Monday, September 17, 2012

exciting anticipation

So, tomorrow I start my job at YFC. I am so pumped for this – but also a little apprehensive, only because this is something completely new to me and I have no idea what to expect for what the job will bring.  The first thing that is going to happen is there is an all-staff meeting, which means that all the staff that work with YFC Western will be at the office for a staff meeting – this is a little intimidating because I can’t ease in to meeting the people who also work at YFC but I will be meeting them all at the same time.  The one thing that does intimidate me the most is that I do not feel like I am at all equipped to work in this ministry field at all.  I know (yes, Colin, it has sunk in J) that God will not give me anything that I cannot handle with His strength and also that God will never leave or forsake me but I still cannot imagine ever having the abilities to do this job.  I am excited to get to use some of the skills that I have been learning at school and be able to use the gifts that God has given me but it is a little scary.  I think it will be an amazing challenge for me to work with the 19-29 year olds who are in the program and I cannot wait to start that challenge.

The one part that I can wait to start is the support raising part – because I am working with YFC I have to raise my support so that I can be paid for the work that I do.  This is something that scares me because I have no experience with this at all.  I am excited to get to talk to people about the work that I am going to be doing but I am not as excited about asking them to support me financially as I do this work.  I know that God will provide the money that I need to do the job because I truly 100% believe that He has called me to this place and this career, I just don’t know how I feel about having to ask people for these funds.  Luckily, and thankfully, I am going to be ‘trained’ to raise support in the next little while.  I am so grateful that the leadership at YFC aren’t just going to push me out into the world to fend for myself when it comes to raising funds but that they will ensure I know what I am doing and help me along the way.

The one other thing that I am looking forward to so much is the birth of my newest nephew.  This could really happen at any time – although it isn’t supposed to be happening until the middle of October – because my sister’s doctor doesn’t know if the baby will wait until 38 weeks when they plan to take the baby.  I am stoked to meet my nephew and be able to spoil him as much as I spoiled my niece and other two nephews.  Although, I think it might be harder to spoil him as much because I won’t be as close as I was, especially when my niece and oldest nephew were babies.  I am also a little busier with my own social life than I was when the others were babies so I will have to intentionally plan time to be able to spend with him.

There are so many amazing things that are going on in my life and I thank and praise God for everything that He has brought into my life and everything that He has brought me through!  I have an amazing Father in Heaven who cares for every little aspect in my life and I am in such awe of that and I hope and pray that I can honour Him with everything I do in my life. J  

Monday, September 10, 2012

updated fall

So to keep everyone updated about what has been going on for me – I did not get the job with YFC. I found out last Wednesday. To say that I was disappointed is sort of an understatement.  I was pretty certain up until that point that I was going to get the job and that God was really calling me to that position.  I guess God had other ideas. J
For the very near future (the next two weeks) I am going to be at the camp still finishing up any office work and whatever other work they find for me to fill my time.  I am very grateful for this opportunity to have something to do for the next little while.  People keep asking me what is happening next for me and I give them the answer of ‘I’m at camp for two more weeks and then I am unemployed again’.  I say this all with a smile on my face but deep down it does scare me a little bit.
I have been looking online for job postings and I plan to hand out resumes in Brandon on Saturday but the unknown is still very scary.  I am trying to put all my faith and trust in God that He will bring me to the job that He has in mind and planned for me, however, it is difficult at times to see where He is bringing me.  I know in my heart that God has a plan for me but my head is trying desperately to make me believe that He doesn’t.  I know that these are lies from the Evil One and that I cannot let him get a foothold in my life and I pray that God will continue to show me His plan for my life and protect my thoughts from the Evil One.
Another thing that is going on for me right now is school.  I am currently taking one class (which starts this evening) at school that I have to drive in for every Monday.  I am really excited for this opportunity to continue with my schooling and being one step closer to being done my degree.  I know that it is going to be a lot of work and that it isn’t going to be easy but I am very excited about it and I know that God will give me the strength to get through it and do it well. J

