I didn’t get a new backpack or freshly sharpened pencils, but I sure have been enrolled in some challenging life classes over the past few months. I didn’t sign up for them, but God hand-picked them for me, and looking back now, I’m actually glad He did.
If I was perusing a life course catalog, classes like “Life After Job Loss”, or “Moving Long Distance 101”, or “Mid-Life Career Changes” or “How To Survive A Kidney Stone” would not be my top choices. I’d be looking for fun electives like pottery or cooking or Europe On A Budget.
But God in His infinite wisdom knew that a fun elective wasn’t going to be the best classroom for me. He knew I needed to be pushed to do things I hadn’t done before, to replace complacency with determination, to grow instead of stagnate. The lessons were hard, but so very worth each moment.
I learned that kidney stones are nothing to mess around with. Seriously. I don’t know why we’ve never considered that the apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was maybe a kidney stone. It sure felt like a messenger of Satan sent to knock me around. And knock me around it did. Bring-you-to-your-knees, make-you-cry-like-a-baby pain. But God provided a good hospital, great medical care and allowed me to experience the humility of what it was like to be the patient and not the nurse. To be surrounded and cared for by family was a blessing I wouldn’t have had if this had happened in Florida.
I learned again that God always has a plan and His timing is always just right. I was beginning to think I’d never find a job, or at least never find a job that I could be excited about. The closed doors and the disappointments were discouraging. I never expected it to be that hard. Then on a recent Wednesday morning, I “happened upon” the job postings for a university not far from where I’m living right now, and the first job that popped up was for “University Nurse”. A college health job? Available in October? I quickly filled out the online application. Within ten minutes of hitting the “submit” button, I got a call from the Director of Health Services asking if I could come in for an interview. And two days later I did. The day after my “Thorn in The Flesh” hospital experience, I got the call from Human Resources extending the offer of employment. It’s a perfect fit, but with the opportunity to be challenged working in a much larger student health center than where I was before. God knew all along that this particular position would become available weeks after the semester had started. With each frustrating closed door, He knew I needed to be waiting for this one to open.
Why do we ever question that He is always at work in our lives behind the scenes?
I learned that Fall is the BEST time to move north. Just had to throw that one in. Anyone who knows me or who has followed this blog for a while knows how much I have missed the seasons and the cooler temperatures. The colors on the trees and the crunching leaves and the sweatshirt weather has made my heart full. I’ve been reminded that we need seasons in our lives, defined times of growth and rest and change. I am grateful.
God knows the classes we need to be enrolled in. He wants us to keep learning and growing and recognizing our dependence on Him. He wants to show us great and mighty things that we did not know before. When He calls you back to the school of life, embrace the challenge. Watch for the lessons.
I know there is so much more learning to be done. But I won’t try to choose the courses myself. I have an Advisor who knows exactly what I need.
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4
Behold, God is exalted in His power; who is a teacher like Him? Job 36:22