Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When God Says YES

Have you ever been in a time of life where you feel like on every level and every situation, God is saying NO or WAIT? I have been in this phase since we moved to Oregon.

The year leading up to our move, God brought us on an incredible journey of faith and trust in Him. He baby-stepped us through God-ordained conversations, impeccable timing for interviews, sold our house in an impossible market, and opened every door we knocked on. He said YES consistently and often and it was impossible not to see His hand of guidance on our life.

We left everything comfortable and familiar and headed off to start a new life in Oregon where family awaited us, but everything else was brand new. I just assumed God would continue His pattern of saying YES to my desires and my perceived needs. Needless to say, I was a little put off when He started saying NO or WAIT consistently and much more frequently than I appreciated. I sulked. I pouted. I threw grown-up temper tantrums. I turned my back on God when He was talking to me. I gave Him the silent treatment. I cried. I tried to force things and got mad when they didn't work. I questioned His timing. His ways. His intelligence. I yearned for the familiar. Gave up hope. Wanted to quit and go home, but dang-it-all, God had sold our house in Illinois. What on earth was He thinking?

But God loved me anyway and persistently pursued me. He forgave me. Gave me new chances. Wiped the snot from my fits. Dried my eyes. Gave me new perspective and fresh hope. Encouraged me through His word and my friends. And He whispered to my impulsive heart, "WAIT. My child, you have so much to learn. Please, let me teach you."

God didn't stop saying NO, but my heart softened and I started figuring out how to live in the in-between times. I saw that even though He was saying NO, He was still very clearly guiding my life. I remembered that God was still trust-worthy and started asking Him to give me His perspective on each day. I found purpose in my neighborhood and started developing friendships that will be life-long. I committed again to daily quiet time with the Lord. I started exercising consistently again and used my running time as refreshing prayer time and one-on-one time with my youngest daughter. And God gave me contentment. Nothing about my situation had changed, except my perspective, but in spite of that, I had peace that surpasses all understanding. I was ready to be a renter for the rest of my life.

And right about the time I hit total contentment, God started the ball moving again. Curt got an interview for his clinic day with a group of surgeons in Salem. The interviews went great and this week he got an offer. We were anticipating the compensation package would be significantly less than what he made in Chicago, but God chose to shower us with generosity and the offer was actually significantly more than his previous clinic job. A house we like dropped dramatically in price. It's one of the only homes that both Curt and I each loved, it's in Newberg and will be great for ministry and hospitality. We feel God saying YES to pursuing this home and are excited to see what the outcome will be.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving and have to admit, it feels strange to have God saying YES again. However, I wouldn't trade my time in the WAITING camp for a whole season of Yes's. In Phillipians 4:11, Paul penned, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances," and I agree!

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