Well that was the blog that I was going to post this morning, and I would have to if the bosses didn’t decide to have their meeting – that I was sort of a part of –  right after I finished typing it up.  So instead I waited to post and things have already changed.  Right before lunch the director of U-turn called and told me that they decided that they were going to hire for the position I had interviewed for and asked me if I was still interested in the position. After I told him that I was still very interested he told me to get in touch with the program developer to go over some details.  I called him shortly after and we set up a meeting for tomorrow afternoon.  God is doing amazing things and I am so blessed to call Him my Lord and Saviour!  I praise God for the work that He is doing in my life and how he is showing me His plans!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Waiting Game

Wow, it feels like this blog post should have been written and posted a few days ago – actually it should have been but I got busy with other stuff and didn’t get the chance to put my thoughts down.
Since my last post I was able to meet with the Director of YFC Uturn and it was an awesome time learning about what the position of life skills coach would all entail.  At the end of our meeting he asked me to think and pray about our conversation and talk to a couple of trusted people and ask them to partner with me in prayer about whether or not God wanted me in this position.  He also said that he would be praying for me as well, which I thought was really cool.  I spent the next day and a half doing exactly what Desmond had asked me and two days later I called him and told him that I felt God was still calling me to this position.  He then got busy setting up a panel interview – this came together much faster than he even thought it would and by Friday night I knew that I would be meeting with the panel on Tuesday afternoon.
So on Tuesday I drove into Brandon for the interview – and unlike my first interview I wasn’t nervous or anxious.  I knew that if God wanted me in this position that He would give me the words to say and that the people doing the interviewing would be able to see my heart and passion for the work that they have set out to do.  I went into the interview and at first it seemed like my nerves were going to come back but God calmed them and I was able to present myself as the confident and competent person that I am.  After talking with the group of YFC staff for almost a whole hour I was told that I would be hearing from Desmond in a couple of days to find out if they think I am a good fit for the job. 
I am now playing the waiting game.  Every time I have checked my email since Tuesday afternoon I catch myself holding my breath for a second until I know whether or not I have a new message.  And every time I do have a new message I can't wait to see if it is from Desmond, and when it isn’t my heart falls just a little bit.  I know that God is teaching me patience through this whole waiting process and I know that it is a lesson that I need to learn (and I’m sure I will continue to learn throughout my life) but I also know that it isn’t necessarily an easy lesson to learn.  I thank God that He is bringing me through this waiting period and that I have not been worried about what the email will say, once it does come, because I know that it could be something that could cause me anxiety.  Thankfully I have resolved to live in His plan for my life and whatever YFC decides I know that it will be a part of God’s plan.
Thank you for everyone who has partnered with me in the matter up until this point.  I would ask that you would continue to pray for me as I wait to hear as well as pray for wisdom and guidance for the YFC team making the decision. J

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ramblings on the fall

The summer is coming to a close and that means, for a lot of people, including myself, that changes are right around the corner.  For the past five years (and before that if you count when I was still in high school) the end of the summer meant getting ready to return to school.  This year I am sort of returning to school, but not full time like I have in the past.  Since I only have five courses left to finish I am doing them as I can, which means I also am looking for employment.  This is a scary thing for me to do because up until this point the only jobs I have had were either part time or something that was temporary so it was never a big deal about where I was working.

As I look for some place to work I really want to be able to use at least some of the skills that I have acquired at school and I also want to please my Heavenly Father with the job that I choose.  I desperately want to live in God’s plan for my life and I am so thankful that I can run to Him and through prayer and His Word I can hear Him speak to me.  I am also grateful that He is so willing to guide me where He wants me to be. 

I badly want to be doing God’s work in this world and I know that He has prepared a work for me to, whether it is in an established mission field, or out on the street somewhere, where people would say I am just a part of the secular world.  I know that everything I do in my life is a part of His mission and I truly hope that I can live out my life that others also see that work being done.  I have spent the last (almost) four whole months working in a ministry and I have had great opportunity to show God’s love to the people who come here, but sometimes I wonder if that is really what I am to be doing.  Let me clarify that statement, because I know that I am to be showing God’s love to the people around me and I do strive to do just that (I also know that I frequently fail at this, but I’m a work in progress J).  However, I sometimes wonder how much more of a ministry I could have if I weren’t working somewhere where it is expected that the Bible and God’s love is taught.  When people come to the camp the fact that it is called Valley View Bible Camp should tip them off to the fact that we are all about God and the Bible.  If I were working at a restaurant or as a receptionist somewhere people would not expect me to be living my life for God but they would be able to notice that there is something different about me (hopefully, anyway) and that would be living out God’s love.

