was out of town. While researching to find out what type of ministry opportunities there are here in Oklahoma City, I came across a website with information about church planting. There were some pretty interesting statistics on this website about how Oklahoma is growing and how much of the population is unchurched.

I called Chad and talked to him about it; then sent our resumes along with a note from Chad to the email on the site. A couple of days later we received an email from a man named Greg Penna. He said he and his wife would like to meet us.

Today Chad and I met them for lunch. Plans were made for us to go to work as home missionaries through the North American Mission Board. Greg wants to use us to help some other missionaries who have just started new works, but are having a had time getting traction. Then in the spring Chad and I will start a new work.

As we finished up our lunch Greg and his wife invited us to attend church with them on Sunday. He looked at us both and after relating all the many different times in their lives God has redirected their steps he said, "Just know that God is not through with you guys yet."

My heart is starting to sing again and I'm thankful for a Heavenly Father who is long suffering with us. It will be exciting to God's big picture for our lives unfold.

No comments:

Post a Comment