The past few months of my life have been a mix of chaos, order, confusion, peace, busyness, relaxation, and anxiety. Although those adjectives seem to make my personal life significantly notable, I suppose that such a statement can sum up most people’s lives. While I know that my situation is not remarkable, in a long season of non-fruitful job searching, I’ve felt like I have constantly been soul searching. At times I’ve been mildly impatient, while others I’ve been downright angry with God for not giving me the answers I wanted. Somedays I’m pretty zen about my uncertain future, but other days I stomp around my house or vent to unsuspecting bystanders about my frustrations. During seasons of waiting, I often feel isolated from God. If I do not directly see my anticipated version of positive outcomes happening, I often forget that God is constantly working in and through me.
In January I started tying up what I deemed to be “loose ends” in my life. I was certain that if I closed all the lingering open doors, that one new (and hopefully perfect) opportunity would present itself and that all ducks would consequently order themselves. Of course that idea was delusional. When my anticipated timeline for job-changing didn’t play out by the end of July, I changed my attitude about the work and the opportunities in front of me. Although life didn’t magically change for the better, switching the focus from figuring out the future to investing in the present really shifted the focus off of what I was getting out of life to how I could best serve and pour into the lives of others. I didn’t become a perfect person, but I did consider that random opportunities might result in open doors that I couldn’t have ever planned for or even dreamed of. I also considered (probably for the first time) that many experiences don’t have immediate personal gratification included. Sometimes the simple benefit is to joyfully serve or help some one else accomplish their goals.
So as I continue to wait in the in-between of job transitions, I’m pausing to reflect on nine months of walking out of my comfort zone (sometimes literally). I’m choosing to believe that God isn’t random and that crises in my life aren’t surprises or foils to his plans for me. I’m pressing on toward new adventures with excitement, a light heart, and a heavy faith that I am able to do immeasurably more with God than on my own – and knowledge that the random pieces often do line up in hindsight.
A few highlights of recent “random opportunities” outside of my plans & comfort zone:
1. Writing and composing seven original worship songs
2. Being an ensemble member in a local production of West Side Story
3. Creating a summer dance program for young adults with disabilities
4. Walking as a model in Northwest Arkansas’s Fashion Week
5. Choreographing a large (33 person) opening number for church to “Be Our Guest”
6. Taking a road trip with my sister
7. Working as a floral assistant at a greenhouse
8. Asking for help & for prayer – not when I wanted it, but when I needed it