Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not So Nice Girl

I have always considered myself a "nice" girl. I usually try to say nice things, dress nicely and other "nice girl" standards. Most people would never take me for ever being "rough around the edges"; a "don't judge a book by its cover" moment that I've been the amused receiver of several times in my life. 

In fact, several years ago I made the decision to get my nose pierced because A) I thought it would be cute on my nose shape and B) because than maybe people wouldn't assume that I'm not the "piercing and tattoos" goody too-shoes type of gal. It should be noted that I no longer have the nose ring ( which worked out in the long run, due to the fact that my boyfriend does not like nose rings) and I don't have any tattoos simply because I am a wuss. BUT, you get the point.

God is good and faithful, but I must confess that I am quite tired of getting beat down in life. I feel like I've been in a boxing match with life as my opponent. I will be this close to winning a round, when WHAM! Life knocks me on my butt and gives me a concussion. Then I get back on my feet and start strategically swinging my fists at Life, when he comes out of nowhere with a move that hurls me into the rope. But with Gods strength, I'm able to stand on my feet and keep going round after round until the end of the game.

I have lost a total of 3 jobs in the past 3 years, which has produced major financial stress that is never ending. I moved across country and into the south where I met the love of my life, but that wasn't complete without losing a promising job after the first week, due to being sick with strep and mono. It may appear that I'm complaining in this post, and maybe I am...just a little. However, like everything I write, I pray that God will use my life experiences and perspectives that He gives me to bless and encourage others. Removing "me" from the equation and placing Him at the forefront.

I have so very much to be grateful for, and I am grateful for those things, but that is for another post at another time. This is my "not so nice girl" post. I am an honest woman. If you ask me how I am, I'm going to tell you in some way, shape or form the status of my being. I've tried lying and it just doesn't work for me. No poker face possible for this girl, even if a large sum of money or my favorite lip gloss was at stake.

Working as a cashier has its perks, but one of the frustrations that I have ( other than those ridiculous plastic bags that won't open and make me want to swear, as well as people talking on their cell phones while going through my lane) is that I feel like life and pretty items are going right past me. 

Let me explain.

I stand behind that counter with my little zapping gun and conveyor belt, smiling and asking how people how they are doing, ring up their items, take their money, give them them their receipt and then they are gone. They all have somewhere else that they need to be going; a birthday party, a dinner date, work, home, school or another errand. I can usually tell what their "status" of life is, though of course one can't be entirely accurate in a little 5-7 minute interaction. I see those women my age with a gorgeous diamond ring and loads of cash in their coach wallets, those stay-at-home moms with mouths to feed, those career women and rich grandpa's and grandmas giving their grand children $100 to spend on whatever toys they want...and I think to myself:

What about me?! When will my moment come? When will I have a fulfilling career, money to spend on a beautiful outfit complete with a matching hand bag, or wine, pizza and a chick flick for a weekend with the girls?! Not to mention, when will I have places to go other than to work and the occasional grocery store or Good Will thrill?

Now, before you get all "high and mighty" on me, I know how blessed I am. I know that there are a lot of other people in this world who are going through much worse boxing matches than what I am. In fact,  you may be one of those people. However; perspective, gratitude and a good attitude has its place just as much as honesty of the human condition.

And let's be honest.

Sometimes this life just plain sucks. Jesus Himself said " the world you will have tribulation. but take heart! I have overcome the world."-John 16:33. I know this in my heart and believe it within my soul, but that doesn't mean that I can always stuff away my personal tribulations and stamp a big smiley face on the box. And frankly, I don't think Jesus wants me to.

Jesus wants us to be real. He wants us to be real with Him, ourselves and other people. When we are authentic we shine the light of Christ, for Christ is the definition of authenticity. Tonight at work when I made the effort to answer honestly "how I was", facial expressions changed. A smile and a quick "I know exactly what you mean" laugh came out. I had a real connection with that person in a short amount of time, without even knowing their name. 

However, I've decided that I really need friends when I was actually sad that one of my guests left my lane. I wanted so badly to just have a cup of coffee with her, and I will probably never see her again. Weird? Yes. Authentic? You bet. 

