“Draw close to God and he will draw close to you…” James 4:8.
I have talked often about how personal the God is that I serve. God likes to answer our prayers in very individual ways and He does not show favoritism. God loves to personalize each situation for each individual, knowing better than anyone does the best solution to fit each person’s needs, experiences, and desires. One thing that is important to remember is that God is not going to go against His own beliefs or teachings for anyone’s blessings. That, too, is reassuring, because confidence is found when the answer received is perfect in all ways just for you and your situation.
I received a particular blessing recently that began back in May 2011. I had been working for two separate companies as an independent contractor in medical transcribing in order to have the privilege of working from home while raising our family. I received a phone call in May stating that I was being let go; not because of my job performance, but the lines I was typing were needed for a full-time employee. Getting off the phone, my first response was to panic. After a few minutes, I deliberately chose a different response. While scared about the prospect of losing one-quarter to one-third of my paycheck, effective immediately, I decided that I was going to trust God to provide for our family. He prompted me to email a friend that I had formerly worked for and ask if her company was hiring. They were, she was interested, and I was hired after only eight hours of being unemployed. The only downside to this employment was it could possibly be temporary. The company’s account was renewed every three months and if not renewed, then I would be without work again. I had a peace that this was the job I was supposed to take and therefore, I continued to trust God for my paycheck every week, thanking Him for this opportunity to work again with a valued friend.
Fast forward to October 2011: I had just returned from attending a Write It To The Bank seminar hosted by Dan Miller and his family. I came back home to a job that I enjoyed, feeling that God was beginning to help me forge a different career path. While on the trip, during the conference, I asked God to please, if it was His will, to make it possible for me to make enough money to pay the bills while working only for the main company I typed for, freeing up some time for me to pursue the journey He was leading me down. I asked God for the timeframe of being finished with the smaller company in December or maybe January at the very latest.
December and January came and went. My workload had doubled since returning home in October and I was feeling a little frustrated: I needed more balance in my life, I needed more time to get things accomplished, and I wanted to see some results. I realized my attitude was not helping anyone, especially myself. So, I chose, once again, to give God my frustrations, ask Him to help me find balance, and be thankful for the two companies that were allowing me to work for them. By changing my attitude, I again felt peace that I was where I was supposed to be at this particular time in my life. I gave up my time tables and just waited for God to show me what He wanted to happen in my life, grateful that I had work and a plan.
February 2012: I received a call from the smaller company wondering if I could work more, not less. I was flattered and willing to help out, but explained to her how much work I was currently doing. She asked if I would rather quit than continue with their company because of the current workload I was already experiencing. After explaining how I had been praying about the situation and not really feeling like God was calling me to quit, I agreed to hang on until the end of February when more information would be available regarding the account. Again, I chose to trust and felt a real peace that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Almost exactly one week later, the decision had been made for me. The company did not receive the renewal for the contract, and by the end of March, I would be done with this particular company. I am incredibly thankful to be able to work at a job I thoroughly enjoy, for a wonderful boss, while walking in God’s timetable the next step of the journey that He has planned for my life. I will miss the other company and the experiences that they gave me, but I am so thankful that they were willing to hire me back in May of 2011.
This experience showed me many different lessons: When I actively choose to have faith in God instead of giving in to fear during situations that are incredibly stressful and seem quite hopeless from a human perspective, He always comes through in an incredibly personal way. When I actively choose to trust God for wisdom in situations, He again always gives the right answer at the right time, His time. I find that sometimes the answer is not just to bless me, but also to bless others. When I give up my agenda, choosing to praise Him and trust that His will is best, even if the answer is “no or not yet,” that is usually when God shows off with his answer the most.
God never disappoints. In my experience, He has never given me an answer that has been detrimental or negative for me or my household. He will, however, allow less-than-ideal circumstances in my life to teach lessons or help me grow in faith or show me something I would not otherwise have learned, but He, Himself, has always been dependable, personal, and individual in answering my prayers to supply our needs, and sometimes, more often than not, allowing us to enjoy some “wants” too.
My prayer in telling this story is that you will desire to want to experience God personally in your life too. The great news is that you can – but it is up to you to choose!