Nearly five months ago, my intern Sam Chafe came to visit me in my office at the University of Idaho and asked for some help in looking for jobs since he was wrapping up his degree. I kindly obliged, and while showing him some places to look, stumbled across a job opportunity in Seattle. That evening, when I got home, I pulled up the job, gave it some thought and decided to apply. I nonchalantly mentioned it to Ian when he got home that night, thinking nothing would come of it.
But the next morning, at 8:03 a.m., I received a call from the search firm helping Communique PR on this recruitment effort. By the end of the day, I’d had my first interview and was scheduled to have a second — which took place a few days later on my birthday (this is the second job opportunity that has had a connection to my birthday, something I find interesting). At that time, I was told the firm wanted me to come in for an in-person interview. Due to some obligations I had with my role at the university, it ultimately was not scheduled until July 8 — almost a month later.
In the meantime, Ian — who you may or may not know is well on his journey to become a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene — had what looked like an opportunity crop up at a local church. We were ready to pass on Seattle and take up this post in a small church that needed to be re-established. We were not sure what God wanted for us,but we were ready to do His bidding wherever He led us. I *almost* bailed on my third interview for the Seattle job, truly feeling pulled toward Pullman. We had taken our family to check out the church and the parsonage, developed a scope of work for the local church advisory board, had a name picked out for the church, and our kids were willing to get up and go. Our pastor had all but said the keys were ours if we wanted them.But, the big but, we simply had no indication that this opportunity would truly present itself.
In the meantime, I went to Seattle and had a delightful interview. I was 99% sure I’d have an offer, which was indeed presented to me within a week’s time. I had a long weekend in which to make a decision. And we were incredibly torn.
Ian spoke to pastors on the church advisory board, who said they didn’t have any movement and weren’t sure anything would take place for several more months. One actually told Ian I should take the job in Seattle. We prayed continuously, asking God to reveal His plan (we should know that God has His own thoughts about things and often times we aren’t privy to those thoughts or His timing). I gave the university an opportunity to counter offer, but they declined on every front. It seemed like what had been an open door in Pullman was quickly shut on us, and all signs pointed to Seattle. But still we hemmed and hawed. Until the morning I had to give an answer to Seattle, I was truly torn as to what the answer should be. I’m fortunate to have some trusted advisers, and was able to seek their counsel. Two weeks previously, they’d all said “Pullman.” And the morning of my decision, they ALL said “Seattle.” And just like that, I picked up the phone and accepted.
In a future post, I’ll write more about what has happened since that fateful morning of July 19.
However, what I wanted to note with this post is that sometimes we think God’s will for us is what seems to be the most obvious path. In reality, that’s not necessarily the case. So how do you know what path to choose — particularly in a tough situation? The answer is actually very simple. Trust in God. Trust that His hand will guide you — even if you make the “wrong” choice. Psalm 16:5 and Romans 8:28 make this very clear. Contentment will come from accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know He is good.
In closing, here are today’s “gifts” in my life for which I am thankful:
- God is guiding my path, even when I think I’m choosing the direction.
- God will not give me more than I am able to sustain.
- I have a wonderful new job.
- Friday evenings, with no “must do” activities looming over the weekend.
- The “safe” delivery of our final item from our move (our gun safe).
- A car that allows me to play music from my phone so I can have some music to help me as I sing songs to God on my drive home. (Yes, God accepts our praises, but it helps me to think I sound better with the music.)
- A beautiful lake that I get to cross twice a day, with incredible views of mountains and bald eagles.
- Peace and contentment that God is bringing to me.
- A Friday night, which means we can stay up past 9 p.m. and sleep in past 4:45 a.m. tomorrow.