That is a lot of rambling but it is a little bit about what is on my heart.  The other thing that is on my heart is the possibility of a job that I have applied for.  For the past month and a half I focused on looking for jobs specifically in the social work (and even more specifically Child and Family Services) field and I sent a few resumes off to agencies and waited to see if I would hear anything back from them.  I still hadn’t heard anything at the end of last week and I was talking with my boyfriend about what the fall was possibly going to look like and I mentioned that I thought I should maybe start looking at other options as well as the social work stuff that I had already ‘applied’ to.  He thought this was a good idea and so I went online and started looking.  On Saturday night/Sunday morning I wrote an email to the director of YFC in Brandon for a position as a life skills coach.  I have since filled out the application and returned it to YFC and the director has even emailed me about it already and wants to meet with me.  This is really exciting for me and I hope that I am following God’s will with the decision to apply for this position.

So, for all you who are reading this, I would ask that you would join with me in praying that God’s will be done with this job opportunity and that wherever it is that I wind up in the fall that I can glorify Him in all that I do. J

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Greatest Feeling!

A wave of peace has washed over me in the last little while.  It has been a couple of weeks since I have experienced a panic attack and I could not be gladder about that.  Even last night when work definitely was not working out for me and was taking extremely longer than it should have and I very easily could have had a panic attack I didn’t.  I rejoice in the Lord that He is protecting me from these attacks.  Granted I was not pleased that it took over six and a half hours to do a job that usually takes a maximum of three hours I was able to have a peace about it when it was all said and done.   
I have also been able to give a lot of stuff up to God in the last couple of weeks.  There have been some big ‘changes’/decisions that have cropped up for me in the last little bit and I have let God take control of these things instead of trying to do it on my own.  It has felt great to bring some pretty big areas of change to Him and say ‘Well God, what do you have in store for this area of my life? I really want to honour and glorify You in my decision, so please show me how I can do that.’  The waiting for His guidance hasn’t been the easiest thing; however, it actually hasn’t been that difficult either.  I know that He will bring me to my answer in His perfect timing and I am resting in that. J

It has been so great to be able to rest in Him and know that He will care for me in every area of my life.  I do not have to worry and that is the greatest feeling in the world!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a story about where I've been lately

It has been 5 months and 9 days since I started blogging again and 4 months and 7 days since I wrote my last post on my blog. This means that I kept ‘up to date’ on my blogging for 1 month and 2 days; this is not a lot of time but in reality I shouldn’t have expected much more than that. 
The biggest reason that I shouldn’t be surprised by my very lack of ‘stick-to-it-ness’ is because of everything that I have been working through in this past little while (read: especially in the last year or so). Ever since the fall of 2007 I have on and off suffered from panic attacks. I do not know what exactly caused these attacks but they have been a part of my life since shortly after I graduated from high school.  When I was attending Providence from September 2008-April 2010 the panic attacks subsided and were not very severe. When they did happen I could always figure out what I thought was the ‘why’ and I somehow managed to work through it pretty effortlessly.  In the fall of 2010 I transferred schools so I could finish my degree and become a social worker. This was going well until the panic attacks ‘came back’ (they had never completely stopped – just lessened). This past year at school (fall of 2011) the panic attacks got really bad and that is when I decided that maybe transferring back to Prov would help since I had very few – and always manageable – attacks while I was there. Once at Prov I realized that the panic attacks weren’t going away but I tried to push through and finish the semester so I could get my BA.

This, however, did not happen and at the beginning of March I dropped out of school and decided that I definitely needed some time off to make sure I stayed healthy. This was a really hard decision for me and something that was even harder to talk to my parents about because I hadn’t told them anything about the panic attacks that had been affecting me for nearly 5 years.

