Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Really Happening

I've turned in my 2 week notice.
I've announced it on twitter and facebook.
I'm going to Florida next week with my  mom to find a place to live.


This. Is. Really. Happening.

Last night was my 2nd to last service at Gateway Church (in person, anyways. Thanks goodness for live webcasts.)

The first song had some technical difficulties (which hardly EVER happens, but must admit, I REALLY love it when it DOES happen....reminds me that this church is normal.) ;-) and the first 2 notes of the 2nd song had played and I felt it. Yeah. I felt the tears start to surge up my tear ducts. There was nothing I could do. It was coming. The first waves of emotions/tears in regards to the big adventure I'm about to embark on.

This was the song that played to start off my night of tears...and if people can claim songs....Then I am claiming this one. It's my song. Seriously. Written for me. Listen. You'll understand.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 6- My story.

I honestly did not plan for this blog series to turn out this way. I did not know that I'd be the finishing story.

If that's the case- I would have done this blog series several months ago! :-) But here it is. My story. That finally unfolded in the past week.

The Backstory:


I’ve been really excited about this particular blog post for 4 months now. I’m not joking. 4 months. And 4 months ago, I had no idea what this post would say- but I KNEW that it would be an account of God’s faithfulness. 3 months ago. I still didn’t know what this post would say. 2 months. 1 month. 3 weeks. 2 weeks. Yeah. 2 weeks ago- I was REALLLLLY excited for this blog post, but still had no idea what it would say. But again, I KNEW it would be an account of God’s faithfulness. 1 week ago. Still didn’t know. On Wednesday, September 14, 2011- God revealed to me in a most incredible way what this blog post would say. He revealed to me yet another piece of my story….Another account of His faithfulness to me.

Let’s back up a bit farther, yes?

You may remember back in May when I posted about having to move. Yeah, I moved 4 months ago. A new apartment, a new roommate, and lots of boxes. My lease had ended, as my roommate Hailey had gotten married. I’d made several different arrangements and plans kept falling through. 2 weeks before I was supposed to be out of my apartment, I still had no idea where I’d be moving to. Finally, I called my friend Rachel and asked if she wanted to be my roommate. I knew she was seriously dating someone, didn’t know what her timeline was- but knew she’d just taken a job 45 minutes away from where she’d previously been living. She said yes! I was really excited. We planned the move- made it happen- and 1 month later…..SURPRISE!!!! RACHEL GETS ENGAGED! (side note: I DID know when I moved in with Rachel that she’d be getting engaged soon and that our apartment life together would be short lived- but it DID give me another 4 months to figure out what I was going to do.)

So! That’s why I say- 4 months ago- I was crazy excited about this blog post. I knew, come October, I’d be making a move again….to where? I had no idea. With whom? Again, no idea. But what I did know was that I serve and love a God that has never failed to provide. Never. It may not always look like what I think it should- or what I imagined…But it’s ALWAYS been good. And always in His perfect timing.

So, when I moved in with Rachel in June- I started thinking about my Fall plans. I knew it was going to be a big change. The way the previous housing situations had fallen through…the way Rachel and I became roommates…it just seemed like a perfect setup for God to do something big in my life. I started to allow myself to dream a little bit. I’ll be honest, I don’t often allow myself to dream that often. Sometimes, to me, dreaming feels like setting myself up for disappointment. But either way. I began to think big.

I was thinking- come October- I wouldn’t be tied down to a lease. If I were going to have to move…Why not a big move? I even posted about it. Remember this post? Yeah, I started looking at the Carolinas. I have family there. It seemed like a great idea. Then someone mentioned Arizona. I began to consider that too. My sister lives there. Could be a good fit.

So- either way- I knew I had to move. From the moment I moved in with Rachel- I was prepared for this. I knew it was coming. So I began the out of state job hunt.

I probably applied for 40 different jobs…typed up just as many cover letters…went through a job search process that was pretty much foreign to me. All the while, trusting that God would provide. He would provide either the perfect living situation in Dallas or He would provide a job.

In the last 4 months, journal entry after journal entry has ended with these statements:

• I know you’re working for my good. I know it.

• Jesus, you are enough.

• Help my unbelief.

• I want to be where You want me to be, Jesus.

• I know you will come through.

