The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Discovering the Valley

For a while now, I might have characterized my life as being in one of those valleys that Christians so often describe.  Most of the time people can pinpoint the beginning and end of the valley.  It is caused by some traumatic event in stark contrast to the rest of their “church-y” life.  And then it comes to an end when everything is straightened out.  Whenever I’ve heard people describe their valleys, they seem so sure about all of it…where they were and why they went there.

I feel like my valley is different.  This valley seems like a vast and open space, not necessarily just a location for torture.  Instead, it feels like I’ve been here for a while and God has allowed me to explore the valley.  There are streams and trees and rocks in this valley.  Although it was terrifying to be in here, I have learned to make the most of it.  There have been unexpected moments of terror.  There’s an intruder…I venture into a new area full of shadows…I climb too high on the rocks.  But for the most part, this valley has been my classroom.

And now…now it is time for me to climb out.  I have learned all of the lessons that are here and it is time for me to graduate to a new classroom.  This valley has been full of pain, but also discovery.  God has continually shown Himself to me in new ways through new materials.  Although there were times when I questioned His existence, His presence has always been in the valley.  More importantly, I know that His presence is carrying me out.

Sometime in the next few days, I will have the next year of my life sorted out (ha!).  I will have a new city and a new job (I’m using that term loosely).  In the meantime, I have to trust that God’s hand is still firmly clasped over my own.  He is leading me through the path to come out of this valley and stand on the top of a mountain.  I may have an intense decision to make, but I know that when all is said and done there will be a breathtaking view before my eyes.

 

*Photos were taken during a recent camping and climbing sojourn to Wyoming.

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The Sun Begins to Shine

Seine River at sunset

You know when the weather gets bitter and rains…and rains…and rains…and you begin to lose all hope of seeing the sun?  That describes my year very well.  I have had so many plans that have just been blown away by the wind and I’ve almost given up on moving forward…backwards…anywhere!

And thus, my hope has waned.  I have begun to feel abandoned and rejected by God.  Continuing to believe in His plan becomes more challenging with each passing day.  He has broken my heart and dashed my dreams…does He even care about me?

Just when those feelings of abandonment and the broken heart grow almost unbearable, I hear from Him.  This week, I have had two job interviews.  At the end of a phone interview yesterday, I was told that I would hear from them in a few days, a week tops.  I got an e-mail today.  They want an in-person interview!

It is hard to believe that, just as I was giving up on a future, God brings around some options.  Even though these interviews have not yet panned out, the fact that they concluded on a positive note is reassuring.  God has brought the sun out and proven that He has not forgotten about me.

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Timing

It is not my path to choose.

Timing is everything (well, everything that location isn’t).  In the past, I have been a very punctual person.  I like being on time, on top of things, and on point (I felt a strong need to maintain parallel structure).  Risking my reputation with tardiness is not in my playbook…well, it wasn’t.  But then I started college.

Most people become more organized and punctual when they start college.  I went the opposite direction.  I have become less structured, less organized, and less punctual.  I used to be a straight-up type A personality with OCD-ic tendencies.  I still have those tendencies, but to a much lesser degree and with much quirkier things (I went through a phase where I took three carrots, three slices of cucumber, and three sugar snap peas to lunch every day).  And I still like knowing what’s going on, so my planner is bananas!  But, when it comes to getting to those things, I’m not always there on time.

I say all of that to say that “Timing isn’t everything.”  I have come to discover that there are little moments in your life where being on time and being on top of things isn’t necessary.  Those are often the moments when whatever you are focusing on is more important than where ever you “need” to be.  Stopping to talk to my roommate.  Calling my grandmother.  Making sure that I pull the cookies out of the oven at just the right moment.

These are the little things that I am having to stop and appreciate right now.  I am student teaching; therefore, I am in school for a minimum of eight hours a day!  My time is more precious than ever, especially since I have to go to bed by 11 pm every night!  I am having to exercise a level of time management that has not been required of me since I was in high school (well, there have been weeks when things get overwhelming…but not quite to this degree of constancy).  And, I’m having to prioritize.  There are things that are having to go.  There are also things that I used to think were unimportant…they have become important.

Argh.  Timing is EVERYTHING.  Talk about a circular post.  When we bring up making sacrifices due to the limited nature of time, we are talking about time being the most precious commodity.  Everything takes time.  Nothing is free when time is our currency.  Good grief, that sucks.  I want time.  I want all the time in the world…and not just right now.  Not just to get all of my lesson plans made and dinners made.

I want time to slow down so that I can decide where I am going in my life and how the hell I am going to get there.  Yeah, that’s right.  I don’t know what I am going to be when I grow up.  And, yes, I am in my last semester of undergrad.  I’m majoring in elementary education, but I don’t want to be a teacher.  I don’t know what I want to be.  Up until recently, I’ve been okay with that.  But as the time draws closer and closer, I see other people settling into their futures.  They have jobs, graduate schools, husbands/wives.  And I have…nothing.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…

…a time to plant and a time to uproot…

…a time to weep and a time to laugh…

…a time to be silent and a time to speak…

…He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (select verses)

Then again, with God on my side, maybe I have everything that I need.  All I need is to trust.  I must be humble in my thoughts and, more importantly, in my plans.  He has the plans…they are not mine to have or mine to make.

Trust

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