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November 5, 2013

Life can throw us some unexpected curve-balls, ever been there?

Should we swing or are we afraid of striking out?  Is it really a curve-ball or part of a bigger plan? A funny thing happens when we swing at a curve ball…

After a banking career spanning almost thirty years, I was no longer a banker. It’s tough peeling away a layer of identity you’ve lived more than half a lifetime. A season of transition had begun.

If you’ve ever gone from two incomes to one sooner than planned, you know things can get a bit tight. The fifteen month hiatus at home was a welcomed change, but it was time to venture back into the world of  the gainfully employed.

June would be the target month to return to work, and since it was only January, five months seemed like a long way off.  No sweat, right?

When May rolled around I had not yet found a position. Truth be told, I hadn’t been searching all that hard.

I prayed, I waited. I prayed, I waited. I guess I was praying and waiting for God to reveal this new job by way of running into it head-on. Praying is the most important thing one can do in a situation such as this, except I think God knew I was dragging my feet a little, ok, a lot. A funny thing happens when you do nothing – nothing happens.

Now you might call it procrastination, but I like to call it “works well under-pressure.”  Perhaps you’ve seen that quote: “I do my best house-cleaning in the 20 minutes before the guests arrive.” That’s me. I trusted God, yet I struggled to push-back fear and doubt. Did I truly believe God was working all things together for my good or not?  Where was my faith?

I concluded I was setting myself up for disappointment, having attached an extensive laundry list of requirements to my prayer for the perfect job. The world might call it “asking for the moon.”  Still, I asked. His word says we have not, because we ask not.

My prayer went something like this:

“Father in heaven,
I’ve been praying for a job by June, and I know You know it’s mid-May.  Lord, if it be Your will, could you please work it out for me to find a job with:

no weekends; no holidays; no Fridays please, since I volunteer at Grace House on Fridays; no nights; nothing in retail or sales; preferably in ministry; not too far from home; nothing in my former career; not requiring me to go “door-to-door” with my resume, or go through interviews that would lead to rejections.  Oh and Lord, could you please work it out for Brian to be on board with this position as well?  Also, could you please reveal this job to me by June?  Only if June is your timing, because I know Your timing is perfect.

Lord, forgive me, I don’t want to seem demanding; I know You are the God of the impossible, and these requests may describe a job that doesn’t even exist.  I trust You Lord, with whatever you bless me with and wherever you send me.  I know You already have the perfect job chosen for me. Thank you Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

I prayed in faith, forcing the double-minded thoughts from my head.

A funny thing happens when you step out in faith; you step out in faith.  At first I hesitated to tell anyone I was looking for a job.  Pride reared its ugly head.  I had to get over myself and ask for prayer.

A funny thing happens when you ask for prayer – people pray.  

I had been meeting weekly to pray with Jamie and Kristin, a couple of Christian sisters from church. Jamie serves as Children’s Ministry Director, and Kristin is on the Worship Team.

Fast-forward to late May.  Remember that “five-months, no sweat?”  Seems Ms. double-minded Doris began to sweat a little.

Praying on the morning of Wednesday, May 23rd, a call came through on my cell.  It was Jamie’s sweet voice calling with an important message – a message from God:

  “Hi Doris, have you got a minute?  I have some news for you, a job opportunity you might
be interested in, here at the church.”

She proceeded to share with me the details of the position (with a bit of a chuckle I might add, since she had “inside info” namely, my prayer request):

   “Church office; Administrative Assistant; Monday through Thursday 9am-4pm.  Oh, and no  Fridays; the office is closed on Fridays.”  

Stunned,I remember hanging up and laughing hysterically. Mind you, I hadn’t even been offered the job as of yet, but knew it had to be mine.  Pretty Unbelievable huh?  No, very believable.  Nothing is impossible with God.

Oh, it gets better.

I met with Pastor Dave and Cheryl, our Church Administrator, on May 29th. Can you guess the date Pastor Dave called and offered me the position?  May 31st.  Employment by June, check!

Now how’s that for answered prayer?  If you go back and check the “perfect job laundry-list” you’ll see He missed not one thing.

I made up a job description, and He led me to it. It was by no accident I was in a prayer group with Jamie. God had set all that up well in advance.

I’ve shared my story encouraging others to pray big and wait.  Ask others to pray big with you.  Expect a miracle.  When it comes, share it.  There is someone out there who needs to hear it.

A funny thing happens when you swing at a curve-ball; God will make it a grand-slam.

                   “For with God, nothing will be impossible.”  Luke 1:37 (NKJV)