• Your will, Lord. That’s all I know to pray.

• I know Your voice.

• I know an answer is coming.

• DO. YOUR. THING.

• I will have no fear.

• Swing wide the right doors.

• Those who seek the Lord lack NO GOOD THING.

• HELP MY UNBELIEF!

• Lord, you WILL provide.

• You are big.

• Your timing is perfect.

• Do what You do best, Jesus.

• Show off. Please.

• I know you love me.

• You. Are. Faithful.

• You are big. I know this.

• I hate Satan.

• Do your thing.

• You. Are. Good.

• You. Are. Good.

• You. Are. Good.

How it Happened:

So. In my job hunt, I was contacting friends like crazy asking if they happened to know anyone in South Carolina. One of those friends I asked was Grace. Grace is not from Texas and I know she has a huge community of friends that does NOT live in Texas. So I called her up to see if she had any connections in the SC. She said she had some things she could check into and that she’d get back to me.

Well, a month later (2 weeks ago) I get a phone call from Grace. She said “I know you’ve been looking at South Carolina, but would you be interested in Florida?”

(Also... In addition- I sent out an email 2 weeks ago to several friends asking for their 'Faithfulness' stories. I needed my faith to be encouraged...having no idea mine would so quickly follow)

I went on to get some details from her…It would be a social media job in Tallahassee. I went ahead and emailed with Grace’s contact person and got more information. Seemed like it would be an interesting job. And the opportunity to work remotely would be a huge benefit. So I sent in a proposal on Thursday evening (Sept 8) and just waited. That weekend I was talking to a friend and I just explained that while this may seem like a crazy job to apply for (um, considering I know ZERO people in Tallahassee), I really felt as though I needed to knock on every door the Lord placed in front of me. A couple days later, my little sister, who is looking to move to Portland asked me if I thought it was bad she was ONLY applying for jobs in Portland. Thinking about my previous conversation with my friend Laura, I said “Caralyn…kinda like where I am right now- I just feel as though I need to be open to whatever the Lord might want. If I ONLY apply in South Carolina- I am saying to the Lord ‘this is your box. Work within it’ and I don’t want to do that.”

I encouraged her that Monday night to just knock on lots of doors and trust the Lord to open the right one. That’s really all I could offer since that’s what I was in the middle of living out.

On Wednesday, things started to shift a little bit at work. Left a little early and headed to the gym to run off some steam. Tweeted as I left work “God, today would be a great day to so something BIG. Thanks.” I called mom and in angry tears said “HE HAS GOT TO DO SOMETHING!!!!” She responded “Minda, you’re in the 11th hour.” My response was a heart wrenching “Mom….it’s more like 11.5!!!”After my workout I went home and sat on my couch. Yes. Just sat there. I heard my phone make it’s “You’ve got Mail” noise. I opened it up to find an email from the Tallahassee job offering me a position.

I just stared. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t express any emotion. I just sat there. All I could say was “God, I knew you would do something. I knew it…..I Knew it…….I knew it.”

I called mom and dad with the info…Dad’s response was “Minda, I knew God answered prayers but didn’t know He answered tweets!”

With thumbs up from mom and dad….with a peace in my heart….with excitement of the unknown….with a stronger assurance that my God will provide….and in HIS perfect timing, I’ve accepted the job in Tallahassee Florida.

More details to come- but that is part of the story.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 5- Christian

2 years ago, my community of friends at Gateway got a HUGE blessing when James and Christian Lee came around.  I'd tweeted one afternoon that I was wanting to get my rollerblades out of the closet and was looking to see if anyone I knew had blades to come with me.  James tweeted back to me and said "my wife Christian loves to rollerblade! We'll come meet you!"  And that's how I met Christian! We went blading that day around a park in Irving and when you've got plenty of time- that's a LOT of time for ME to ask questions. And asking questions, oh- how I DO love that. :-)

Christian is a woman that I have been SO encouraged to watch. She was one of the first married ladies in my current community and watching her relationship with James has been nothing short of inspiring. The way she honors her husband in speech and in action...The way she has made her house into a HOME...The way she loves Jesus.  She has navigated this season of marriage with ease and dignity. Last summer- when she'd let me know they were trying to get pregnant- I prayed for this baby like crazy. So- when I heard the news several months ago- to say I was excited would be a HUGE understatement... I'm SOOOOO flippin ready for "Baby Lee" to make her arrival!! Baby Lee, God is placing you into a home that is FAR beyond what most kids get. Your mom and dad love Jesus & love people.

