As I was praying for a friend in the shower this morning (Yes, in the shower. When you’re a mom its one of the only times you can actually have a complete thought or form a coherent prayer.) I was moved to share the following story with her. As I typed it out on her facebook wall (It was in response to something she previously posted. I promise I don’t just go around giving random bits of personal advice on facebook. :) ) it occurred to me that there are probably many other people our age in similar situations who may also benefit from hearing this piece of our story. I gave her the condensed version, but here’s the whole story.
Shortly after Andy was born, Josh and I moved to the Dallas area to be closer to my family. As a new mom, I was terrified and was sure I was going to need lots of help from my own mother. After living here for about a year, both Josh and I were extremely homesick for Memphis. We missed our friends. We missed the culture. We missed our Tigers. We definitely missed the BBQ. (Texas aint got nothin’ on Memphis BBQ!) Around the same time, Josh had the opportunity to apply for a promotion that would move us back to Memphis! It was meant to be, right? Well, that’s what we thought…or at least really wanted to believe. Needless to say, he got the promotion (He’s so amazing!), we packed our stuff and headed home.
Never once during the whole application/interviewing/moving process did we ask God if He wanted us in Memphis. We prayed for Josh to perform well at his interview. We asked for safety during the trip. We prayed for the people who were kind enough to help us move. But, like I said, we never prayed about whether this decision was in line with the Lord’s plan for our lives.
We spent the next few years in Memphis, loving being amidst our friends, the culture, our alma mater, and enjoying the delicious Mississippi Delta cuisine. Naturally, we grew as people, our marriage grew, and our faith grew during that time as well. As our faith grew, we learned that we are not called to act and then pray for the Lord’s blessings, rather to pray for discernment of the Lord’s will and then act. That’s what we started doing. We started asking the Lord to show us His will for us. We prayed that our actions would be in unison with His plan and for His glory. Boy, we had no idea what a can of worms we were opening.
We started praying to live our lives in unison with the Lord’s will for our life in October 2008. That same month Josh suffered his first pay cut at work as a result of the economy. Another followed in December. By April 2009 Josh’s job had become extinct. Saying that I was scared is an understatement, but it was a strange fear. Because of my faith, I knew that everything would be ok. It was most definitely a stressful time, but the Lord provided for us in the most surprising ways.
Midway through our time of unemployment and just as our personal savings was running out, we received the largest check I have ever personally held in my hand in the mail. My grandmother had sold her house to move into a condo. Because she didn’t need the money and the grandchildren aren’t included in her will, she divided her profit after purchasing her condo among her grandchildren. I will NEVER forget opening that envelope. Or the amazement that followed the days after. She hoped we would put it toward a down payment on our house, but I’m sure she wouldn’t be disappointed to know that her great-grandchildren survived from that money.
In August 2009 Josh heard from an old supervisor. He said if Josh was still in the market for a job he needed to act now. The following week Fidelity in Westlake was having a hiring event. Obviously, Josh wasted no time resubmitting his resumé. He had a phone interview the next day. He was asked to come to Dallas the next week. The day after he interviewed, he was offered the position. Praise the Lord! After months of unemployment, dead-end leads, constant job searching (by this point we had resumes out in multiple states), we were THRILLED to have a job offer. I, however, was not so thrilled about moving back to Texas.
There’s nothing wrong with Texas. In fact, now that I’ve gotten to know it better, I really like Texas. But all I could think about was how homesick we were before. As you can tell, things we’re happening fast. Josh was scheduled to start his job in just two weeks. We had to pack, plan a move, find a place to live, etc, etc, etc. I put it all in the hands of the Lord. I was completely overwhelmed and knew there was no way I could make everything happen in just two weeks. I’ll spare you the details, but let me just say the way everything came together was nothing short of miraculous.
So here we are, right where we started. Working for the same company at the same location. What’s different is this time we know it’s right. We know God wants us here. We don’t know why, but we are confident that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Oh, and remember that check from my grandmother? We spent the last penny of it the day before Josh’s first pay day. Coincidence? I think not. :)
Moral of the story: Ask God what His will is for your life and make your decisions accordingly. It’s much easier and cheaper in the long run if you just do it right the first time.