For those of you that don't know, Kyle and I have been through some big changes this semester. Just a few short weeks after our first anniversary he resigned from his previous job and started an apprentice training program...in Tennessee. He's been home several times for long weekends, but for the majority of the last ten weeks I've lived alone.
It's been an interesting experience. I am an only child, so entertaining myself has never been a problem. However, I have desperately missed having my best friend by my side every day. I truly appreciate the friends and family who have reached out to us, made a point to spend time with me, and have kept us in their (your) prayers. Words can't express how important all of those things have been for us.
There are quite a few things in our future that are uncertain. I'm currently finishing my last year of schooling. Beginning in May I will be on clinical rotations for a year...somewhere in the state of Indiana. At some point I need to be decisive about my career and/or post-grad training. Kyle is applying for jobs- wherever he is placed we will be for at least five years. We don't know where we're going to live. I don't know where to request my rotations. The list of uncertainties is pretty long right now. And I've wasted far too much time and energy trying to play out the different scenarios that could play out. Add to this working two jobs, a large leadership role in a student organization, and a 23 credit hour semester...and you've got one nutty, worried lady.
As unusual as it may sound, I think God purposely put this period of time into my life. In our ladies' Bible study, we've been talking about becoming a woman of simplicity. As part of this study I've deliberately made efforts to reduce the "noise" in my life. I don't watch TV, and I've turned off the radio/iTunes. It's given me plenty of time to reflect and listen.
A few weeks ago, I looked up quite a few verses for a friend going through a rough time. They were passages about God's plan for us and how He knew us deeply before we were born. While I was writing an email to this friend, I realized that this was God's message to me. "I have a plan for you; I've known it for all time. You are my beloved daughter- I want nothing but the best for you." Right then and there I gave all my worry, fear, and stress about the future over to God. I instantly felt relief and at peace.
In our Sunday school class we've been reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I've missed a few weeks due to visiting family out of town, but it's been a great class so far. Two Sundays ago we read letter six in the book. The whole message was basically that when we are occupied with thoughts of worry for ourselves we open ourselves up to the trap of selfishness and it's easy to lose sight our goal. As I sat there rereading a portion of the text, it was like God was using a giant billboard pointing out, yet again, that my worry would be my pitfall, and to turn it all over to him.
Then came the sermon about our mission- how God calls us to serve the forgotten wherever we are, in our current situation. I remember thinking it was a good sermon, but I didn't walk out of church feeling particularly called or moved. As I was washing dishes that night in silence, I heard a voice in my heart, whispering, "I want you to do my work. You are my daughter. That comes first, before everything else in your life. Before school, before work; my work is your first priority."
I have never so clearly heard God's call. I'm excited and nervous. He's already working in our life- I just found out that I will be on rotation in Lafayette for 4-6 months next year. I can't wait to see how He's going to use me in this community! There are other awesome things in store- I know this because God promised it!