Here's Christian's account of God's faithfulness in her life:

My life is fairly simple. I try not to buy things we don't need, I declutter often and I just simply love to live. James (my husband) and I often have talks about how both of us don't require a lot of "things" and just live with what we have. Of course, we splurge every now and again, but most of the time we just simply live. I say all of this to say, I think things are about to change! We are expecting Baby Lee in January. We are super excited but we are finding out she will require a lot of "things." I'm trying not to freak out about all the things that will just have to be out in the open and not neatly put away in its place. Babies require a lot...and I'm sure I haven't even thought about half of the things we are going to need. But I wouldn't trade any of this, the money we are going to spend, the extra pressures of being a parent, the baby stuff around the house because she is an answer to prayer :) (And Ms. Minda was part of all that praying!!)


Last fall, James started traveling every week from the middle of August until November. He would leave on Wednesday mornings and come back Sunday morning or afternoon. Knowing this was coming up, we started trying for our baby the beginning of last summer. In my mind we had 3 months to get the job done. If it didn't happen in those 3 months, then my life would just be ruined. Well, it didn't happen in those 3 months and it turns out, my life was not ruined. Imagine that! That season with James traveling was better than I could have imagined. Not because he was gone all the time, but because even though he was not physically with me, we still grew closer together. It's very hard to explain. Well, nevermind, it's not. God. That explains it!

We continued to try and I went through a lot of emotions and the devil really tried to attack me. I would get thoughts like "you aren't ready to be a parent" or "your body isn't good enough to carry a child" I'm so thankful that James was there to help me through all of those lies. He's so great at comforting me! We got lots of questions about if I was taking my temperature every morning, was I writing everything down in a calendar so I would know when it was "time" and many other questions. I did try these things but only for a short time and by short time I mean, maybe a month, if that. I felt like I was trying to be in control of the situation and honestly, I didn't want to be in control. I wanted it to happen when He wanted it to happen.


And He wanted it to happen this past May. Our prayers were answered. And it was the perfect timing. I have absolutely LOVED being pregnant. From maternity pants (my new favorite thing!) to feeling flutters in my tummy to seeing her yawn in a sonogram and so many other things. It has been the best 5 months so far and I know it will only get better in the months and years to come. She will be loved, she will be spoiled and she will have lots of stuff. And I'm totally ok with that! His timing is perfect. He. Is. Faithful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 4- Jennifer

Alrighty, peoples! Next up is my dear friend, Jennifer.  I met Jennifer back in 2008 and quickly realized that this woman is strong.  Her faith is strong. Her heart is strong. Her love for people is strong. This woman is an encourager. She will look you square in the face and call out giftings in your life. She will do whatever is within her to help call out the lies that the enemy might be feeding you. She speaks Truth. She speaks love. Jennifer is a stunning woman that exudes femininity.  And she is a woman of great faith.  Here is her story:

Time was running out. This was the last weekend before I had to sign a contract of some kind. I had been doing what I knew to do, but nothing was coming through. Weekend after weekend, day after day...nothing. I knew God had put this search on my heart, but didn't He know that this was cutting it a *little* close?

On Memorial Day 2010, I asked my dad out on a breakfast date. Conversation flowed over coffee and massive IHOP omelets. At some point, the conversation turned to what I was going to do when my time with my roommate, Laura, ended that October. I told Dad that I think God wanted me to look for a house. I had, after all, written that as one of my goals that year: Buy a house in November. I don't know why I picked November. It just suited. Dad was all on-board with that. He said, "Didn't you tell us that you wanted to buy a home after 2-3 years of living in DFW?" And the lightbulb in my memory went off - Yes, I had said that! Totally forgot about it, until that moment. So with his blessing, I started to walk with the Lord on a journey to find a home.

