Thursday, January 17, 2008

how i got here...

So I finally gave in and decided to start a blog. I am not sure how often I will update, but we will see. This first post is really long because I want you to know how I got here. Here being Austin

This is has been a big transition year for me, so I will start from the beginning. I was born in 1981, just kidding, I won’t go back that far. Last year (2006), in the fall, I began to feel the Lord preparing me for a change. I can’t explain it, but I just knew. I thought maybe it would just be a change within Pine Cove or something. Well, as time went on, I knew that it was more than that. The Lord was going to take me elsewhere, but I was a little resistant, so I didn’t look for any jobs at first and I did not know what I wanted to do. I had a degree in children’s ministry, but I did not really want to work in a church. So I was checking into some jobs working with campus crusade and working on a college campus, but nothing was really sticking out to me. I was at dinner one night at one of the director’s house at Pine Cove and he asked me how much longer I was going to be here. I was a little shocked and I had not told anyone that I felt like I was supposed to leave yet. God always does stuff like that to me. So I told him all that was going on and that in my mind I had set that I would work at Pine Cove until August and then see what the Lord would do. He said, “Good, because a guy called me today that used to work for me. He now works at a church in Austin and they are looking to hire new staff and I gave him all of your information.” I was even more shocked, but at the same time, way excited!! 

So sure enough, I talked on the phone that week with the church and I went down to Austin to interview that weekend. It was fast, but it was good. I felt like the interview went really well and I LOVED the church. All was good until the end, when the children’s minister said that if I was hired they wanted me to start in May or June. Well, at this point I had already committed to stay at Pine Cove until August, so I told him that I could not do that and we kind of ended the interview on that note. I left bummed, thinking that there was no way I would get that job. 

Well, not too long after I got back, I got a call about a Resident Director position that was coming available on a college campus. I was excited, thinking this would be a great job. I was an RA all through college, so I knew a lot of what this job entailed. So I went and interviewed, very excited about the position. I feel like the interviews (yes there were many) went well, and I should have been more excited, but I wasn’t. I left thinking I could do that job and love it, but there was not the excitement about wanting to do the job. So I just kept praying about it and weighing out the options. One was a place I loved with people that would have been awesome to work with and a job that I thought I always wanted, investing in college girls, but it just didn’t sit right. The other was a job at an awesome church and fun city, but I didn’t know anyone and didn’t really have the money to move there. Oh the dilemma…
Well I also got a job offer at Pine Cove, a promotion that was totally surprising. I was totally flattered and very interested. So now I had three options, but the more I prayed about it, I knew the Lord was calling me to leave. But Pine Cove was so comfortable to me and I LOVED the people, but yet I knew that God was calling me beyond the borders of Flint, TX. So I postponed getting back them on accepting the position.

Well I did not here anything from the church, even though everyday I was hoping for it. As time went on, I began to fear that I would hear back about the RD position before I heard back about the church. You see I wanted the job at the church more than the RD job, but if I got offered the RD job, how could I turn it down for a job that I was not sure I was going to get? That seemed foolish! I was telling a friend of mine this dilemma I was having and he said that odds were I was going to hear back from the university before I heard from the church and that the Lord was going to make me choose (and he thought I should choose the church). I didn’t want to have to choose, but I thought I had better go ahead and make up my mind before I got a call.
I spent lots of time praying and fasting about it. I spent a week with my parents at a lake and talked with them about it. I asked my dad what he thought and if he thought it would be foolish to turn down a job in hopes of getting another one. He said, “No, if you feel God calling you to something else, go for it. It is not foolish.” So I had made my decision. I would turn down the job at the university. 

The next day I got in my car to head back to Tyler, a four hour drive ahead of me. I felt confident about my decision and was actually excited about what would lie ahead. I was going to pass through Waco on my way back and so I called a dear friend from college to see if she wanted to meet me for lunch. We agreed on a favorite location of mine, Panera. We were catching up on each other’s lives. Her and her husband were in the middle of a transition, as she was graduating from grad school and they were hoping to move back to Oklahoma. I decided to share with her all the things the Lord had been doing in my life, including the recent decision to turn down the RD job if offered it. She kept redirecting the conversation and kind of avoided the subject, which is TOTALLY uncharacteristic of her. I kept trying to talk about it, but had no luck. So we ended lunch and I headed back to Tyler.

About an hour outside of Tyler, I received a call from the university. I looked at my phone, freaked out and sent the call to voicemail. I decided to pull over, gather my thoughts, pray and of course get a diet coke with lime from Sonic. I then called back. The voice on the other end sounded optimistic and I was thinking, “Great, she has no idea I am about to turn her down for the second time!” (I was offered this job after college but decided to work at Pine Cove.) I was thinking about how I was going to say this when I heard these words, “We have offered the job to another candidate and she has accepted.” I was caught off guard, but was relieved! I felt like it was confirmation that I had made the right decision because obviously the Spirit led them to not pick me just as it had led me to say no to this job. I have never been so excited to not be offered a job. Oh and did I mention, that the reason my friend had been acting so awkwardly at lunch was that just before she met me, she had received a call. She too had applied at the university for the same job (I had no clue) and she was offered the position, but could not say anything to me about it. She did a great job. I would have cracked for sure! How awkward lunch must have been for her that day.

