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Old 05-03-2002, 04:05 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways indeed

This is a bit long and meandering, so bear with me.

Those of you who know me well will probably know that I have been at a bit of a crossroads in my spiritual life for some time. I’ve been re-evaluating much of what I used to take for granted and questioning everything. God and I haven’t been on the best of terms, but through the last year, I have been slowly becoming less jaded about him and tentatively reaching out. In any case, these last few months have been stressful ones in many ways. I lost my job 2 weeks ago and thus my source of income. My school loans are past due and I’ve been struggling to find a way to re-arrange the payments so that I might be able to go back and continue studying and soul-searching at L’Abri (the place in Switzerland that I spent time at last year…had a huge impact in turning me back towards God). And I’m still trying to finish up the last bits of coursework I need in order to get my college degree. Last weekend I went out on a quasi-date with an old childhood and college friend of mine who also grew up in Indonesia and we got on the subject of where I was at in my spiritual journey and a lot of the discomfort I had with the “church”, etc. Something he said really struck me though. He reminded me that all relationships are built on trust and that trust takes time to grow – it doesn’t come all at once. His advice was that in my relationship with God, I should start small and allow God to prove himself to me bit by bit. But to actively ask and look for Him to do this. Anyways, it stuck with me over the course of the week.

Although I had put out some feelers for a job and registered with a couple of temporary agencies, I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to sort out financial things and hitting my studies as hard as possible. Two days ago, I stopped by my college to talk to the chair of the business department (the prof I am writing my 40 page paper for) about the research I was doing, etc. He told me that he had just gotten a call from one of his former students and how would I like a full-time job with excellent benefits and experience working as an inventory control expediter down at the Ford plant? Basically, if he (the prof) recommended me to this alumn, I would get the job. Wow. I was a bit taken aback. To take it would mean I’d have to commit to staying here and working there for at least a couple of years. It would mean putting all my plans for soul-searching and the Peace Corps on hold. BUT it would mean financial security, a good item on my resume, benefits (as a consultant I have pretty much ZERO in terms of health insurance, vacation, etc.) and the possibility of paying off my massive school loans. He told me to go home and think it over and that I would have to call him the next day by 4 pm at the latest with my answer.

So I wandered out in a daze. All my plans for the day went out the window. I called my parents and told them about it to get their advice and to ask for their prayers. Then I went out for a drive and just thought and considered and struggled. Finally I ended up down at the St. Paul Cathedral and even though I’m not Catholic, I thought it would be a good place to slip in and spend some moments in contemplation and prayer. I should also mention that I haven’t been comfortable with “praying” for some time, but in lieu of my friend’s advice of that weekend, I decided to go ahead and just try. No bolts of lightning or instant answers, but as I left I felt that I was closer to having a sense of peace.

Oddly enough, as I drove home I decided to randomly call a friend and ex-coworker of mine whose opinion and advice I value even though I hadn’t seen her since before my Europe trip last year. She just happened to answer the phone and be free for the next hour, so I went to her house and laid out my dilemma to her. And just in talking it through with her, I knew that I couldn’t accept the job. As she said to me, it would be a decision based on fear and one that would probably cause me to resent my job and to regret not following my heart. So I determined to call my prof with a negative answer (something I didn’t want to do just because I respect him greatly and hate to disappoint him). I still didn’t have a job and my bank account was steadily declining, but I felt that I had made the right choice.

Yesterday, I went to the local library and had a kick-ass day day of studying. I got SO much done on this distance education course that I have been procrastinating and resenting for almost 3 years now. It was amazing. Like a switch had been turned on or something. The course is a required one in Bible Study Methods and whereas before I had resisted even opening the Bible, I found myself actually ENJOYING the process of reflecting, questioning and searching the Scripture. Weird. I still had till 4 that afternoon to give my answer on the job, but I lost track of time. At 4:10 I got a call from my consulting firm telling me that they had a job interview lined up for me the next day. The job description they had from the client was ideal for my skill set and the site was just across the street from my last job! Five minutes away from my house! (Yet another important thing since my car is on its last legs). I could hardly believe it.

This morning I went in for the interview and within half an hour I had a contract offer for at least the next 3 months if not longer. Wow. And 3 months is precisely the amount of time I was planning to be in the States before attempting to go back to Switzerland (although that plan may change depending on money). I dunno. I’m rarely one to be superstitious or to decree this or that to be “God’s will”, but I have to say…I feel a definite sense of divine guidance and being watched over. It feels like the moment I let go and made a small leap of faith, the unexpected happened and in a way better than my machinations and plans had been.

So that’s all. Pretty long I know, but I just felt the need to share it and figured you dear people would understand if no one else. Thanks for reading.

-sula
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Old 05-03-2002, 04:31 PM   #2
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(((((Sula)))))

Thank you so much for sharing Sula! That's so cool! Congratulations! He really does work when we let him into our lives. I've been experiencing that more and more recently too. I was really worried about my finals. I prepared and prepared, I did all that I could. But I was still scared of them and was always thinking that there was more I could do. Well, there wasn't! But there was more He could do. And he did...He gave me the confidence to face the exams and I kicked butt on them!

