Wow! This Bible Study just seems to be hitting home for me over and over again and I am so grateful to God for putting this study on Lisa's heart and reaching out to those of us who feel we have no one else to reach out to if we are confined to our homes, recently moved, work at home, etc.
1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)
Our move to Washington is nothing like I planned. The first day my husband was here at his new job, I was in Arizona and severely broke my tibia/fibula. After 5 days in the hospital, I was released to home with 3 babies. It was a difficult time for us, but I told hubby to stay put. We sold our home, payed some bills off (obviously not enough), bought a new home and after 5 months of physical therapy, I was finally good to move up here. Boy, I tell you many times I cried feeling like Moses looking at the promised land and not being able to enter.
Bottom line is, I couldn't find a job, took one with Americorps making much less than minimum wage ($925 month before taxes) and continued to look for work. I am still looking for work though I do have a second interview this week & I am trying to not get my hopes up. After a year here, I have had my bank pull my credit card, shut off my overdraft protection, my cell phone was shut off & I am being charged over $600 in shut off fee's, our bills are piling up and I could go on.......it just seems God was leading us out of Egypt, I felt it, I prayed over it, I got confirmation, everything went as God showed me it would & now......nothing, I am confused by it all!
How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain. Truly joyful that everyday I wake up to green trees, a view of the harbor from several angles of my home, living in a small town where we all feel safe, clean air, blue skies, I feel blessed in so many ways! Yet, with everything piling up around us, we almost lost our home, we may loose our van & have wage garnishments soon, I just don't understand why God took us from the comforts of Egypt so to speak to leave us to fall on our faces! Anyone can help me with this?
Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling? Yes, in my previous church in Arizona I volunteered to help, but my pastor told me the job of his church when we get there is to love us for a year and then put us to work. I understood that logic & never questioned . In my new home, I am in the beginners church and worked in VBS. I had attempted to step into working with homeless youth through two local agencies here and both were rejected. The first due to nepotism & the second I don't know why, so I will continue to help them on my own when I can.
Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans? EW! You are good Lisa! I am working on this one but yes, I have to say I do. The individual is new to our community like I am, they told me how difficult finding a job was for them due to people here only hire friends, family or recommendations from those people. I did a charity event with this person. They asked me for my resume, told me about the upcoming position, I volunteered my time as they asked in that organization. I applied for the job had an interview and got a letter saying sorry but we hired someone else! First off, I was upset that the person who I had come to believe was a strong Christian and an honest one, didn't call & tell me themselves that I didn't get the position. But then, in a crisis, they called me asking me to help them out one day when they were short handed....as it was I was at school late that day & couldn't make it. But several weeks ago, I came to realize I wasn't hired because he and the organization hired his wife to do the job. So, while I do pray to let go of this, I feel this person lied to my face & that is why I am bitter! I just feel that we as Christians should honor the truth and shine in it and when we lie to one another, it causes more distrust in Christians. BTW, I have never seen the individual or his wife on the streets working with the homeless teens. I am praying to release this ugliness from my heart!
Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free. Yes, when my 18 month old son died. My faith in God just took a turn for many years where I didn't pray, didn't think about Him at all. I was angry, I didn't understand it. Then after much prodding a friend of mine convinced me to go to church with her on Easter Sunday, she wouldn't take no for an answer and threatened to pick me up pajamas and all and carry me into church. During the service I felt such a movement of the Holy Spirit in my heart that I cried to the Lord, YOU TOOK MY SON away from me, he was a baby, how dare you! Like thunder in my ears I heard...'But I gave you MY son.' Can anyone out there say..WAKE UP CALL?? My faith is now so strong, I will never waiver again!
Based on Moses' response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself? Since that day, I have had many NLIP's (2 sons in prison, a separation from my husband, several good friends dying in a short period of time, etc.) I always accept it as I am right where God wants me at that instant and I can argue with God, beg & please or cry, but it isn't going to change what is already written, so I accept it and thank God for where I am at that moment whether I like it or not.
Wow! What a powerful study this one has been. It makes me realize that once I wrote why I was bitter, I don't feel that way anymore! Blessings unto my heart!