thanks for answering my prayer God, but no thanks

Maybe I wasn’t specific enough with my prayer request; maybe God misunderstood and that’s why I got the “wrong” answer.  Can I exchange that for a new answer?

There was a Wednesday night a month ago that I was able to get out of work with enough time to make it to mid-week church service.  I was in a desperate state; really unhappy with where my life was and having a hard time with the stress of work.  Toward the end of service the pastor had a sense that there were people struggling in their lives, and he lifted those people up in prayer.  I felt that I was one of the ones being lifted up and was thankful that God made me known in that.  Before church dismissed, the pastor asked that anyone who wanted to stay; get into small groups of 3 or so and pray for each other for a few minutes.  They’ve done this before, and I am always in the group of people that leave at that point.  There is no pressure to stay, but this time I decided I might as well.

I turned to the couple behind me and asked if they wanted to be a group of 3, and they said ok.  They told me they’re not good at praying to which I reassured them that neither am I.  They asked me to pray for peace in their family and I asked them to pray for a new job for me.  Within a minute we were done, and I walked to my car.  I checked my phone and I had a text message from my friend.  After I left work earlier in the evening, he had spoken to someone and found out that he had an opportunity to move to a different team.  If he made the move, it was said that I would be taking over his current role.  I knew he was going to take that opportunity and I knew that I was going to be promoted…into a new job.  On the one hand, I was awestruck that the prayer said for me was answered instantly…and on the other hand I was devastated, because this was not a promotion I wanted.  I cried for the rest of the night, telling God “that’s not what I meant!”.  The next day it became official, and I got my new title that pushes me further away from the traditional Design path.

The first week that I fully took on the new role started out badly.  I was overwhelmed and stressed out to the point of tears every day.  I could barely eat, my head ached, my chest was tight…I was in a constant state of anxiety.  I was still having the conversation with God that this was not what I want, but I’m trying to be thankful.  When I got home Wednesday night and checked the mail, I had a letter from one of the kids I sponsor.  That letter shifted my perspective and all of a sudden I felt like I could breath again.  The rest of the week went by much more smoothly than before.

I was still looking elsewhere, and thinking…maybe I could be a garbage man, or an office assistant somewhere – there are a lot of jobs that have better hours and are not as stressful – I was trying to find a way out.  I want to work somewhere where I can make a difference…fashion doesn’t help people.  Well I had another lesson coming.

The message at church this morning was about work and how your work can be worship to God.  It was great, all the points made sense and I was like…yes, let me write all of this down.  They showed a video about how your work can make a difference in other peoples lives and your work can be someones prayer answered.  The jobs in the video were: nurses, teachers, insurance agents, grocers, postal workers, etc.  Of course those jobs make a difference, they’re all about helping people in some way.  I was left in my head saying…my job helps no one.  Only people with disposable income can afford the clothing that I work on…I can’t even afford to buy it myself at retail prices.  At the end of service they had one more video to show…about a girl and how she is making a difference at her workplace.  Guess what field she’s in?  She works in Design for a fashion corporation in New York City that is at the same level as the corporation I work for here.

The transition hasn’t been easy, but there is something I am supposed to do or something I am supposed to learn.  If anything, it’s definitely a lesson in trusting God.  I still tell him that I don’t want this, but I also understand that this was an answer to my prayer and I cannot just say no to that.  It is currently a work in progress, as faith is…but I’m sure one day I’ll be able to look back and see exactly how this season fit into God’s plan for my life.

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