“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10 (NIV)
In the last two posts, I shared how God allowed two very different experiences when attempting to add a bearded dragon to our family of five plus one dog. However, little did I know that God would use those experiences to help me with some major decision making I would have to do in the very near future.
Three years ago, January 2014, during a time of fasting and praying, God impressed upon my heart to reach out and ask to volunteer at TBCN. He had opened up my schedule to include a little free time and Fred accepted my help. God richly blessed that decision. I’ve loved my job there. It started out small and grew to include coordinating and organizing the READERS ONLY GROUP and being Editor of Book Fun Magazine. God blessed me through the family I worked for whom I still consider family, the members, author and publishers I now consider friends, and the valuable experience I gained, skills I learned and confidence it grew within me. God opened up my eyes to how satisfying it is to work within the gifts that He had created in us.
In addition, because of TBCN, in 2015 when I lost my medical transcription job suddenly due to downsizing, I had skills to change careers and was hired by another amazing company that loves God and allows me to use my gifts for them as well. Without the experience at TBCN, I never would have had the confidence to think I would even have a chance.
Recently, almost a mirror image of three years ago, God started impressing upon my heart that it was time to leave TBCN. No bad feelings, nothing happened… I just sensed a “time to go” command from God. Kind of like when the Israelites were commanded to follow the cloud by day and the light by night in the desert. While it’s not our place to understand the “why” behind the command always, it is our choice to ignore His voice or pick up our stuff and get moving, trusting Him no matter what, even or especially when we don’t know the destination.
I obeyed God’s command and started looking for alternate income, wanting to do my part to walk through doors, trusting God to open and close the appropriate ones as He saw fit. During 2015 when looking for new employment, I was filled with fear with “what will God expect of me? Will I be forced to work a job I hate… or hours or outside the home when I don’t feel it’s the right time for that right now?”
That is when our experience with the bearded dragon came back to me. I don’t want to settle for dragon (job) #1 that isn’t the best fit for our family. I want to pray about and make sure and wait for Jewel (the job), that best fit our lifestyle. A job that would fit into the life we already have instead of forcing our family to fit into a rigid job.
Another blessing I gained from working for three years at TBCN was that through that position God uncovered what my talents and gifts are. He also used that three years to teach me skills necessary to complement other positions He has already chosen for me.
I have peace using that as my test for whether a potential job is an Um potato? or a Jewel – oil and water or the BEST fit for our family. I was presented with a job opportunity recently and while I’m sure it would be fulfilling and enjoyable, it didn’t meet the requirements of being the BEST fit for our family so I knew I could pass with peace. If God loves us enough to gift us with Jewel, a lovable pet that keeps getting better and better; then I can trust that He loves us enough to provide the best job fit as well.
Just like I had to reach out and ask the store manager before we could find our best fit, God asks that I step out in faith when He calls me so that He can lead me to my next assignment in His perfect time.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017