I would go into house after house, dreaming of what it could become. I didn't know what I could ask for in a first home. I didn't want to sound like a picky first-time home buyer. I just told my realtor that I wanted to live in Fort Worth, and if at all possible, I wanted wood floors and good windows. In my heart of hearts, though, I had a ton of ideas on what I'd like. I painted that picture in full detail: a mosaic backsplash in the kitchen, white cabinets, a gas stove, a roof that was in good shape, dark-stained hardwood floors, three bedrooms. The list went on! The Lord was the only person I told. I was grateful for whatever He gave me, so painting this picture was pure fun. My most secretest wish? A red door. A good red, not a cheap one. ;-)


Meanwhile, "normal life" was CUH-RAY-ZEEEEE! It was consumed with packing up Laura's and my apartment, painting it back with primer, scrubbing it down, moving into Laura's new house, helping her scrub and paint her new house, sewing a wedding dress for a friend somewhere in there, going to weddings, prepping for Laura's wedding, transitioning a brand new team at work, and doing regular everyday stuff to live. (My heart rate is increasing as I type. Excuse me while I hyperventilate!) I was tired and worn out. Time wasn't waiting for me.


There was one townhome that had been in the picture for awhile. Great price, just remodeled, hardwood floors, appliances that came with it...but for whatever reason, something didn't sit right with me. I figured that I needed to be more "open" lest I started missing the forest for the trees. Something had to happen that weekend to allow the month long processing time for escrow and such. I didn't know what to do. Desperate, I told the Lord, "Father, I have to find my house by this weekend to close in time. If You don't show me something besides this townhome, I'm going to assume that You want me to put in a bid on it." Wouldn't you know that it had sold the day before!

Ummmm......Lord? You there? I obviously have to keep looking. But how am I going to "know" what house is the right one? Did I miss it? In that moment, He whispered, "You will know it when you see it." Peace flooded my heart.


Back to Zillow.com I went. As I looked through the same houses I'd seen before, there was one that caught my eye. It was in Ft. Worth. Looked like it had a cute kitchen. The more I looked at the pictures, the more I thought, "Wow, this could be it!" I laughed, "But Lord, let's be honest...I've said that before." To which He replied, "You'll know it when you see it..."

That Friday, on the LAST possible weekend, I met my realtor at the house I saw on Zillow. Guess what it had? A red door! I opened that darling (not cheap, but really deep) red door to find the picture in my heart sitting in front of me. I'm talking the backsplash to the gas stove to the new roof to the shade of the wood floors, people! I turned to my realtor, saying, "This is my house." There wasn't a doubt in my mind.

The first night in my new home was full of emotion. Weary from the intensity of the past months, I fell to my knees and balled on the kitchen floor. I was overwhelmed and awed at the miracles He did to show Himself faithful on my behalf, many of which I haven't even mentioned in this post for the sake of length. It's fun to talk about a red door and all, but really, it's just icing on the cake. From the conversations He and I would have in the car, to the nights of crying out to Him for relief from life's stress, to the moment when He whispered sweet assurance to my heart, to watching Him perform literal miracles...walking with Him is the greatest joy. His faithfulness is the greatest adventure. Seems He likes settin' the stage for His glory! Just when I thought (and I thought it MANY times) He was cuttin' it too close, it turns out He was really setting up my circumstances so that there'd be no doubt in my mind that HE did it!

Oh, and remember how my goal was "Buy a house in November"? Well, because my closing date got pushed out twice, I closed November 5th! :-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 3- Osame

The next count of God's faithfulness comes from my friend, Osame. I met Osame while in college and were part of a small group together in which we started out each week by playing the game "Big Booty."  Don't know the game?  Don't ask. Either way- I got to know her more through that small group- but really began to connect with her when myself and 4 other girls began to meet up for a more connected/purposeful time of accountability and prayer. 7 years later, this girl is still one that I know I can call any time of day or night if I need something. Her heart for me is huge- but her heart for Jesus is even bigger. The past 5 years I've been able to witness her steadfastness to the Lord in a job/school transition that seemed insane. The whole time- trusting that God would come through. Trusting His heart for her was good. Here's her. She makes me want to Trust Him more and remain Faithful to His Word.