After I hung up, I called my mom to tell her the news and as I was explaining everything I had another call come in. I looked at my phone and it was the church calling me. I freaked out (yet again) and hung up on my mom. I had missed the call at this point so I had to call back. He apologized for taking so long to touch base with me and said that they had been busy hiring a preschool minister. He told me that they were still interested in me and wanted me to come back for a second interview. I, of course, said yes. I told him that the next two weeks were going to be busy since they were our training weeks at camp and then our first week of camp is always crazy but that I would email him on my first day off and we could setup a date. I was so excited!! I could not believe it. God’s timing was perfect. Oh and the call from the church came exactly eight minutes after I had hung up with the university. AMAZING!

Well the next few weeks were crazy, but I was counting down until I could setup my second interview. During week two of camp, I emailed John, the head children’s minister at the church. I checked my email like every hour, waiting for his response. Nothing. Well maybe he was not working or just not able to get to his email. But there was no email the next day or the next. In fact, weeks went by. Two weeks later I got a call from John apologizing, saying that my email had gone to his spam folder. I didn’t care, I was so excited to hear back from him. He wanted to setup an interview in July, but the date he wanted to do it was going to be while I was in Costa Rica, I so could not. We decided that we would set it up for the week when I got back in the country (which was the last week in July). 

All seemed to be going well, until lunch that day. My current boss approached me and said that I needed to let him know whether or not I was going to be there in the fall. They did not want to pressure me or push me out, but they needed to begin looking at someone else to hire if I was not going to be there. I told him that my second interview was going to be when I got back from Costa Rica and I asked if he could wait that long. He politely said no. So I decided that I would just pray about it. After lunch, I was standing outside on the porch thinking about this. Would it be foolish to officially quit my job when I do not know if I will have one in the fall? I need medical benefits too. I don’t have enough savings to live off of. What if I said no to Pine Cove and then I didn’t get the job at the church? What would happen?

Apparently I looked worried because my friend Shawn came up to me and asked what was bothering me. I told him my dilemma and asked him if it was foolish to say no in hopes that I would get this other job. He said no and asked me what I was so worried about. He said that if I knew the Lord was calling me on, then staying here was not an option. I told him I was scared. He asked me what I was scared of or what was the worst thing I pictured happening. I told him I was worried about not having a job and then having to ask my parents for help, or worse yet, having to move in with my parents again. He then gently looked at me and said, “And is that so bad? If you don’t get the job at the church, you know the Lord is going to provide something.” He was right. I needed to hear that. So the next day, I talked to my boss and told him that as of August 19, I would no longer be working at Pine Cove, in hopes that I would be moving to Austin to work at a church.

Well a few weeks went by, and as you can imagine, the anticipation only built. After I got back from Costa Rica, I drove down to Austin to interview. I had dinner with some church staff and then was interviewed by the youth minister, preschool minister and children’s minister yet again. They told me that I would hear something back in the next few weeks. Next few weeks?!?! I had already been waiting since March. I was really hoping to know something after this night. But I had already come this far and I knew the Lord was asking me to trust him and his timing. 

So the next day I got up and drove back to Tyler, bummed that I had no answer yet, but dreading even more having to come back and tell everyone that I still did not know anything. As I was driving back, I got a call from the university. They had an RD position open up and wanted to know if I wanted the position. It was mine right then if I wanted it. I was shocked and caught off guard. I told them that I was still interviewing with the church and waiting to hear back from them. She kindly told me that they could not wait because school was starting soon. She said she needed to know that day. Everything within me knew what I was supposed to choose. I told her, “I am sorry, but I just have to keep pursuing this church. I can’t shake it. I think the Lord is leading me here.” So we hung up and I could not believe what had just happened. I didn’t even have to think about, I just knew. It was incredible!
Well, the next week I was standing in the dining hall getting ready for a special guest to come that night when I got a call from the church. I ran outside to take the call and I was offered the job. I was so filled with excitement, that I could not contain it. I ran back inside and sang to everyone “I think I am going to Austin!! I think I’ll start a new life.” Then spontaneous rejoicing and dancing and hugging resulted. I could not even concentrate the rest of the night. It was amazing!!

The Lord continued to show his faithfulness in the weeks that followed by providing a great place to live and a roommate (a girl that I didn’t even know – a mutual friend set it up). It was an amazing adventure for sure!! The Lord taught me more about trust than I could ever imagine. He showed me that I did not trust Him for much of anything beyond salvation. He is still revealing to me areas in my life that I do not trust Him; it is painful, but sweet. 

So now I live in Austin and I work at The Austin Stone Community Church as the minister to grade school children and the posts that ensue will be an attempt to keep you updated on my life.


shaw said...

wow, great to have you blogging becca!

Char said... is so good to hear your heart! thanks for sharing!