Okay. So I squelched in my New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a week. I’m only human. And for once, it had nothing to do with the lack of material or the desire to remain private over lame or negative life situations to post. Truth be told, I have been so abundantly blessed in the last two weeks that my head can’t even keep it all straight. The provisions of my needs and wants are practically immeasurable and yet to do service to what I stand for, I must share with all of you.
My last blog post was an explanation as to why my birthday and Valentine’s Day is typically ignored on my end. It wasn’t to sound negative, but to give a background as to why I have been so negative toward them for so long. In my defense, I admitted that despite all of my so-called failures and unhappiness in the past year, I was vigilantly faithful that God was about to turn it all around for me… naturally after a few small moments of “why me?!” every now and again. Like I said, I’m only human. I was “coming out of my desert”, nearing a final breakthrough. Almost immediately upon posting that blog, my breakthrough began and I haven’t really had time to stop and catch my breath, or process the extraordinary turn of events in my life.
Recently, it really started with the fact that when God lays something upon my heart to act upon, I do so, even when it truly makes no sense to me. None whatsoever. I have even built up scapegoats from these things “just in case”. A year ago, He put it in my heart to carry his message in song. I naturally toyed with the idea of returning to my bluegrass gospel roots, but faltered in action. I worried that I was worthless and unworthy of any “job” He may have set aside for me. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? He set aside a job for me. I didn’t choose it or make it up to glorify myself. And yet I ran from it until I was cornered in October, when a worship leader invited me to his church to take a stab at worship. Strange when you think about it–I had never met the guy before and his pastor I had only met a handful of times in my life. I played secular music in bars and stages, but out of nowhere I get an email inviting me to a small meeting of sorts about worship. I knew I was cornered. God was determined to put me right where He wanted me. The morning of the meeting, I’ll be honest, I considered calling in sick. I was scared and for no real reason at all other than Satan reminding me of how “comfortable” my life was now and that by changing, I would only be throwing my life in a further tailspin. How ridiculous! I was divorced, unemployed, living dependent on my parents in my 30’s. Two boys I could hardly take care of on my own. A depression that imprisoned me with a poisonous way of thinking about not only the world and the circumstances I was in, but about myself. I was lonely. Angry. I believed I was unloved, that not only would I always be alone and forgotten, but that I deserved to be alone and forgotten. I assure you, Satan is good with his lies because I actually believed that I was “comfortable” in that mess!
So I went to the meeting. The second I walked into the church that day, I knew my life was making a change and in that instant, I placed my faith in God’s hands. I became a part-time Worship leader and that journey has been a fast, but wonderful blessing!
Still, during this time, I remained unemployed, depressed (at times), and still lonely (but not as much already). But things were already shifting in several areas of my life. Some of them completely unexplainable–you could just sense the change, much like one would smell an oncoming rain in the summer. One of the shifts was my desire to attend school.
For those of you who do not know me personally, I hate school. Absolutely detested it. I swore I’d never go back. But after I began surrendering to God’s will and making it my will as well, I found a tug in my heart to return to the seventh level of hell…er, uh… I mean school. Coincidentally, the church I lead worship in had also a bible college that offered degree programs for Christian Counseling. Again, for those of you who do not know me, I also hate people. I couldn’t care less what their problems are. I’m all about number one. Myself.
The tug to return to school–and not only school but a Bible College to study something other than music or theater (which is what I wasted half my education on)–became incessant! Sincerely, I thought I was going insane. I justified it for weeks, telling myself that this was inspired only by my best friend’s college graduation in December. But finally, I caved–with a scapegoat, naturally. I met with the pastor to get an idea of what school would cost me and what I would do with this degree. My plan was simple: Find out how much I “couldn’t afford” then chalk it up to God as an I tried situation. After all, I was still unemployed, and it not being a state-funded school, grants and scholarships were out of the question. At the end of our meeting, I was agreeing to return to the church that evening for my first class–apparently I had only missed one this semester and would easily be able to catch up. Plus, it was affordable enough for even an unemployed sap, such as myself. Cornered again.
I have already finished one class, and guess what I have learned? That not only do I love what I’m studying and find that I have a real passion for it, I generally like people! Do I think I will actually be a counselor? I honestly don’t know yet. All I know is that God told me to study it, and I’m doing that. He has a plan in this and I almost can’t wait to see what that is. However, things are slowly coming together where it all makes sense!
Around this time, I also began involving myself at my best friend’s church. Never in my life did I ever think I would have two church families simultaneously and love them so much. I put my faith in God that He would heal me of my depression–something I had carried since the age of 19. For the first time in my life, during the winter months, I no longer take prozac. My intimacy with God has increased to a point where depression no longer has a place to reside. And though I shouldn’t be amazed at this, I am!
But this story isn’t over. Not by a long shot.
