Unfoldin Joy

Do you ever feel like your life has been put fast forward mode?You realize change is taking place but  you feel as if you have no control, that everything is meshing into a confusing blur? That’s been life for me.

Instead of the fast forward button, as a kid I always enjoyed rewinding things- just ask my siblings. If I really loved a movie, I would watch it and then immediately rewind and start it again from the very beginning (probably the main reason my brother had a disdain for Beauty and the Beast growing up). Reliving things is enjoyable. I mean who doesn’t love savoring the “best parts” of a story? It’s harder to make sense of the plot when everything speeds up.

My past month has felt like a continuous fast forward. I ended a five year journey of teaching to pursue ministry and studies in a new city. God clearly opened the door, and for that I am thankful. I just didn’t see it coming- wasn’t prepared for Him to open doors so quickly. I don’t regret the decision one bit, but I forgot how change, although exciting, has it’s challenges as well. Instead of hopping in my car to run errands or head into a coffee shop, I first have to pull out my phone to make sure I know where I am going. Instead of making copies quick and running out the door, I have to make sure I use the correct printer and paper from a vast option of cabinet doors in the workroom. Instead of meeting up with friends who live just five minutes away, I wonder if I should keep studying or working because I feel so incredibly inadequate in my new position.  Instead of knowing all the faces at church and catching up on the week, I am the “newbie” that doesn’t even know where to sit during the service (If you are curious as to the life changing situation I am writing about, please read my last post from my old blog.)

This is not a complaint or an attempt to make you feel sorry for me- please don’t. I am simply trying to express the reality of everything new.

A few weeks ago I was preparing to speak to my high school students one last time. I was really struggling to fit all my thoughts together. I had this plan and detailed outline of what I was going to say, but then life turned upside down, and I was trying to keep the old along with the new. It wasn’t working. I stopped, took a break and prayed. I asked the Lord to help me see what my problem was. He showed me- I didn’t want to say goodbye, didn’t even know how. I was avoiding being transparent with God and my students. Then He showed me this verse.

I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart;
I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal Your constant love and truth
from the great assembly.

Psalm 40:10

Tears streamed down my face. I was hiding what God was doing in my life.This was a gentle but strong rebuke from my Savior. He has and is doing so much in the life He has given me- how could I try and conceal that? How prideful of me. Following Christ is a beautiful thing, but sometimes that entails goodbyes that are never easy. I wanted to follow but hold onto the past too. Life doesn’t work that way, but there is grace to meet us when we ask for help. When the time came for me to speak to my students one last time, I was free to share all that God had done, and time was much better spent than if I had stuck with my original plan.

Psalm 40:10 spurred the idea to blog again. As I serve in college ministry and study as a seminary student, I want to simply share the unfoldin joy of walking with my faithful God (yes I did shortened the word “unfolding”, but what can I say? Working with high schoolers for over two years rubbed off on me ).

He continues to show His steadfast love. In one month He has already provided a place to live with a sweet family, furniture that was kindly given to me, the opportunity to serve in ministries I am speechless to be apart of, a church family with genuinely encouraging people, and friendships that are starting to take root. John Piper puts it well when he says :

God is kind in ways that will not fit my mind.

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