I was standing in line at Target around 5:30pm on Thanksgiving when my phone started vibrating. I was shadowing the on-call worker and she had to go out on an investigation. There was no way I was going to be able to get through this line. Reluctantly putting the items back that I intended to purchase- I chalked the timing up to it “being a sign” that I didn’t need it anyway, and I headed to my car.
My co-worker and I met at the State Office and then drove together to the designated location. It was dark by this point, in a very sketchy part of town, and I just didn’t feel safe. But duty calls. One of the adults we had to interview was intoxicated and was coming on strong to both me and my co-worker and it was difficult to find a balance between being polite and doing my job, while also dismissing each of his comments. We were able to get everything done and be out of there within an hour though.
A piercing migraine interrupted my plans to return to my Black Friday (Thursday?) shopping, so I went home and was asleep by 7:30pm. Let me just say- I have NEVER gone to bed that early on Thanksgiving night. It practically felt like a crime- as if I was betraying my favorite day of the year! My head thanked me though. Thanksgiving looks different for me each year. This year some of the day was spent with community from church, some with a co-worker and clients, but the largest portion was spent alone with my pup.
Last Thanksgiving I wrote myself a letter to open Thanksgiving 2019, and as I read it yesterday morning, I was inspired. One section in the letter read, “I’m having a hard time being content and joyful working at Chick Fil A. I don’t know if you are still working there or not, but I hope you come to understand that life is all about what you do with what you have been given. So be the best version of you even in moments you feel you’re not created for- because it is then that you lean into who you are truly made to be.”
The past couple of weeks I’ve really been struggling with this new job. It’s not what I expected, training has been overwhelming me, I’ve been doubting my capabilities to do this job well, and wondering if this is even something I desire to do. In two weeks I will get my own case load- training will officially be over and I will be doing the thing. And I am scared. I am terrified that I’m going to mess up. I question whether this is really where I’m supposed to be because this job involves the parents and the court system a whole lot more than just working with children and in my mind, that’s not how I envisioned this job going. The one thing I do know though is that God opened up the door for this job, and right now, that’s where I am supposed to be. If that changes sooner than later- okay. If I stay at this job for the next several years- okay. Here’s what is important though: I can’t live as if I’m just waiting for the next thing to happen. I am called to devote myself to love- and love looks like giving something my all. To love these kids well, I need to love the parents well, the court system well, my supervisor well, etc. (Love, not like. 😉 ) When I fully invest myself in what God has laid before me, that is not only an indication of my trust in the Father, but it proves to myself that I’m dedicated. As someone who used to hold a pattern of running from all things uncomfortable– staying put, enduring the discomfort, leaning into the fear, and depending on Jesus to take care of me shows me just how much growth has been happening within me. I thought that I had “arrived” when I took this job and waved goodbye to the food industry. But the truth of the matter is, God will always be shaping me and molding me-sometimes in small moments, other times in big and bold moments. The only “arrival” that has happened is that I’ve reached a new point in the journey God has placed me on-
It’s not what I expected and that’s okay.
It’s scary and that’s okay.
God has called me to it, so it must be good.
Over the past couple months I’ve formulated a mantra that I say throughout the day, that always re-centers my heart and mind:
Anything, even if, no matter what.
Anything the Lord asks of me-whether it is obedience or sacrifice. Anything.
Even if it is painful and it makes no sense to me.
No matter what, because I know His plan is better than my best and most articulated planning. I will serve Him no matter what and I will love Him no matter what- knowing full well that He also loves me no matter what.
Prayers like this are big and difficult-especially when God starts responding to these prayers with fervor.
This Thanksgiving week I am thankful that my day didn’t go as planned, because it was a small little reminder to me that every single day looks different, and if I spend my time waiting for what is next, I will miss the moments right in front of me that I have the opportunity to be challenged, to grow, to love, to dream, and to lean into the presence of my Savior. I never want to rush ahead of or wish away what Christ is doing right here, right now. Anything, even if, no matter what.