My parents were not happy (to say the least) that I hadn’t come to them about this sooner but thankfully they supported my decisions about school and moved me home at the end of the month (after my job in Winnipeg ended due to the store closing). I then spent the next month at home helping my mom out when needed and trying to get back to a place where I did not suffer from these panic attacks.

Within that month I came to realize that perhaps a huge reason why the panic attacks were so few and far between when I was at Prov the first time is because of the great support team I surrounded myself with. I lived in dorm and was in constant fellowship with my friends at Prov and we spent time not only having fun together but also spurring each other on in our faith. While I was at Booth (and when I was at Prov this past winter) I didn’t have that as much because I didn’t live in dorm. I also wasn’t able to connect with my group of friends back home because most weekends were spent on my own in Winnipeg doing homework. I had cut myself off from fellowship and any support team that I had access to before this.

I have since been able to reconnect with my support system back home and am so glad because the panic attacks have (for the most part) subsided and I am able to live my life. I’m still not 100% sure about when I am going to finish school (and yes – it is a question of when not if) but I do know that as long as I take care of myself that I will be able to achieve my goal of becoming a social worker. I still do not know what the cause of these panic attacks are, and I don’t know if I will ever truly know, but what I do know is that they do not have to run my life.

In the past 3 months I have spent a lot of time in the Word and time in prayer and fellowship with my Saviour and I think that has really helped me to get past the panic attacks and gain a focus for my life again. I still feel that God is leading me to the social work field but I no longer feel this need to get there as quickly as possible no matter what the consequences are. Also, along with the call to the social work field I feel as though God is calling me into mission work. And, yes, I realize that my entire life is mission work as I live my life among people who do not know Jesus as their Saviour, but I feel like the work that He has set out for me is a little bit more directed than just living my life according to my faith in Him and the Word that He gave. Presently, I am able to live this call to the mission field out as the secretary at camp and I know that once camp is over God will lead me to where I am supposed to be next within His mission.

So, for anyone who reads this blog, if you think of me while you are praying to God, pray for me and for direction for once summer is over and also that the panic attacks will stop. Like I said before they have mostly subsided but I still have one now and again and it scares me to pieces.

Monday, February 6, 2012

who do i want to be?...

Am I the person who the person I am looking for is looking for? This seems like a very confusing question until you really start to look at the question, think about the question, and understand the context of the question. The context of the question has to do with the sermon from yesterday at Oasis, where I have been able to attend church for the last couple of weeks. The pastor was talking about how we, in our western culture, are so concerned with ‘finding the perfect person for us to marry’.

The pastor asked us to think about whether or not we are the person we should be so the person we are looking to marry would want to marry us as well. He told this story to better illustrate this point (it may be paraphrased a little bit).

A 20-something woman who grew up in a Christian home and had a faith in Christ while growing up went off to college and strayed from that faith and her relationship and has decided to live out her life differently. Sometime after beginning college and living this new life of living out her desires rather than her faith she is at a gathering of sorts and she meets a young man. This young man is successful, he has a good job and he is living out his faith in a way that does not leave a doubt in anyone’s mind that he is a follower of Christ who wants to follow His desires for the young man’s life. The young woman goes home and gushes to her mother about the man that she meant and tells her mom that this man is the type of man she wants to marry. He mother looks at her daughter and says ‘you are not the type of woman that this man will want to marry’. The young woman collapsed to the ground and wept as she realized that her mother is completely right.

The pastor than asked us to think about how we would fit into this same kind of story. If we found the person who we wanted to marry, would they also want to marry us?

It is this question that has captured my thoughts for the last couple of days as I have wrestled with the idea. I know that I need to be secure in my faith and comfortable being ‘alone’ before I can be in a relationship with someone and this is something that I am always working on. I am single, however, sometimes I am not okay with being alone and I want more, and instead of seeking God in these times I sometimes (sometimes I do as I know I should and seek God to fill the void I feel) look to find affection and approval from other people. I also know that I need to be a woman of faith; a woman of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) and someone who not only claims these attributes but also someone who lives them out. This is who God has designed me to be and this is what I need to strive for in my life. It will be in this that God will show me who it is that He has brought in to my life to become my husband and it will be in this that I will be ready to become a wife and a person who can live in relationship with another and still hold on to who I am as an individual but also as one of a pair.