Monday, October 22, 2012

God is a Screenwriter

So I have this new friend, Lisa. I don't know her very well - yet. But I am already captivated by her. She has this...presence about her that is part confidence/part vulnerability - perhaps it is part defensive bravado/part childlike-ness (not sure if that is really a word, but I'm the blogger here, so I declare it so!).

Lisa has a simply pretty face that is often serious, and yet, when she smiles, she glows! Whatever it is about her, I strongly believe she is the recipient of God's overflowing lovingkindness (now THAT's a word that has to have God in the definition!) I also believe (instinctively for I have no knowledge or evidence to back this statement up) that she does not realize or recognize that God is raining His lovingkindness down on her.

It's not that she wouldn't love to to accept this gift, I'm sure. I think she has so little experience in receiving such a gift from the people in her world that she has moments of little reason to believe it could come direct from God to her. (I also may be over-analyzing this person I barely know!)

My other new friend, Jennifer, must recognize something in Lisa also. Last night at our weekly get together, she was praying for Lisa and she said two things that perked up my ears. She mentioned God's EXTRAVAGANT love for us, particularly Lisa. And she pointed out that God "dreamed you up, Lisa, to be exactly who you are and that's how he sees you". (That last was paraphrased as I have hit-and-miss memory as we shall see...but it's close!)

Extravagant is another word that I believe requires God's name in the definition. I love that word!

But it was the second statement Jenn made that triggered a memory for me, of an event that happened the previous Sunday night after our meeting. Minda and I were home watching a DVD and one of the characters in the story told the other character, "I wish you could see you as I see you." And at that precise moment - not after, but during the time the actor was saying this line - I heard God whisper, "You need to tell Lisa this." I sat up and hit the pause button on the remote and told Minda, "Wow! I think God just told me I need to tell Lisa those exact words."

It kind of freaked me much so that I immediately started doing what Satan wanted me to do, which was to question, analyze, doubt and ultimately dismiss it as my imagination. Crafty little devil, he is. (At the time, Minda thought I meant our other friend Lisa, who is not experiencing as much drama in her life as this Lisa, so even Minda looked at me a little tilt-headed!)

And so I promptly forgot about it.

Until last night when Jenn's prayer reminded me - and made me realize that perhaps this was the moment when God wanted me to tell her - she was in tears, questioning, doubting, hurting.

So I told her and she smiled, tears running down her cheeks. I think she even glowed a little with the knowledge of God's lovingkindness.

I can't wait to get to know my new friend better.

Friday, October 12, 2012

...With a Cherry on Top

So, it turns out God answers prayers...and then adds a little finishing touch. I can even sense a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" in His message. Here's what happened...

I've been dissatisfied at, stressed from, and frankly concerned for the future of, my current employer. For reasons that don't need further extrapolation, I have been seeking a new job for over a year. Researching and applying for jobs similar to and a step forward from my current one - what I feel I am supposed to do now that I'm a "grown-up" - was leaving me cold. It felt like I was trading one bad situation for another one. But what's a grown-up to do?

I networked of course, and spread the word to friends and family that I was looking for a "customer service" job. One good friend, Mark, sent me a posting for the company he works for - as a fill-in type position as I looked for my grown-up job. The position seemed, on the surface, interesting but did not pay appropriately. I blew it off almost instantly.

And then I went on an LSD trip with said friend - that is, in our training for an upcoming half-marathon, we ran a Long Slow Distance run - I believe it was eight miles that day. (Truth is, with Mark, it isn't really ever slow!) At some point in our huffing and puffing conversation, he mentioned the position at this small company (DING! - I like working for small companies - always have, in fact that's one of the appeals of my second shift job - small group of co-workers. It's like a small company within a big one.) and how flexible the hours were (DING! - I need a job with flexibility so I can pick Andrew up from school) and that the hand-assembly (DING! - I so miss creating/building/fabricating with my hands) was something I could easily do with my background (model-building) and that the company was full of Believers (DING! - perfect!). Also, the office was located in our community - just 4.5 miles from our house - easily bike-able, even occasionally run-able (DING! DING!)

I sent my resume/cover letter that very night.

And, conversely, interviewed for a position at my current employer a few days later. It seemed like a good move - a day position with a step above what I've been doing on the night shift. It was daytime hours (possibly flexible) and meant working in the large population of "daywalkers". I would still be driving a computer (with my hands) sitting at a desk, but it would be more hours and, I assumed it would come with a significant pay increase. Interviews, three of them, went well enough (backed up with a lot of prayer). It was a grown-up thing to do.

Four days later I was sitting in the office of the president of the small company where Mark works, animatedly and enthusiastically discussing everything from my squirrel feeder patent and how that whole business was started in our dining room in St. Paul, to the good ol' days of architectural model building. We talked about their handful of employees (DING!) and how their products (related to air pollution and auto emissions - I think they have a long and huge future in the upcoming green-conscious next century or two!) are hand-assembled (DING!), that they have flexible hours (DING!). Oh, and did I mention that upon the founder's bookshelf, within easy reach, sat a Holy Bible? (DING!)

I spent a lot of time over the next 24 hours praying, telling God that I really, really, REALLY wanted this job, but that it needed to work money-wise (that whole grown-up thing reared it's pragmatic face). I even posted my little prayer on the KTIS radio website among all the "serious" prayers.

Two days later I received word from my current employer that, though they were offering the position for which I had interviewed to another candidate, they were offering me a different one, a little more in line with my current skill set and certainly helpful in preparing me for stepping into the larger role in the future. But no, the hours were not flexible, and since I am already at the high end of the pay scale for that position, there would be no rate increase at this time. I was a bit relieved (the bigger position had some intimidation factor going for it) and flattered (she sounded sincere in her predictions of future movement) and I told her I would get back to her in the next day or two once Minda and I figured out how to make it work.

And four hours later I received an email offering me the job at the small company. With pretty much everything I had hoped for.