Take heart fellow boxers in opposition of life. There is purpose and beauty that can be brought forth from even the worst of tragedies and hardships. My "not so nice girl" post should serve as such an example. :) 

God bless!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Inhabitants of a Powerless World

Job interviews. A time where you dress to impress, try not to talk too much while simultaneously trying to share enough information, try to show that you are well aware of what your weaknesses and strengths are, but most of all, try to trust God that the determination of you getting that job is not the least bit dependent upon those interviewing you.

Yes. You heard me right. The fate of those types of situations are not at all dependent upon the ones that have the power to "make or break" our plan, our hopes, our happiness. We live in a world that appears to have such an immense amount of control; our president and his officials, police officers, court appointed judges, people selected for a jury, etc.  yes, they have power in this world, but their power is minuscule compared to the power of my God.

Yesterday afternoon at 2:00 P.M., I had a job interview for a position in my field of study; a position that I am more than qualified to fill. They asked me to share with them my work history, and once again I found myself listing the sequence of events that have led me 20 hours away from my family, in an entirely  different part of the United States. One of the questions that they asked went something like this. "With you jumping around and moving from place to place and job to job, how would you fit into a position that desires commitment and longevity?". I told them that although my job history and experiences look inconsistent and definitely a risk to hire as an employee, but that I truly believe that I had to have all of those experiences in order to get to where I am now. 

I am at a place that I desire every one of my readers to reach at some place in their lives. I've never been here before, but it's powerful and it's peaceful. It's a full and complete understanding that is not possible without the spirit of God. That place that I speak of, is complete surrender and trust in an Almighty God.

When I left that interview, I realized that there is absolutely NO power greater than my Father. That if He wills me to fill that wonderful position and receive those benefits that would meet my needs, Praise the Lord! However, if I am not chosen to fill that role, it is because God has seen fit for that to take place.

We give far too much credit to the powers of this world, and the people who seemingly have the power over a situation. As children of God, we have the peace and the security of knowing that the events in our life are planned in such a way for our good. It is our humanity that allows us to question this truth, and it is the prince of darkness that preys on our humanity and our soul. My crazy life may appear to be a risky factor for those who desire to hire me, but I know that MY GOD is the ONLY factor that will determine anything in my life. No mistake I've made, past petty and jealous supervisors, ex-boyfriends or budget cuts will EVER hold power over Gods will in my life. He is capable. He is loving. He will take care of me. 

May you find this peace friend, may you find this joy that I experience from the depths of my heart. May you not fall prey to the traps of this world and the lie that our limitations of power and authority on this earth are directly connected to our fate on this earth. Besides, this is a temporary place in passing. All that we have ever known is not what we are destined to know. 

Glory be to God the Father. The author, perfecter and ruler of our lives.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

God's Holding Pattern

Wait. Stay. Rest.Trust.

These are words that are common words for the person in a "holding pattern". A pattern is a succession of events, results or things that eventually overlap each other and start from the beginning. You put the word "holding" in front of pattern, and it's not a pretty paisley print on a bed comforter.

I feel like I have been in this particular pattern for quite a long time. As I am gaining my health back from having mono, I find myself fighting to accept my limitations of this place in time. The money I am making from my little part time job isn't nearly enough to cover even the basics of basics, not to mention the ridiculous cost of gas on a monthly basis just to get to my job. So I do what I know to do...

Wait. Stay. Rest. Trust.

The next right thing is all that a person can do is any situation. I have been hunting for a full time job and a closer job, once again entering the world of online applications, resumes and job interviews. I continue to drive the 45 minutes to my $8.00 an hour job, praying for the strength to rise above how I feel and see the good and be grateful for what has been given to me.

Wait. Stay. Rest. Trust.

On the way back home from getting a part on my car replaced that was recalled, I expressed my frustration to my wonderful boyfriend. He lovingly reminded me that both of us are in a holding pattern, and that is is going to be awhile until things start to change. As I pondered this thought, I realized that as  children of God, we are to always be in a holding pattern of trusting in our God. Could it be that those periods of time where we are called to wait, those wretched holding patterns that seem to never end, are actually allowed and placed in our lives so that we consistently have reason to trust our heavenly Father? 

Wait. Stay. Rest. Trust.