Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Story of April.. revisited (A new story)

A year ago I told you a story. A story of the month of April, it's highs and lows, heartbreaks and joys. A time when God grabbed me by the shoulders, shook me a few times, and started guiding me along a path. At the time I had no idea where the path was leading, how long it would take to travel, or even why I was asked to walk. Yet, I went along.

I blogged a great deal about the problems, but there were many pieces of the puzzle I withheld. Most of my reasoning was logical and sound, as I hope you'll agree, but there was also a very tangible element involved: fear. It's a dynamic of which's grip I have not quite escaped, and truthfully, it is still a bit early in the game for me to safely share the background details. However, God has made it clear that instead of shying away from the fire, I am asked to go through it. Here goes.

A year ago I began my story of April, or rather Lilly's story as I called it in my mind, and in that introduction I included the following statement:

"And for the moment, there is at least one critical storyline that will remain untold. I always aim to be transparent. If people will take the time to read my words, I feel I owe it to them to be honest and open. However, one very critical piece of the puzzle must be held back; I am hopeful that in time it too can be shared, but for now, just know I am giving what I can."

On April 1st, the day after Easter, the last day of my 'break', I had a job interview. I very promising job interview. For a position, and a hospital, that just seemed to fit. Even if this wasn't a topic I could broadcast all over the internet, it had been no secret to my close friends and family that I had been unsettled, and even borderline unhappy, with where my life was at. No matter how hard I tried, no matter the effort I put forward, Miami wasn't becoming home. I felt certain God had put me in my job, and knew I was making a difference, but I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else on the horizon. When this position opened, it seemed to make sense in so many ways and I could feel God nudging me along that path. The interview itself couldn't have gone better, and as I returned to Miami I was flying high, elated at the prospects of my future, and having to restrain myself from commencing the packing process.  I was on top of the world.

And then I found Lilly, sick in her cage, my only real source of comfort in the city, and my world began to crumble a bit. I won't rehash all of the trials of her health that month, but it is important for you to know that my ability to cope was also compromised by the sense of expectancy, hope, and fear that emerged in waiting for the "YOU'RE HIRED" phone call I was sure was coming. As time passed, and the call continued to not come, I became even more confused, feeling distant from God, utterly bewildered by the idea that I could have misread his will so entirely.

From those earlier posts:

"I mentioned before that there are other things going on behind the scenes that can't be discussed on a public forum yet, and unfortunately, that is still the case. Suffice to say I was, I am still, waiting on God to reveal some things to me, things that I was getting impatient about. Not to mention, impatient for my rabbit to really get better.

The devotional spoke on why we wait for God, how sometimes things are happening behind the scenes of which we are unaware and God holds out his answer until things are ready. It also discussed that sometimes we get so focused on one particular answer that we stop waiting for God and start waiting for just that answer. Until we are willing to let go and loosen our grip, we prevent God from acting.

"we need to remember that while we are waiting, God is working. He sees the entire picture and is active behind the scenes, arranging everything according to his will. But perhaps his most important work is the deepening of our relationship with him as we learn to love and trust him in the wait".
I opened up during the meeting, sharing my burdens, and was met with amazing support. As I walked away from the group, I knew instinctively that I would have an answer waiting for me on my phone for one of my issues. Sure enough, it was there, just not the answer I wanted, a sign that the answer was still forthcoming, that I still needed to wait."

 When the email finally came it was a no. An out of nowhere "we found someone else"; despite an amazing interview, despite an absolute perfect fit, despite what I had assumed was reassurance from God. The answer was a no. I was heartbroken, disappointed, confused, and more than ever, lonely. I felt abandoned from God, and continued to watch Lilly deteriorate in front of me.

And in the midst of that horrible month came the news: my grandfather had cancer. He was eventually hospitalized, things incredibly dire, and for a few days I was simultaneously caregiver to him and to Lilly. In some ways it was a blessing she passed when she did, because the focus and care that was necessitated in the hospital with his treatment took over every aspect of my life. It also became crystal clear to me that I was exactly where I needed to be at that moment: I couldn't have moved, I was needed to care for Grandpa.

Suffice to say I saved his life. There were complications in his care that I can not discuss, both as an employee of the healthcare system and out of respect for his privacy. But God clearly used me, my familiarity with the hospital, and my knowledge of his condition to turn the tides. Grandpa took to calling me his guardian angel, and in the midst of all of that I had no choice but to take my professional disappointment and put it aside. Just because I understood the reason for the no didn't mean I was happy though. And at the time I don't think I realized how much God changing the rules on me shook my trust and faith in him.

(To be continued)

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Thanks for taking this journey with me! I always love to hear your thoughts and promise to respond whenever possible.