Update: God Came Through… And We’re Still In Radford (What?)

Howdy! It’s been a while, eh? Sorry about that. Sometimes it takes a while for things to brew before they are ready to serve.

Yes, God Came Through…

He did in fact, and quite handily. Whenever we step out on faith at His leading, He will hold up his end of the bargain. I’m reminded of Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over-will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” I think this can certainly be applied to the measure of faith/trust we give to the Lord.

Indeed, if I had given notice to my current job that I’d be leaving when I thought I would be, then I would have been able to step into either of two job offers in Charlottesville. Both of which I turned down. In faith. 

And, Boy, Was It Tough!

Yes, that’s right. I turned down two very good job offers. They were good offers, each with its own drawbacks and rewards. But things changed along the way. Rosie and I had some opportunities/possibilities pop up in Powhatan, where she grew up, and one of the jobs I was offered got me thinking in new directions.

The first offer was many ways a dream job for me. More writing/communicating/creating. Some travel. Flexible part-time hours with many leads for freelance jobs to fill in the gap from full-time. A challenge and a relief all at once.

And Rosie had an interview to teach elementary art in her hometown. Another dream, but it wouldn’t work with the offer I had. And also another possible position in Powhatan teaching preschool at a wonderful church where I could possibly have a place on staff as well.

It was as if God said “I’ve been keeping a lot of doors closed for a long time, and here are a bunch of them, all open, all available, any of which you may choose with My blessing. But remember, this has been about faith.”

As I debated within myself accepting the first offer, I kept coming back to that I felt like I shouldn’t take it. God would bless my decision either way, but I couldn’t shake that feeling; even before the offer came, I felt like I was supposed to decline. It was as if God were once again challenging me with “You have shown me you have the faith to say ‘yes’ to stepping out and going to Charlottesville, but do you have the faith to say ‘no’ to this answered prayer?” 

The Faith to Say “No”

This is crazy, right? There are a number of reasons I said no. I am going to keep most of them at least semi-private, but one of the reasons was that taking this job would mean that Rosie would almost certainly have to turn down her dream job offer, if that came following her interview.

The second job offer was fine, too, but at that point I had a gut feeling that I wasn’t supposed to take that either. 

…And We’re Still In Radford

Rosie didn’t get the elementary art job. And we had already moved out of our place in Radford and were staying with her parents in Powhatan. We needed a place to live, and, without a job elsewhere, we took a 10-month lease on one of the best houses we could imagine having in Radford.

We’re enjoying the new place, but this whole thing has gotten me thinking… bigger. The next thing I do (for a living), I feel, is coming soon. We’ll know in the next couple of months whether we’ll be planning on staying in Radford for the next several years, or if we’ll be headed out after all. But either way, I can’t help but think that this journey has prepared me/us for the next big step.

Whether it is here or there, I don’t know, but I do believe that something big is around the corner. Bigger impact on others, bigger step of faith (probably), bigger scope of job duties and skills and abilities required… bigger in every way I think.

Will it be a total career change towards ministry? A new position of some sort elsewhere? Either way, I know the time is right for me to step back into some things I had stepped away from for a while in the church—music being a prime example.

God has changed my heart to where I don’t want to accept or settle for some generic design position or taking on a few new things here and there. In fact, I just turned down an opportunity to do a bit of teaching at RU this fall. The time investment outside of class/work would have consumed this very special moment of discernment and change, and would have precluded in many ways a mid-fall exit from the current arrangement.

I don’t enjoy seemingly declining offers left and right (especially when there’s money and status involved!) And I’ve always wanted to teach a bit. But, no, my next move will be big and bold, and will impact more lives, more directly, and will encompass more of my dreams under one banner. Of this I am sure…

Now, I listen and wait.

Reminds me a bit of I Kings 19. All these enormous meteorological events came while Eijah waited for the Lord, but the Lord was not in them. Finally the Lord came in a still, small voice, speaking words of encouragement and instruction.

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