Jul 9, 2014

"Do you trust me?"

My spot at the park last night. You can't see the bugs eating me but oh, they are there!

I'll be honest with you. I'm not perfect (for the 5 millionth time!!! How many times do I say that?!!) but I don't have a lot of bad days. Now, don't get me wrong- things constantly happen that may be less than enjoyable and I have moments every day where I may not be as patient, loving, or light hearted as I perhaps should be- but every new moment brings new opportunities to start over again and I've worked hard to train my mind to see each new moment as such. So typically I have bad moments, but not bad days. It's very rare for me to have a bad day that I just can't shake.

That being said- yesterday was a bad day.

It sounds really silly to even write about but basically the jist of it was that the company I work for is in the middle of a big merger with a larger company from out of state. It's been a stressful situation but yesterday took a bit of a less than desired turn as I found out that I was being demoted. Not a huge change, my pay will be exactly the same, my responsibilities will be exactly the same but my title will suddenly have an extra word in front of it that just doesn't sit well with my prideful self- "assistant".

I am going to be really real here (as I try to be typically) and let you know up front- I am one stubborn, prideful person. In fact if there were 3 things I think I struggle with on a daily basis it would be listed in this order:
1. Humbling myself and seeing past my own desires/point of view
2. Being patient (I am very much an instant gratification sort of girl)
3. Letting go of control of any situation (can we say "control freak?")

So yesterday, I struggled with all of these things. Honestly, I work really hard. I give my job 100% and sometimes even more. Not to brag but I consider myself to be pretty good at what I do- since being at the community I work in now I've raised rents (good on a business side), increased occupancy, and done all of it without all the major renovations that have been promised and are much needed. So to work so hard, appear to be succeeding, and to be moving backwards seems fully frustrating. Plus, I have to swallow that nasty taste in my mouth of now being an assistant manager verses just a manager and though the change is small, it just wasn't sitting right on my heart. Honestly, I found it embarrassing. Like a big sign to wear around my neck that said "FAILED".

So I spent most of yesterday in a bad place mentally. Normally when this happens I find ways to remind myself of the beautiful things around me. I have a spot in particular that I love that is just off the hiking trail of one of the lesser known parks here in town. The people who frequent the park are mainly there to kayak or paddle board, so the trails stay very peaceful most of the time. Just off the trail there is a giant bluff that sticks out over the water. It's the perfect place to sit and think and talk to God and I find amazing amounts of peace there- typically. I guess yesterday decided it was just not having it because as soon as I got out my prayer journal this couple comes over and asks me to move so they can have the bluff. Purely by the grace of God I somehow swallowed my aggravation enough to say sure and climb back down the trail. I wasn't ready to leave however so I sat right by the water for a solid two hours during which I was attacked by mosquitos and a very angry fly--- obviously I wasn't getting the same zen in that spot as my tried and true comfort zone would have allowed. And I was grappling with the question of "what next? where do I go from here?" and not getting very far with the answer.

Now, when my tried and true methods of praying and surrounding myself with the beauty God created aren't helping to change my perspective (and honestly, they work 99.99% of the time- when I'm not being attacked by killer insects) there is another small trick that's more of a cheat that I fall back on- DISTRACTION! So I came home, curled up with my puppy, and tucked in for that episode of Bachelorette that was on my TiVo. I haven't been super in love with Andi's season. Don't hate! But I have been a little head over heels for Marcus. Oh, Marcus. I spend every rose ceremony going "please don't send home Marcus. Don't send home Marcus!" Well, because it was just that kind of day, wouldn't you know (SPOILER ALERT) that Marcus went home in the episode I watched last night! Which okay honestly isn't something that would just wreck my mood but it definitely left me with a few thoughts a long the line of "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY!?" (Side note: I have a problem about the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I cannot get enough. Am I alone in this?!)

Anyways- so yesterday I prayed a lot for peace. I prayed a lot for clarity in my work situation and to humble myself enough to not stand in the way of whatever God's purpose is for my life. I was still worrying and stressing about it today though. I just had the hardest time shaking that case of the "what if's?" You know, I recently have felt very strongly that God was putting it on my heart to do something HUGE that involved needing to get my finances in order and now this was happening- what if, what if, what if...

And I sat in prayer meeting today and as I was listening to Pastor John explain fasting (which has nothing to do with this bee-tee-dubs) you know what came to my mind? I had this thought of God asking me-

"Destiny, do you trust me?"

And my heart wanted so badly to say yes but my mind (which is typically the more brutally honest of the two) answered no. No. I was not trusting God in this situation. I was taking it all upon myself. Worrying about how I would be able to go forward in the purpose He had put on my heart, stressing about how I would be able to find the strength to humble myself to accept the position gracefully and not letting negative feelings cloud my performance and heart, trying to figure out on my own if it was the time to look elsewhere for new opportunities.

I recently read this book "Crazy in Love" by Francis Chan. If you want a book to change your heart for God and wake you up and set your heart on fire- this is it. In the book, one of my very favorite things he touches on is this-

"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says the things that we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, and our tight grip of control. Basically, these 2 behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because stuff in in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry & stress reek of arrogance"
Francis Chan, ladies & gents. Okay, now just go by the book because I promise you it's amazing. I'd lend you my copy but good luck following along with all my scribbles & high lighting.

Anyways, so I had this realization that I am not fully trusting God in this situation. I'm still holding onto the reigns of my life, still pushing and pulling it to be a certain way but the problem is- it is not MY life. It is Gods. His plan is His plan, it's already set into motion and he is working to guide my steps in the direction He chosen. And that realization was all it took to find total peace. Whether I stay or go- whether I figure out the purpose behind this- it doesn't matter. He has this in his hands and all he wants me to do is sit back and trust him, trust what he places on my heart, and have faith that he will guide my steps.

Now why am I telling you this? Because honestly, somedays when I'm sitting in the mega-church I attend (don't judge it because it's big- I swear those people are so busy doing different missions, etc. they cant possibly sleep), sipping my Starbucks, watching the pastor and his adorable wife (who are genuinely happy together and really amazing people- don't get me wrong) I get caught up in the idea that because I have God life is going to be easy.  He is going to give me everything I want in my human life. It's always going to be a comfortable life because he loves me. He shields me from things that hurt me because he loves me, right?

Well, yes to the love part. But no to the rest.

We all struggle. God will test us. His purposes don't guarantee (and it isn't probable that they'll even include) us being constantly comfortable. In fact, sometimes I think He likes to take us past our breaking point as humans to remind us that we are strengthened in him.  Honestly though, I can't pretend to know his motives because I am short sighted in comparison to He who can see eternity.

What I do know is this- I will end up where God wants me to be. Whether I stay where I am or go to another company, whether I end up rich poor, whether I am comfortable or uncomfortable, this one is God's. He's in control of the situation and whatever he chooses to do he is choosing to do for a bigger purpose- His purpose.

That's good enough for me.

"So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!" (Romans 8:12-14, MSG)
The view from my normal spot on the bluffs!! Aww, that's better!