8.22.2013

Restless


There is this song we sing at church. It’s John Mark McMillan.

My heart turns violently inside of my chest.

It is my favorite worship song. Something about the imagery in the lyrics, the way God is reaching out to so desperately that you can feel his heart wrench.
That’s how I’ve felt in church lately.

For the past few weeks in a row, something we’ve talked about or some experience we’ve had has just hit me to my core. I’ve teared up and cried, makeup streaming down my face. I’ve gone down to the front of the church and sang with my hand raised.
I am NOT that person. In fact, doing anything besides standing there when we are singing is not something I’ve ever done. I don’t always wear my emotions on my sleeve (some might say otherwise).
But I have been completely overwhelmed by Jesus lately.  I’m not even sure WHAT about Jesus has been overwhelming.  The community I’ve found at this church or the message itself. I don’t even know if this makes sense.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be gleaning from these feelings but I do know that God is trying to tell me something.
I’ve never been so restless in my life. I realize that in 3 months I’m getting married and moving in with my husband – so that’s a big deal. (And a whole other topic.)
But this is different. I’ve been feeling an overwhelming need to go/do/seek…something.
Just last week I was feeling so exasperated by this heartache I actually prayed out loud.

‘What do you want? What are you trying to tell me?’

There is a restless stirring in my soul that something big is looming on the horizon.
I don’t know when and I don’t know what it is but I know something is coming.
In a recent sermon, our worship pastor used this Henry Drummond quote I just can’t get out of my mind:

‘When God speaks, he speaks so loudly that all the other voices of the world seem dumb.
And yet, when God speaks, he speaks so softly that no one hears the whisper but yourself.’

I recently had some disappointment at work.
I found this job that seemed like a perfect fit - an opportunity to use my professional skills as well as work closely with people. I interviewed 5 separate times. After each interview, I was SURE I had the job. I had good rapport with all the people I’d be working with and it just felt right. I was just positive this position was the shake-up I needed to infuse some energy and life back into my work life.
Then I got a call that started with, ‘Nicole, I’m sure this is not what you wanted to hear.’
I was bummed. I thought for sure I was ‘in’ and had already been formulating questions for my predecessor and assessing goals for myself in the first year.  (FYI- ‘Achiever’ is in my strengthfinders top 5. If it wasn’t obvious.)
But as I hung up the phone, I realized I really wasn’t as upset as I thought I would be. I felt like deep down I knew it was coming.  I was surprised at how disappointed I really wasn’t.
There were 3 things that happened within the time I got the phone call to five minutes after I hung up that stood out to me:
1.      The hiring manager said something sort of strange. As we were talking through the position and the reasons I was not the final candidate, she said to me, ‘Nicole, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I know there is a job out there that you will be great at and will challenge you in the ways you need.’ I felt like it was a really spiritual thing for someone to say in a professional environment. And as she was saying it, I found myself nodding and agreeing with her, appreciating her candor. That yes there is something out there for me. I would have loved to work for her (she is an amazing manager), but maybe this particular job just wasn’t meant for me.  
2.      After I got off the phone, I told my co-worker about the conversation and she looked right at me and said, ‘Nicole, you are great at what you do, but I just picture you doing something different …maybe something with community or to do with food. You have so many passions that just aren’t here.’ She and I have had many a conversations about ‘if we could do whatever we wanted, what would we do?’ She knows what would get me out of bed happily every morning.
3.      While having this conversation with my teammate, my other co-worker and friend had been emailing to see what happened with the job. I filled her in with a brief response and she said, ‘Maybe it’s time to do something else. You could do great here, but you won’t thrive.’


'Thrive' is one of my daily reminders



If those aren’t signs…I’m not sure what is?
So what do I do now?

I’m not exactly sure. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. This isn’t really the best timing for a major career overhaul considering I have some big life events happening very soon (you know- like that wedding and husband living and stuff I mentioned earlier) not to mention that starting a career from scratch doesn’t come inexpensively or easily.

We had a guest pastor a few weeks ago and he said one way to gauge your spiritual life is ‘Irresponsible Responsibility.’ Sometimes God asks us to do things that may look incredibly crazy, but in the long run they make the most sense.

Like Henry Drummond- I feel like God is practically shouting at me to ‘Do something! Stop what you are doing right now and just go CHANGE THE WORLD!’ and honestly, I have to fight the urge to just put in my 2 weeks and see what happens. Which is a terrible idea by the way and I won’t be doing that.

In the same vein, I feel like God is softly nudging me. He’s teaching me a huge lesson right now.

Patience.
Faith.
Obedience.

Things I’m not really good at. Things I purposely avoid because I like to live life on my terms.


My attitude until recently...

Instead of taking control and creating my own terms, I'm trying to let go a little. 
I’m not running. I’m not making rash decisions. I’m holding steady.
I’m praying. A lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. (A new discipline for me)
I’m focusing on the day to day. I’m focusing on work and how I can be the best I can be at the position I’m in. How I can be of use right where I am.
I’m also not ignoring His call.
I’m researching and looking and formulating how I can make my life look like what I feel in my soul is how it should be.
It seems all my posts lately are about this sort of life turmoil. (Sorry- I'm sort of sick of talking about it too!)

I hardly ever ask for anything from you, dear readers.
But…
This Friday I’m heading to a leadership retreat with my church.
It’s like adult camp- hikes and kayaks and campfires. I’m stoked!
I’m also really glad to be spending the weekend with some amazing people and getting the opportunity to glean whatever spiritual wisdom I can.
I’m also a little nervous about what this intense spiritual time will mean for me.
So I have a favor to ask.

Would you pray for me this weekend?

Pray that I get some clarity around what God is asking for me.
Pray that I get some peace in my heart about the future holds.
Pray that I can hold steadfast- patiently and obediently waiting for the next step.
Pray that when that time comes, I can have the courage to take a leap of faith.

Thanks people.
And next week- I promise something more uplifting- I've been cooking up a storm and have some goodies to share. 

Have a great weekend.