God's faithfulness in my life has never ceased to amaze me!  He has taught me how to wait on Him to perfect even the minor things.  I've learned that in the midst of the rain He is a shelter.  After five years of an unsatisfying career, I now have my "dream job" where each day is a new challenge and opportunity to lean on Him.  My Father has good things in store, but better than the blessing, I have been reassured of how much He really desires to bless me and use me to impact hurting people.  Trust God....even when you have to wait for the promise. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 2- Caralyn

Well. The next post on Faithfulness is coming from my little sister, Caralyn. And let me start of by saying- I've prayed for lots of people in my life. Lots. But when I pray for this girl...my baby sister....I can't help but tear up. Every time. Every morning when I sit on my couch- whenever Caralyn comes to mind, my heart is overwhelmed with emotion. Because if God has been faithful to anyone...it has been to her. If I know she's walking through something tough, I ACHE for her. If I know she's in a good place and happy- I get emotional. Because I'm so grateful for the Lord being BIG in her life. So, Caralyn, good or bad season of life, my heart is overwhelmed with emotion- because I love you so much. I cry when she's hurting. I cry when she's happy- because it makes me so happy to know she's happy. :-)

Here's her post. (side note- it starts off with a post she'd written a couple of months ago- then continues with the 'follow up') (side note #2- in addition. Should let you know when she sent this to me- I did the ugly cry. I mean...the REAL ugly cry. Was what I needed to read. Love you Caralyn)

God has not given me a spirit of fear.



God told me he would never leave me or forsake me.


He told me not to be anxious, because he would take care of me.


He takes hold of my hand and walks with me, and tells me not to fear, because he is with me, that he will help me.


He told me to be strong and courageous, that I should not be afraid for He is with me, and he is walking with me, and that he will never leave me nor forsake me.


He gave me peace. Not fear. Peace. He told me not to let my heart be troubled by fear.

I recognize the fear.


I'm calling out the fear. And I'm searching and praying for His perfect love.
'There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."


1John 4:18


Not gonna lie, the last sentence kinda makes me feel as though because I have fear, I'm not truly a believer, not really saved.

Because shouldn't I not have fear? Do I not have his perfect love? Do I have to work towards that?


Is that only when I get to heaven, or should I feel no fear now?

I didn't intend to end this on an inquisitory note."

I wrote this blog several months ago. I had recognized that I lived fearfully, and no longer wanted to do that. but at the end of my blog, I read a verse that made me feel... less than adequate as a believer. I thought that because I feared, I was not in Christ's love.

Not a surprising thought from the girl who is scared.
My life is about to go through some major upheavals. I'm finally finally finally graduating from college, I'm looking for a new job, I'm planning to move to Portland, Oregon, I'm going to start all over in finding friends, community, and my place in this world [MWS, anyone?]

I will also be very far away from both sisters and my parents. I will be far away from everything that has been familiar.
That starts to become panic inducing for me. What if I don't get a job? What if I have to stay in Tyler? What if I fail my boards? What if I don't make friends? What if? What if?

And I start to become afraid.
Recently, however, I listened to a sermon by Mark Driscoll called "Jesus and Anxiety". He spoke on a chapter in Luke, 12:22-34

22And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The part that stuck out to me the most is where Jesus says, "Fear not."

He doesn't say it in a manner that, if I fear, I'm not part of him. He doesn't say it angrily. He says it softly. "Fear not, little flock."
He tells them to fear not, because he knows they fear.

Because he knows they will fear in the future.
Because fear resonates within all of our souls.

What if life doesn't go the way I planned? What if this happens? What if that happens? What if???
And Jesus just keeps telling us to "fear not".
Because he doesn't want me to be anxious or afraid.

Because even though I don't know the whole story, He does. And he has a beautiful, beautiful plan for me. A plan that doesn't want to harm me.

Because it brings him pleasure... GOOD pleasure, to give me the kingdom.

Because he takes care of the lilies, and the ravens, and the beasts of the field. And how much more will he take care of me, of so little faith?

Because he loves me.
Over and over and over he tells me through out the bible, "Fear not! For I am with you.

Fear not! For I am your shield.

Fear not! For I will bless you.

Fear Not! Do not be dismayed.

Fear not! I will come with a vengeance and come save you.

Fear Not! For I am the one who helps you.

Fear not! For I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.

Fear not! Do not be afraid!

Fear not! Peace be with you, be strong and of good courage!

Fear not! My spirit remains with you!
Fear not!