Amen! He really is good!

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And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
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Old 05-03-2002, 04:58 PM   #3
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Mysterious Ways indeed sula...like those that led me to check this forum today and to read your post, even though I haven't checked the forums that much lately...because I'm drowning in problems and sorrows. I was in need of reading something like that, I wish something good like that happened to me as well, I mean, that God somehow showed me the right path to take and just go ahead fearless. I've been so lost, so desperated, in a crossroad in my life, like you...but in a very different way, nothing to do with professional life or career, but with the future of my relationship with the father of my kids...or the absence of any future at all. I'm so ashamed...I have prayed, I have prayed a lot, asking God to help me to overcome these hard times and to show me the light, to tell me that I'm not going crazy, that I'm doing the right thing for me, for him and for the kids...and most important than that, I have asked God to help him to understand that it's over, that he would be much better without me. I'm in need of God's sign, any sign. I hope He takes care of me the same way He took care of you sula. I should stop complaining, I'm sorry.
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Old 05-03-2002, 05:03 PM   #4
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((((follower))))

You're among friends here. Don't worry about 'complaining'. We're here to listen and to help as we can even if all we can do is pray along with you.
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Old 05-03-2002, 07:46 PM   #5
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that is awesome to hear sula. best of luck with your future.
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Old 05-03-2002, 08:25 PM   #6
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Where I am in life now is a result of a series of uncanny coincidences as well. God is great.

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Old 05-04-2002, 04:18 AM   #7
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sula--
thanks for posting. I have been thinking about your Peace Corps plans, and wondering where you were at... I like what I hear. And your friend was right: any decision made out of fear -- that is, lack of faith -- is one that makes our life smaller, and ourselves along with it. You will have a LARGE life, sula, I feel it in my bones...

Exultate!
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Old 05-04-2002, 04:24 AM   #8
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follower --
where you are is just about the hardest place in life to be (been there). there are no "right" answers -- only honest ones. And a long road. Writing about it is good... you are all in my prayers: clarity and comfort for all concerned. blessings --

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Old 05-04-2002, 09:24 AM   #9
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Bethany and Deb, thanks for your words and prayers. Maybe I should not talk about such intimate issues in an internet message board, but you wouldn´t believe how lonely I have been feeling, it´s like a plague, nobody cares and people tend to walk away, you know. And I´m not that strong. In fact I think I´m stupid and I won´t be more stupid than I am already, just for talking about that. This story has gone too far, it´s not the first crisis in our life but it has to be the last or nothing will survive, not a single good moment, that´s the only certainty I have. I have found some comfort in my prayers and my songs when I feel this way, falling into pieces. My single Please has been my mate these days...maybe because Please is more than a song for me right now, it´s the word, you know. I keep on singing along with Bono, another words in my mind though...please God help me, please God help him, please God spare the kids and don´t let them be damaged for good.
And Bethany, sorry for kinda deviate from the subject of your thread, but I do think that some mysterious ways somehow led me found you and Deb and Chris and so many others here who seems to care. You opened your heart about your doubts and the sign God sent you and I know you´ll be successful. I´m doing the same and I´m hoping to see that sign as well. I hope one day things will be better for me, with the help and blessings of God. Thank you very much friends.
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Old 05-04-2002, 11:49 AM   #10
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Item #1: WOOO!!! Way to go suladear!!!

Item #2: Way to study a whole bunch!! WOOO!!! (Now if I could get that kind of self-discipline I wouldn't be up for failing this week...)

Item #3: Trust God. Just do. I had a really difficult time trusting Him. I really did. Probably because I have an inherent distrust for people all together, as all they have given me is hurt. Then I realized, God isn't a person. God is God, He created me in His image so that I could live my life and find Him and re-establish my relationship with Him and realize that He, no matter what happened, ALWAYS loves me. ALWAYS. And to me, that was a big step to take to understand. He is my Father, which is good, since I'm currently looking for a new one. Lately I have been so attached to Footsteps. Where I am right now I feel so empty and alone. I forget so easily that my family is different, then when my friends talk about theirs I immediately see the difference. I tkae great salvation in the fact that He is there for me where ever, when ever I need Him. And I know that in my times of woe, He carries me. Maybe I'm becoming a burden to Him though...I need to be carried so much! Though I haven't put myself completely in God's hands, I only see it as a matter of time, and a rough journey, until I do.


Sorry to rave on a bit there.

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Old 05-05-2002, 01:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly:


Item #3: Trust God. Just do.
Yup.

I don't believe in coincidence. Watch for God, and you see Him everywhere, moving in you and for you.

You go, sula!

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Old 05-08-2002, 11:18 PM   #12
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Praises for things working out in such a splendid fashion!
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Old 05-09-2002, 09:17 AM   #13
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Congratulations, Sula. What happened to you is a perfect example of 'everything falling in the right place'. I haven't been in touch with my spiritual life as I should, but I do believe that grace brought you to where you are now.
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