Sunday, January 30, 2011

A realization of God's plan

I am not claiming that I have figured out all of God's plan for me. Are you kidding, that is a continual process that I hope takes many years and many new experiences to figure out! I did however have a realization this week of the current challenge that God has put in my life. Unlike other challenges that I have faced in my life, this "seems" like the simplest of all but I doubt that this journey will be easy.

For the past 3 1/2 year I have truly felt God in my life. There have been so many things during these last 3 1/2 that have made me put my faith in Him. Of course the start of my new journey with God was during and after the passing of my mom. During this time I experienced God's love by who he put in my life, the constant conversations with Him trying to understand, Why?, and the way that God guided me over the following years in relationships, my faith, and my career. I felt like God had challenged me and that I definitely became a better, stronger individual because of all of this. My faith was stronger than it had ever been in my life and stronger than I ever thought it could be.

During this time I did a lot of soul searching, had many conversations with friends and mentors, and eventually found my path in life which was Student Affairs. I truly believed that God had aligned so many things that eventually led to this realization. It is hard to change your life plan, especially during your first semester of graduate school but there was not doubt that this was the path that God had for me. I changed my degree and changed my plan for my career. This was a huge step for me and especially since what I was planning on doing was so foreign to my family and friends. I have given up on explaining what I do. It's too hard! Fellow Student Affairs professionals understand what I mean when I say this.

I found myself the happiest I had been in months. Finally making sense of everything that had happened and so excited that out of a tragedy I truly found meaning in life. This discovery did not happen on my own, it was God' plan all along, it just took the time to go through these steps for me to realize this. As my first year in grad school quickly flew by, I found myself starting the journey of finding a job. This process lasted 5 months so believe me, my faith was so strong at this point because it was one of the only things keeping me going.

As I started my job search I had to do more soul searching. Was I willing to relocate? What type of job was I looking for? What type of school did I want to work at? What was important to me in a job environment? At this point in my life I had lived in the same area my whole life. I was very comfortable where I was and the relationships that I had around me. As I prepared for the placement exchange (this was an opportunity to interview with schools all around the country at one conference), I had to truly rely on God that he would guide me to the place that I needed to be. Instead of deciding where I would or would not go, I interviewed with schools out of state, public and private, large and small. I knew that this was necessary for God's plan for me to take course. I was lucky to find the job that I truly wanted at the conference but it was an anticipated position and who knew if the position would be available. Over the next few months I applied for jobs left and right. During this time I experienced a lot of rejection and it was truly hard to keep going in this process. My faith was truly tested and I had to keep applying and keeping praying that God would lead me to where he needed me to be. In the back of my mind I just kept hoping that the job I truly wanted was the one that God would lead me to. As graduation approached  I was a little disappointed because "my" plan was to know where I was going before graduation day. It wasn't looking too good. But that was all about to change. The day before graduation I received a phone call from the head of the search committee for the job that I wanted. They wanted to bring me on campus. I was ecstatic! I was so worried but in the end God knew that this was going to happen. Long story short. I ended up interviewing and was offered the job at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

God moved me away from all of my family and friends to the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado. I didn't know why at the time but I knew that I was excited to find out. It has now been almost 7 months since I moved here. Life has settled down as much as it can in the field of Student Affairs. I absolutely love my job and am finally feeling confident in my position. Personally I definitely have struggled. Don't get me wrong, I have had so much fun these last 7 months exploring Denver. From an amazing Lady A concert, to meeting great new people, to the amazing mountain views, to learning how to function in snow, and to learning how to ski, life it pretty great. But there has definitely been something missing.

It has taken me 7 months to figure out this void in my life but it feels great to finally figure out one of the reasons God led me here. You might be wondering why I just explored the last couple of years of my life but they are part of this realization. For the past couple of years my life has been defined by challenges and major life decisions that have made me rely on my faith on an almost daily basis. Like I stated before, my faith was the strongest it had ever been and the strongest I thought it ever could be. My realization this week is that for the first time in the last 3 1/2 years, there is not a major decision or challenge that is defining my life. I have found that God's challenge for me in this time is to find faith in everyday life. This is something that I has come easy to me these last couple of years but now that life has slowed down, life has become somewhat normal, and now with all of this extra free time since I am not in school, it has become somewhat of a challenge for me. Now that my life seems "normal" how do I define my faith? This seems so simple but for me this is definitely a change and a challenge that I know God is wanting me to work through. Of course there will be more major life decision and challenges that come along the way, but what does my faith look like when these are not present?

So now that I have come to this realization, I know that God will start guiding me to figure this out and I know that I have to do more soul searching to figure this out as well. I am excited to start this journey with God and rely on him to lead me.