Because he knows that I become afraid. But he loves me, and he is with me, and he will keep me.
I'm letting the burden of my fears go today.. because I have considered the lilies. And they are lovely. And my Jesus loves me more than lilies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Faithfulness, Part 1- Jaclyn

Last week, my friend Leticia sent out an email update sharing the mark of 1 year living in New York. As I read the email, I was reminded of different events that had taken place during her first year. Areas in which we'd pray to see the Lord move. Reading that email did something to my faith. It was as though it was a present-day part of the bible. Where I'd just been reading about Daniel, Moses, Joshua...I just picked up that morning reading about Leticia too. The Lord came through for her just as He'd come through for those in the Bible. Every area in which we'd prayed about had been answered.

This email from Leticia prompted me to ask a couple other friends to share a story of God's faithfulness in their life.  If reading stories of God's faithfulness could increase my faith even a little- then I needed to start reading LOTS of stories, as I'm in a place right now of needing to see Him move. And of course, I figured, if it encouraged me, who knows. Maybe someone reading this blog needs to have a couple of 'present-day' stories of God's faithfulness.

With that said, I introduce to you my friend Jaclyn. I've blogged about Jaclyn before because she is just incredible. This summer Jaclyn picked up and moved to DC to take a teaching job. A friend of almost 10 years, Jaclyn is the girl that makes me laugh more than anyone I know. Having 10 years of relationship equity with someone allows you to be comfortable with them and understand when and how to read between the lines during conversation. I pray for this woman every day and my life would not be the same without her. Here is an account of God's faithfulness to her in this season:

I have come to understand faithfulness through Love & Logic.

I am currently a middle school teacher. This is the beginning of my fifth year teaching, however, I am in a whole new ball game. Learning to understand and communicate with humans that are irrational and emotionally unstable is a challenge, to say the least. I have to implement a lot of Love & Logic, something I had heard about before, but never put into practice. The idea is that you empathize with children in disciplining them and deal with it in a logical way, such as not engaging in arguments.

A classic example might look like this:

Me: “Michael, stop kicking Camille’s chair.”
Michael: “I wasn’t even kicking her chair!!”
Me: “Yes you were. I saw the desk move!”
Michael: “That’s because she pushed her desk into mine!”


And so on and so forth. We don’t get anywhere. The whole class is now off-task. I probably don’t win that argument because we’d probably end up dropping it just to move on.

Logically, the conversation might go:

Me: “Michael, stop kicking Camille’s chair.”
Michael: “I wasn’t even kicking her chair!!”
Me: “What did I ask you to do?”
Michael: “But I wa…(cut off by me)”
Me: “What did I ask you to do?”
Michael: “Stop kicking her chair.”
Me: “Great, thank you!”


Anyway, all that to say, middle school kids don’t like to accept the critique the first go-round, even if they know they were doing it. Like most of us, it’s never their fault!

There has been an extended time recently (like say…the past nine months!?), when I didn’t understand why things were happening; why I couldn’t have what I was asking and praying for, for God’s sake! I thought I had been so faithful to what I was supposed to do and then it was gone. Like my students, I was demanding answers but wasn’t ready to hear the reason I was being “punished” because in my mind no reason was going to be good enough.

When this happens with my kids, I usually give them some time during the day and come back to them later and ask if they know why I did this or that or why I was disappointed in them. A lot of the time, they will be able to tell me the exact reason(s), but sometimes they are still angry and refuse to talk. With some of them, it takes a little while longer, and I just have to wait until they’re ready.

During this time in my life, the Lord knew that any answer He gave me wasn’t going to fix it. I wasn’t going to hear and be satisfied. I needed some cooling off time, and He patiently waited. Gradually, as I settled down and became more ready to talk rationally and listen, He began showing me small things here and there. I still pushed back at times (still do!), but I don’t look to Him anymore to see if He’s going to prove Himself. Instead, I look because He already has. He hasn’t changed from when I turned a deaf ear to now. Even when I wasn’t acknowledging Him, He acknowledged all of my words, my thoughts, my tears, my hurts. He empathizes. He loves. He was faithful to stay.

The one about the next chapter

#MindaOnTheMove 4.5 years ago, I made the “ fifteen minute drive north ” to Washington, DC from Tallahassee, Florida. And yes, if yo...