This is part 3 of a series on God’s work in my life and my journey to where I am today. This is a Sunday morning series, which will wrap up next week. But, if you are just coming in today, here are the other ones. (open in new window) Week 1 — Week 2
There is nothing like moving to a new town, starting a job with excitement, finding out it is a mess and then resigning. It sure makes you step back and wonder about a lot of things.
After resigning from my position at the church, we left town on a two-week time away with family. I think this was a time that was meant to help me get my bearings because I felt like my world had just exploded. I arrived at my parents’ house and my mind was like spaghetti. In one sense, I was shocked, refusing to believe that we were in this position. In the other sense, I was scared about what was going to happen next. Here I was with a few months of severance and then what? We had health insurance that was going to end and a mortgage to pay. As it turned out, God was already doing work that I didn’t know. We always had just what we needed.
The first was about what to do in the short-term. I knew that I was supposed to be in ministry, I just didn’t know how long it would take to get there again. It had taken me a few years to find a position the last time and I didn’t know if it would take that long this time. My mom had mentioned UPS in their area was hiring, but we had a home and I wanted to be there. On a whim I checked and sure enough, they were hiring in the town we lived. I filled out the application and waited. Within a few days, I had a call back and an interview set up for the next week.
In the mean time, I remember my emotions were quite bizarre. I was experiencing relief that we were released from the pressure that we were in. I was also experiencing anger for having been in that position in the first place. This was wrapped in confusion that we even had to go through that. I also had some resentment for people who had jobs. I remember we took a trip to the zoo and I was irritated that the people working behind the food counter had a job and I didn’t. It was a strange time for me. But, this time gave me perspective and allowed me to process some things with people who cared about us. This time was just what was needed. God had us right where we needed to be.
We went home because I had an interview and decided that we would just hang out there until we were able to go to another ministry. I went to my interview, as the first person they talked with, and I was hired immediately. The next week we went to the major hub for training, staying in a hotel and living on a food allowance. I was working now and also getting a severance. God was providing and we were grateful.
I started working immediately with UPS, as a temp. This meant that I was able to work all kinds of hours, in any role. I was trained as a driver, porter, sort, truck washer, customer counter and clerk. I even helped the mechanic a few times and just did whatever I could. Most of my time there was spent driving all the packages that were ‘next day air’ to the airport. This was about a 45 minute drive each way, providing me a lot of time to think. I actually remember that I would have conversations with God on the way there and back, out loud. I did not get it. I was not happy with how things went and I wanted to know why.
It is strange to be in a place like that. I was truly baffled by it all and felt a little bit like God was not answering. This time is similar to Genesis 28 where Jacob is estranged from his family and is in the desert, seemingly alone, only to find out God has been there with him all along. God tells Jacob “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” – Genesis 28:15-16
That is how I felt also. The summer months I spent working at UPS. We watched as God provided us with the money we needed to pay our bills and then some. My Jacob moment came one morning while driving to church. I had been in communication with a few churches and had gotten nowhere. One of them I actually thought was going to work out and then I got the call that they were going another direction. I was discouraged. We got in the car to drive to church and we flipped through the radio presets, landing on the Christian radio station. This station was well out of range from us, but that morning it came in loud and clear. I don’t remember what the song was, I just remember getting a very real sense that not only was God with us, but God was firmly in control of this situation. Yes, God was in this place and I was not aware. From this point on started a cycle of events that would lead us to the next place in our life. You see, back at the beginning of this all I had sent my resume to a church on the east coast and had forgotten about it. Then, one day, there was an e-mail from the church looking for more information.
We will conclude this story next week. As always, I would be excited to hear about how this might have encouraged you, or if I can fill in any gaps for you. This is all God’s work in us, providing for us just what we needed at just the right time.