Blog #6 - To Smile Or Not To Smile
Updated: Dec 6, 2019
My husband got a job.
If you remember, from blog #2, we have been on a journey. But we finally arrived, and it feels great! As a family we have thought about, prayed through and tried to live out Proverbs 3:5-6. It is no coincidence this has been the subject of the past four blogs. This has been our lives!
But our path has been made straight! We have personally arrived at the last part of this passage:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Today’s entry is for anyone still waiting for God to straighten out a crooked path. Hang in there. Be encouraged! May our story renew your own efforts to keep trusting and acknowledging Him as you do your best to not lean on your own understanding. It isn't easy, but I am living proof it is possible!
The search for a job started many months ago and was fraught with many unknowns. Living in a major metropolitan city, we assumed it would be easy to find another church staff position. We were shocked by how much was not out there! We put feelers everywhere and scoured websites. Nothing, nada, zilch!
We realized moving needed to be on the table.
But we didn’t want to move. We love our house, our neighborhood, our school and grieved losing them. Even more challenging was the fact that we had flooded during Hurricane Harvey, been displaced for seven months and had moved back into our newly remodeled home only three months prior.
Did I mention newly remodeled?
So, we opened to Proverbs 3:5-6 and began to trust Him with all our hearts. I cried a lot. Life suddenly felt unrecognizable, confusing and full of questions. I did my best to hand God my box and trust Him. It was hard, though. God and I stood there for many weeks, both of us holding the box; Him waiting for me to hand it off. He is ridiculously patient, though, and eventually I let go.
Maybe moving was where God was leading.
Then the interviews began. Lots of travel around the southeast. First, second, third interviews. Meetings with realtors. Phone calls to local school districts. Yes, we’re moving. No, we’re not. I would think the path was starting to straighten and then it would take a hard right or a U-turn! Nothing made sense. It was exhausting.
But I noticed when one of us would get anxious or frustrated, another would recall this passage and redirect our thinking. And we learned an important lesson:
Happiness is not required while waiting and trusting. It is ok to just be there. You don’t have to smile in prayer.
As December rolled around, and another door closed, we hit a low. December, for a church staff, is crazy busy. No one is interviewing that month. So, we had another "Proverbs powwow" with God, trusting Him to get us to January and a fresh start. We were trusting, but not smiling.
Then we went to our son’s basketball game. We struck up a conversation with another parent from our team and learned some vital information: He was a pastor and his church was hiring! That conversation led to interviews (first one in December!) which led to a job. And the church is only 15 minutes from our house!
So here is the lesson I am walking away with:
God is the one who straightens our paths. No amount of grit or determination is going to pave it any faster. But while you wait, it is ok if you’re not smiling. The verse doesn’t say “Trust in the Lord with joy.” It just tells us to trust. Trusting is a quiet place of surrender in your heart. Now, somewhere in that place of trust is a touch of joy. Knowing He is in control and has your best interests at heart is nothing but good. So joy is there, but it may not reach your smile at first.
But it will.
We celebrated this week. (Yes, this happened this week! And no, it’s not a coincidence the conclusion to our passage was this week! God is up to speed on my blogging schedule!)
Here is a man celebrating a new job with a good steak.
Now we’re smiling.
Be Intentional Whether you are smiling or not, take one minute to mentally trust Him with your situation. And remember! He’s very much at work. You are not forgotten.