I think I just accidentally applied for a job in Texas.
Don’t freak out, because I’m pretty sure God is just doing a spiritual exercise here with me. I’m pretty sure this little episode won’t actually end in selling two houses, packing up, and moving 1,000 miles away.
Because God never asks His followers to do any of that, right? God’s mostly very reasonable and only asks us to do things that make perfect sense.
Oh, wait. I can hear my friends Betsy, Abbie, and Heather laughing from here. And they’re all at least 1,000 miles from Kalamazoo, where they used to live.
Deep breath, Jessie. Take a deep breath.
Here’s the whole story. This company keeps calling the church where I work, setting up appointments to speak to the minister. Twice now something’s gone wrong and a call came an hour later than we were anticipating. After the second time, I happened to pull up their website to see if we had a time-zone miscommunication. That’s exactly what’s happening. 10:00am our time is 11:00am, their time. But I found their location from their Careers page, which is when I happened to notice they need a writer and a content editor. I left the page open on my screen out of idle curiosity; it’s not often a ministry needs to hire a full-time writer. Then I poked around their website and their founder’s thoughts exactly match some things God has been teaching me and Eric lately. We’d moved beyond coincidence to very weird.
The hair started standing up on the back of my neck.
I talked to Eric and the kids about this. The kids say, “No way. Nope, nope, nope.” Eric says, “Dallas? Why not a better place than Dallas?” Frowny faces abounded.
I had myself completely talked out of applying because it’s just impossible. The kids would be so unhappy to leave their friends and school. We grown ups would be so miserable leaving our friends and family. We have 16 years invested in our church. Eric has a good job he loves. It has benefits, bonuses, and generous amounts of vacation time. We’d be idiots to leave that. Plus also, we’re from Michigan. We’re Michiganders. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in Texas but those people are feisty and I hear they like football.
We own a football. Sometimes the kids even toss it. That’s as close as we come.
But you know how sometimes you’ve worked yourself up onto your high horse, and you’ve debated all the options and you’re quite sure you have the solution, and then the Holy Spirit starts whispering in your ear? And maybe He starts to speak words that don’t come from human reasoning, but from God’s reasoning?
It’s always so uncomfortable.
I started to realize I’m putting the security and provision from my husband’s company before God’s security and provision. I’m determined to keep our life comfortable and easy. I’m putting my kids’ comfort above God’s possible calling. For heaven’s sake, I even put our state identity before our identity as Christ-followers.
If this isn’t all bad enough, I’ve written a book about this exact topic. It’s even titled If I Plug My Ears, God Can’t Tell Me What to Do (coming in spring of 2015!). I’ve been plugging my ears for two days, hoping this all goes away. The book talks about how sometimes God calls us to things that make our family uncomfortable.
I meant our grandmothers, Lord. Sometimes Granny isn’t excited about Your plan. I didn’t know You included the kids.
The book talks about how we need to be flexible and ready to move.
I meant other people, Lord. I would like to be flexible from Kalamazoo while my husband has an excellent job.
The book talks about how Jesus didn’t come so we could spend our earthly years on the couch, cozy until we die.
But I have some extremely comfortable couches, Lord. Do you really want me to give them up? Even the one we bought for $100 at the resale shop?
I can’t very well write these things and then refuse to participate in God’s plan, so I gathered my courage and sent off the resume. I very highly doubt I have the skills this company needs, or the temperament. But I do know this– the experience was eye-opening. I’m not doing as good a job of listening to God as I thought I was.
So maybe I accidentally applied for a job in Texas, yes. But I’m quite sure I didn’t accidentally have this experience this week. What about you? What do you feel God might be calling you to next?
If any of you wants to be my followers, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. (Mark 8:34-35, NLT)
Therefore, go and make disciples of tall the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19, NLT)