Life Skillz – I’m acquiring them

While I was sitting here, pondering what witty thing I can say to make you chuckle and think “Oh, that Emily, she’s hilarious!”, I realized that today is the last Friday that I will have free in the foreseeable future. Let me catch you up on what’s been going in my life!

December 09: I graduated from college. Sad and happy all at the same time. I met a friend on campus earlier this week for lunch though, and I have to tell you I did not miss being on campus one little bit! It was kind of liberating to finally realize that I don’t have to go back there for another test or lecture unless I choose to go to grad school. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

January 2010: I spent on average 4-6 hours a day job searching. After it’s all said and done I’m fairly certain I applied to about four dozen jobs, of which I only heard back from 3 that were legitimately interested. If I had to choose a word to describe this month, I would pick “uphill.” It was hard the entire way. There were days where I was absolutely discouraged and depressed. People who have been job searching for months, not alone more than a year, impress the heck out of me now. I really don’t see how they do it on their own. And that’s probably the secret, they’re not own their own. They’ve got a support system that is working overtime to keep them encouraged and uplifted not only in spirits, but also in prayers. That’s how I made it through January; with the knowledge of friends and family keeping me in their prayers and asking for God’s provision.

Februrary 2010: Started out even tougher than January ended. I began this month low in spirit, low in joy, high in frustration. But God is faithful. I think He often brings us to a point of absolute surrender before he begins something – and I was there at the start of this month. I had to give up my dreams and the things that I wanted in life and lay them at his feet. Like Austin, for a little ole example. I want to live and work and enjoy friends in this beautiful city. I realized that maybe Austin isn’t God’s dream for me, and that was hard. And through a few fits and hard thinking, I gave that idea over to God, submitting to whatever his plan was for my life. I kid you not, within a week of surrendering my big plans and being open to whatever God tosses my way, there was a job secured for me – in Austin. I’m pleased as punch and oh so grateful! I start next Tuesday and am thrilled because it’s the type of job situation and working environment that I had hoped for.

In light of this new development, I think God has a bigger plan for me than this. Well, I know this. But Africa has been placed on my heart recently. I keep thinking back to Zambia, summer of 2004 – two weeks that changed my life in ways I still can not fully understand. This morning after running I pulled out my photo album and flipped through the pages, seeing faces that have been have burned into the memories of my heart and occur in my dreams. Faces that I may never see again unless we meet in heaven. Oh Lord, I pray I see them in heaven! My plan is to live frugally this year and most likely the next few. I want to start paying off school loans, credit cards [only 2! I know, plural scares me too], and increasing my savings account. And I want to save for Africa. I have to go back there. Somehow that continent, those people, once you lay eyes on them they sink underneath your skin and put a permanent mark on your soul, little thumb prints in your heart. You’re sold, hook, line and sinker, for the most beautiful faces on this planet. I think of how young and naive I was six years ago, how immature in my faith I was, the chances I shied away from telling them about Jesus because I was too scared…I pray that God sends me back. “Jehovah willing,” I say, “God willing I will see that place again.”

Having my attention diverted to Africa in light of the new job also just brought my attention to the fact that I am astonishingly self-centered. Sometimes the eternal (and also the global) perspective is so far away from me. There is much in my heart for God to work on.

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