On February 7th, I posted my birthday blog about the impending turning point in my life. I knew I wanted to welcome that turning point that very weekend–the weekend of my 35th birthday (affectionately referred to as the 6th Anniversary of my 29th birthday), so I made plans to be re-baptized. I was baptized at 10. Yes, it was the real deal then–right after my salvation (which I so need to blog on soon). The reasoning this time? I can’t fully explain it again. It was just what God wanted so I obeyed and scheduled to be re-baptized on Sunday–my actual birthday.
On February 8th I was called in for an interview at a long-term healthcare facility for a position I was not fully qualified for. It was for activities in the facility, also known as recreational therapy. I felt I was out of the running simply because I was not a certified nurse’s assistant, though I could accomplish that in a three-week course, no sweat. But when I told the woman interviewing me that I was studying Christian Counseling, her eyes literally lit up! She suggested that if I was hired, I should look into stepping in to the clergy department eventually–that my degree may be of a great deal of help in that department in terms of grieving and loss. My heart leapt for joy at the sound of that! *Oh! I forgot; I don’t even like people!!* The interview went very well, but I kept faith that if I didn’t get this job that God had something else out there for me. Something that would not only provide for me and my boys, but allow me to feel good about myself again. No point in getting your hopes up anyway after a year of unemployment let downs.
Things were looking up a bit still… until Friday. The devil had his way with me in the most idiotic sense possible–but he knew it would get under my skin just the same. After a full year of believing that my last name had been returned to its maiden name, I learned while trying to renew my license my request had been accidentally left out of the final decree. No one ever caught it. Not even me. Not only was I heartbroken that I was still no longer the girl I was born as (name-wise), but that this last year had been a complete sham of identity. Originally, I never even wanted to change my name. I wanted to be stubborn, independent, whatever and keep my maiden name. When my ex-husband explained that it insulted him because I didn’t want his last name, I felt pity and compromised to a hyphenated name. Still no good. That hurt his feelings too. So I left “Ellis” behind with a broken heart. Now, that I’m single again, “Ellis” is still out of my grasp. It hurts, but I’m in the process of correcting this issue… after a long Friday afternoon meltdown of “why me?!”
I was ready to just hide out in my bedroom for the weekend because of this let down.
But my best friend was at my house first thing Saturday morning, ready to spend the entire weekend with me. I knew he was mainly excited for my baptism, but I was sideswiped with the surprise of celebrating Valentine’s Day with him. Yeah, I said it. Valentine’s Day! Candy, a card… an expensive restaurant. Wine! It was more and better than anything I could have ever imagined. And in my mind, all I could think was “God is so good to me for allowing this to happen!” After Saturday night’s adventure of an expensive and fancy restaurant, I was completely content with just being at home for my birthday after my baptism. But he surprised me yet again, with the help of my new church friends and my loving family by planning a surprise birthday party for me Sunday evening.
A girl could easily fall in-love with a guy like that–as scary as it may sound for a divorcee with her head on straight. But honestly, I just fell more in love with God!! He had put people in my life to support me, lift me up, and love me! People I can share my life with! People I want to share my life with!
So I was really unable to blog about the entire wonderfulness of my birthday/Valentine’s Day weekend because I was still floating around on cloud 9–heck, cloud 99! I had an awesome surprise gathering for my birthday and then surprised beyond comprehension with the sudden turn in my life to celebrate a “lame love” holiday such as Valentine’s day. It doesn’t get much better than this.
On Wednesday, I was offered the job. In two weeks, I will finally be employed. Full-time in a traditional job for the first time in a decade. And it’s the job I wanted. A job I specifically feel God’s hand in. I can’t even begin to describe the excitement in that! He provides!
This past weekend, I spent with my best friend again, taking further steps in what I feel is a healthy relationship. He and I were also blessed to see his brother, whom we haven’t seen or spoken to in almost a year because of an unfortunate misunderstanding. We are quickly mending wounds and restoring what was once broken. We had a blessed blast with him! I also came away with a few new friends that I look forward to growing close to.
It’s all coming together just as He promised.
Does this mean that everything in my life with continually run smoothly? No way. Perfection is of God, and this Earth–our lives–are not perfect. This job will probably frustrate me at times. My van is still crap and I can’t see being able to afford a new vehicle anytime soon… but I can at least see it now. Will my “unofficial” relationship with my best friend last? Will he finally step up and boldly announce to everyone that we are together? Maybe. Maybe not. Though I clearly see God’s will in it, we are also given free will and he [friend] may not see it as I see it… probably because he over-analyzes everything. But this doesn’t mean that God loves me any less or that it may never work out in the end. He always has a plan. Always. I have remained faithful and (somewhat) patient. He has provided. I will continue to remain faithful and (somewhat) patient as His ultimate plan is more and more revealed!
Yes, I am aware that this post is probably not at all useful to you or thought-provoking as I try to be consistent with. I just wanted to share with you how God has been moving in my life and hope that readers here will see and understand the lack of fear in having faith in Him when all else seems hopeless.
He makes hopeless hopeful and the impossible possible.
I promise next week will be more in tune with this blog. Just wanted to brag about my Father God a bit.