Wednesday, June 24, 2009

God's Timing

Have you ever noticed that God's timing is rarely, if EVER our timing?

I have this horrible tendency to "plan" things out for God. I look at a problem logically, give God his options, tell him which one works best, and smile, expecting a pat on the head and God saying, "Good job Krista! I was really stumped on that one and wow... you just nailed it."

Um, yeah. It doesn't happen that way. EVER.

True Story:

My husband and I lived in Memphis for two years, and after we found out that my sisters and parents were all moving to Nashville, we felt like God was calling us there as well.

But there were complications. Like... jobs. I had one that I liked and saw a good future with. We had a Nashville office, so in my logical brain, I told Scott that when God opened up a position there, then it would mean it was time for us to move.

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. But no open position. One night, we were getting ready for bed, and I was lamenting to Scott about the situation. He replied to me, "Krista, what if God doesn't want you to transfer? What if he wants you to get a different job?"

I rolled my eyes at him. "Believe me. He wants me to transfer."

"But Krista...."

"No buts. I have a good job and starting a new one would be just crazy."

And then I saw it. The look. The one my husband gives me when I'm being unreasonable and pigheaded because I'm using my own brain instead of allowing God to teach me.

Crap.

So the next day, I went online. There was only one job that interested me, and to be honest, it looked pretty perfect. I quickly sent off my resume, not thinking anything else about it. The next day I had an e-mail from the recruiter. The job seemed PERFECT, except for one thing. I had to travel for up to 2 months because the company was relocating.

I laughed. Hard. I had a 3 month old at home whom I was still nursing and a three-year-old who needed her mommy too. NO WAY was I going to travel like that!

I went into the living room to tell my husband about the crazy job. When I finished, he looked at me. "That sounds like a really good opportunity Krista."

"HUH?" I was pretty much dumbfounded. How could he think that?!?

I called my sister who had three kids herself. Surely she would tell me how ludicrous it was. "Actually, Krista, that sounds pretty awesome. You should do it."

By this time I figured Aliens had abducted my family or something. How could they think this a good thing? But... I decided that if God didn't want me to have the job, he'd put a roadblock somewhere. He'd let me know, because so far I'd had nothing but unwelcome green lights.

After multiple interviews and tests, I was expecting an answer within a few days, and I mapped out my plan of "just in case" attack. It was sad, y'all. Every hour was filled with something that would have to be done. I would have to know by Wednesday noon if I got the job for my plan to work, otherwise it would all come crumbling down. I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would see it my way.

Wednesday came. 9. 10. 10:30. 11:00. I willed my phone to ring, but every time it did, it was just from clients. Then the clock switched from 11:59 to 12:00.

No phone call. Evidently God didn't want me to get the job anyway. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was a crazy plan anyway. It involved renting out our house, renting a new house, moving our whole family, then coming back to Memphis after that to still work one more day. All... within a two week period. With two kids. While working full-time.

I sighed. I just wished God had put the roadblock in place sooner so I hadn't gone through all the trouble.

Then, it happened. My phone rang.

It was my job offer. I looked at the clock. 12:05. God was making a point to me. He does not care about my time lines. HIS timing is perfect, and HE knows best. He already knew the exact moment I needed that call, and I didn't need to fret and stew about it.

I gave my 2 week notice that day, and carried out my plan. As it turns out, it was a good one. We prayed through it, and everything worked out. But I knew from that point on, that it wasn't because of Krista and her magnificent time management skills. It was because of God and his almighty wisdom and strength.

The same goes with our writing. We may think we have everything planned out and know exactly how it should happen. But in the end, God knows. He knows the exact moment we need to get "the call." He knows the exact time the market is ready for our book, even better than an agent does. And speaking of that, he knows the exact agent that we need as well.

Discussion: Have you ever struggled with telling God what to do? In your writing, have you ever thought, "God, why am I still waiting?"

By the way, I still work at that same job almost five years later. I am now the Payroll Manager.

9 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

God's timing is always so perfect, but not always what we think! I'd waited months and months on my book sitting in Rachelle's slush pile. Then I finaled in the contest and within a month I had an agent, book proposal, and an editor looking at my book! It happened SO fast that I'm still whirling in a daze!

Marybeth Poppins said...

I also think God has a sense of humor when it comes to timing, but I do love a man who can make me laugh :)

I am wondering about his timing lately myself. But I really have no other choice than to go with the flow.

I'm happy the job worked out well for you! Great post!

Cindy said...

I've definitely struggled with timing in my writing and my own wants vs. what God wants. I thought I was going to go the traditional route with an agent and then hopefully and large traditional publisher. When I was approached by a small press about publishing my book three major emotions went through me. Excitement, shock, and dread. This is not how I wanted it! This would mean no agent and no larger marketing force behind me.

But in the end, I had to pray a lot about where I felt God was leading me. Even now I still have to trust him for the future and then simply do my part.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

sherrinda said...

Oh I have definitely struggled with God's timing! I think we all do! It is soooo hard to sit back and relax in the knowledge that God knows best. I'm always learning and most likely always will be.

Candee said...

Struggle with God's timing? Me, too. It all comes down to trust. If I'm truly asking Him to use me and my writing to encourage others, then I need to be willing to let HIM put me where, with whom, and when He decides.

And to all I can to be ready when the green light finally arrives. Because, as Jody said, the answers can happen really fast.

The "Lord? Wait?" switches to "Lord, WAIT!" as we rush to catch up with His plan.

On your mark, get set ... and wait for the starter's gun. When it fires, run the race He's planned.

Amy Deardon said...

Wow, what a great story! Glad moving and job worked out for all of you

Carol Bruce Collett said...

Oh, I'm all about my timing and what I want. Very frustrating. Shouldn't I have learned this lesson by now?

Krista Phillips said...

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one struggling with waiting on God!

Jody, God's timing IS perfect:-) I'm still SO excited for you!

Marybeth, I SO agree that God has a sense of humor. I LOVE IT!

Cindy, yes, it's always scary when God points us down a new path we've never been before. I'll pray for wisdom for you!!

Sherrinda, you and me both, girl:-)

Candee, trust is a huge thing. I think for me, it's not so much trust in God, but trust in myself that I struggle with. Am I listening enough? Did I miss what he said? What if I get it wrong? Ahhh, but then we have to trust that God will make himself clear, huh.

Amy, thanks:-)

Carol, I think it's a continuing lesson we'll need for a while!

Valerie said...

And at that awesome job, you met your awesome co-worker friend, Valerie. :) I knew I would love you forever when I asked if you were doing okay with your baby at home, and you said, "We're not talking about that," very matter-of-factly. :)