God Is The Plug

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

                                                      James 4:8

Hallways seem longer when all the doors are bolted shut.

That job that I so desperately knew was mine a few months ago was in fact not. The day after I posted the blog “In The Hallway” I received a notice that I would not be moving forward in the application process. I’d like to say that it had no effect on me at all, but that would be a lie. How could something so perfectly timed out and articulated not be from God? Had I heard the signs wrong? I was lost, a little broken, and really confused. I thought I had this figured out.

But as it turned out, I didn’t. And I have a sneaky suspicion that the sooner I understand that I will never have it figure out, the more God will be able to do with me. I got the news on the day before I was supposed to leave for Vegas with family. It had taken me a day or so but I was learning to let it go. The job just wasn’t for me. I started to enjoy my trip while loosening my grip on the desire that I had fed for a month to fly out to Dallas and begin a new life. My mother was even looking at apartments. Nonetheless, I had to let it go (yes, in my “Frozen” voice). After all, I was beginning to get used to rejection.

On the very last day of the trip, God gave me a very physical reminder of where my focus needed to be for my job search. I have a cousin who designs shirts. She takes t-shirts and brands them with phrases and logos, and she had been given the duty to craft t-shirts for the entire family for the holiday weekend. She did her duty and I though that was the end of it.  But on the day that everyone was set to say their goodbyes, my cousin came into my hotel room with a specialized t-shirt just for me. She hadn’t known my desire for this job in Texas, she hadn’t even known about my job search in general. So when I  unfolded the shirt to read the words “God Is The Plug” I knew  that could only be a wink from God. A clear sign that He sees me, and knows my heart. It became clear where God was directing me in order to fall in line with where he wanted me to go in my job search. He wanted me to go straight to Him.

Even now, a month later, I still struggle with turning my search over to Him completely. but I think I am getting there. I am sprinting past the lie that Satan wants me to believe. That the shirt that I received was just a “coincidence”. It didn’t mean anything, just like my belief in that job in Texas. But I can’t believe that. Even though my decision to not believe in coincidences has led me to some deep moments of sadness, It is also my belief that even in those moments of confusion and misdirection, God is still talking to me, testing me, guiding me. However, if I want to reach the level of clarity in which I am sure of what steps to take for my future jobs, my future husband and any other decisions that I will have to make in life I will have to plug in to Him. Only then will I receive the power that I need to do what I was built to do.

Beauty In The Blackout

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It was breathtaking. The view that greeted my unexpecting eyes as I opened the door of my cabin was enough to cause my mouth to fall open and my heart to melt. The visual of rooftops freshly topped off with snow was striking, especially since there had been no visible evidence of snow when we arrived the night before. But the morning, the morning brought a winter wonderland. A view I had originally only seen in pictures or Hallmark movies. A view that a girl who lives and breathes in the south-central area of L.A. could only dream of touching. As I made my way down the mountain in awe, I inhaled the beauty of plants frozen in motion with icicles clinging to their stems. I playfully made childish stomps on the ground beneath me simply to hear the snow “crunch”.

And then, just when I thought the beauty of what was presently available was enough, soft and quiet snowflakes began to fall lightly on my uncovered hair. It was snowing. And I was in the midst of it. I was no longer daydreaming in my bedroom of what it would be like to feel real snow as it falls fresh from the sky. I was living it. Finally. And it was great. In my frosted hypnosis, I finally realized that my mother would disown me if I walked away from an experience like this without pictures. So I pulled out my camera and began to take shots of every irrelevant object I could find, simply because it was covered in snow. I laughed and explored with other visitors who were just as amazed as I was. Somehow, the ability to share the experience made it even sweeter.

But as the snow continued to fall hours into the day, I noticed a slight shift in my mindset as I shifted through the snow. I was over it.

Just. Like. That.

I specifically remember thinking, “Okay God, You can stop now.”

For the fact was, that by 11:00 am. I was tired of the threat of what a broken back would feel like if I slipped while walking down the icy downhill roads. I was tired of walking in the slushy muck of melted snow that seemed to happily collide with dirt. I was annoyed with having to put snow-wet gloves on my cold hands in order to survive a two-minute walk without frostbite. Yep. I was done. But apparently, the weather wasn’t. It continued to fall even harder as the day went on. And by 1:00 pm, the falling snow no longer carried a quiet and steady pace of politeness. It was mean now. Quick, and heavy. Sleet came along with it, and with the sleet came the pain of a bare face that was being repeatedly hit by its’ sharpness. And don’t forget the blackout. Yes, the moment the weather got so bad that it caused a power outage on our campsite. Darkness, hills and icy roads really do not belong together. I won’t even throw the threat of wildlife in there.

But beyond what was physically happening in front of me, came what was mentally happening inside of me.

The “What-ifs”

“What if we get snowed in here?”

“What if the weather gets worse?”

“What if the chains don’t work on our van as we leave here tomorrow?”

I was making myself miserable. And I soon grew tired of it. I only had 24 more hours of it and I did not want it to be ruined by fears of “What-ifs”. After all, who knew when I would be able to experience this again. In my heart, I knew God would keep us from harm, so I figured I might as well embrace it.

And that was it. Like a light bulb going off in my head, I felt the spirit guiding me to make a connection between how I viewed this snow storm and how I viewed specific areas in my life.

My singleness sometimes feels like a snow storm. Like I’m walking in murky, dirty snow and down icy mountains, with sleet hitting my face. It irritates me. At times I can find the beauty in it, but then there are times where I am saying, “Okay God, you can stop now”. In my distress, I go through a series of “What-ifs”.

“What if I get married waaaay later than what I would like?”

“What If I never have kids?”

“What if I never get married?”

I’m really good at making myself miserable.

But now, after that experience, I am being challenged. I can say with my whole heart that although I battle with the “What-ifs”, I do believe that God has someone for me. So, maybe that means I should just enjoy the time. Instead of fretting in my eagerness of wanting to know when the storm will end, I should embrace that a time will come and I will no longer be in this season. A time will come when I will no longer be single Whitney, with single responsibilities, but a woman with a multitude of worries and humans that I will have to attend to. In my racing to get to the next season, I am missing out on the grace in the solitude that is before me.

Instead of being upset that I am stuck in a snow storm, with a power outage and nothing to do, I should embrace that this is a moment of quietness that God is proving for me to run to Him. I just have to utilize it.

I decided while on that mountain that as long as I had left there, I was going to make the best of it. I went sledding with new friends who were graciously eager to share their equipment. I put on my coat and made snow angels on the ground (which are a lot harder to make than they look). I built snowmen, and joined snowball fights. I captured the beauty of the view with my Nikon and I comforted those who seemed to have a little more trouble handaling the storm than I did.

 

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Thus, the same should be said for my singleness. For I do not know when this season will end, but I also don’t know how much I will miss it once it is over. I want to embrace its’ benefits while I still can.

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I know it will be a process to undo years of negative and doubtful thoughts due to my singleness, but my hope is that one day I will no longer be wishfully wanting the season to be over, but I will instead be thanking God for the beauty in the blackout.

Love,

Whit