Saturday, February 25, 2012

Purpose AND Hope

How do I even begin to share what God has been teaching me lately? And by lately, I mean slowly, gently, throughout my whole life, but especially in the last two years. I think reading my last few posts helps illustrate it at least partially, but I just can't get over the fact that, while it is often hard to be content where I am at, I am beginning to understand what it is to be fulfilled and to strive for contentment.

As I was talking to a friend today online, I shared how God has taken me on such a journey over the past four years. After graduating college, I felt so blessed to have received a job close to where I grew up, surrounded by family, and reuniting with two super teachers from my past and their family. Though my heart had been so torn over the summer because I desired to go overseas after graduating or even pursue graduate school as many of my peers were, I realized God had provided the opportunity for me to be where I was (and still am) and knew I would be ok with it for the time. I guess I never really expected to be here four years later. I didn't really know where I thought I would be, although part of me through I would be overseas after a couple years of "being practical" and "working to pay a little on my student loans..." Yet here I am now. And God has allowed me to stay here. It was so clear last year as I finally fully pursued the opportunity to be a Journeyman and go overseas that He was opening the door and everything was falling into place. And then, as I shared a few days ago - He closed that door. And it was His to close...whether long-term, or just for the time being. I searched, applied, and interviewed for other jobs, yet none of them worked out. When I finished the school year knowing that I would stay just where I am now, my stomach and my heart felt so sick.

But God changed my heart. And, as I said in so many words within a recent post, there are many things He has allowed me to be a part of this year that have blessed me and challenged me more abundantly than I could have ever planned on my own. I have often asked God this year to show me that I am in the place I am supposed to be right now and that I am truly seeking and following His will for my life. And He has. Over the past two weeks I've been struggling with a decision about whether or not to take another teaching opportunity in my school district teaching music to younger (K-2) children only. Everything about it seemed ideal, yet I had such a peace about staying where I am now. I think the fact that I felt secure in my decision made me feel a little insecure, if that makes sense. But again, God was faithful to confirm I am where He has put me for a reason. And even just as I had been praying for clarity this morning about the situation, within minutes He provided that clarity. I know it does not always seem that He chooses to work so quickly in providing wisdom, but I am so grateful He was faithful in doing so for me today.

So, all of that to say, as I talked to that friend - I realized that, while I still look forward to all God has in store for me in the future, while I still dream about what might one day come - a family of my own, a chance to go overseas whether long-term or even through short-term opportunities, and many, many other things, I can identify that as hope. I have hope through my relationship with Christ, that He has a plan for my life, and He has exciting things in store for my future that I can't even imagine. And I also began to see that, though this hope is important, I can't live every day thinking about what I'm "waiting" for. Instead, I should be living each day for what it is - for the purpose God has for me to fulfill in each moment He has given me at this time. What a wonderful feeling to know that God has purpose for me now! What joy in realizing that I can be a part of His great plans where I am at every day while still looking toward the future.

I have truly found purpose and hope - and I can't help but feeling like I want to share that with the whole world!

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