Trust His Plan
I read somewhere once that "disappointment is human will unfulfilled." It got me thinking about personal opinions and how useless they are--as the outcome of any given situation about which you have an opinion can easily disappoint. I've discovered that when I ask what is the right thing to do rather than just push my will forward, amazing ideas come to me that I would never have thought of on my own. Where do they come from? Your Father which art in heaven, that's where. And those amazing ideas? Those are your angels.
I learned the value of asking God for direction when I was a single mother raising four kids on my own. At the time I was seriously struggling to make ends meet. I was working as a high school English teacher at the K-12 school that my four kids attended. And although I was doing everything I could to provide for my family, no matter how many extra jobs I took on (I taught adult education and ESOL classes at night) or how many expenses I cut back (we moved six times in five years--downsizing our living space and monthly bills each time), we just didn't have enough. I was getting further and further in debt. And my hopeless situation was stealing my joy.
Feeling exhausted and disappointed, I reached out to a friend over lunch. Our kids were also friends, and we got together to share inspiration and laugh as often as we could. When I told her that I couldn't live like this anymore, she looked at me and asked: If you had a loving parent who had abundant resources at your disposal and every connection possible for you to do anything you wanted, what would you do?
My answer was instant, "I would teach at a college, but..." She cut me off. "Well, good news," she replied, "it's your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Go be a professor." I laughed, thinking about how totally awesome that would be. But, how? where? I didn't have the right credentials or education... or the luxury of time and money to get them--which is what I was going to say after the "but..."
I knew her response was in reference to Jesus who was, at the time, teaching his own students (Luke calls them disciples) that putting God first opens the door to His infinite resources--which our all-loving Father is happy to give, generously. My friend assured me that when I started walking in the direction of my heart's desire, I could trust God, my heavenly parent, to show me the way.
My friend also happened to be in the public healing practice, listed as a practitioner in the Christian Science Journal, so it was natural for her to turn me toward spiritual healing solutions for problems that needed practical answers. Mary Baker Eddy does the same thing right on page 1 of her book; she writes, "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" (Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures). I felt a glimmer of hope. Could it be that easy? To just let God show me the way?
A few weeks later, I was compelled to apply to a post-graduate Ed.S program at a nearby University. Incurring another expense seemed like the crazy-opposite of what I thought I should be doing, but it felt like the right thing to do. I got a student loan and started classes that summer. I loved school... everything about it. The books, my classmates, the projects, all of it. Then, in one of my classes, I heard that the English department at a Community College in my district was accepting applications for adjunct instructors. I applied and was offered a position. It was exactly what I wanted to do. So I gratefully accepted, and very enthusiastically prepped and taught three composition classes that semester. Although the position was part time and paid very little with no benefits, I didn't stress about my finances. I trusted God would keep molding; I kept listening for the next right step. And it helped that I was super jazzed about my subject matter--much to my students' amusement.
A few months later while I was making copies in the department office, one of the secretarial assistants walked over and pointed to a job listing posted on the door for a full-time professor position in the English dept. She said, "did you see this? You need to apply for this position, you'd be a great addition to our full-time staff."
I did actually see the job post, but decided not to bother applying because I thought I was not qualified beyond the entry instructor level. However, the assistant, having processed my paperwork for the adjunct position, knew that my previously earned degrees and current program credits, plus my years of high school teaching experience, did qualify me for the position. She reiterated in no uncertain terms, "apply for the position." Angel messages always find a way to be heard--even if you miss them the first time.
I did apply... along with 88 other applicants! And although I was tempted to not hold out any hope, I determined to keep listening and trust my Father to form my desire into words and deeds. The following month eight of us were called in for an interview, and a few weeks later I was offered the full time position. I loved every minute of my professorship there; my salary was more than sufficient to meet our family's needs and pay my debts.
The whole experience changed the way I approach decision making in my life. God's communication to us is continuous and tangible. When we ask (ie: desire, pray, seek) and then listen with expectation rather than opinion and self will, we hear His angel messages. They give us clear direction and compel us to action We can trust His plan for us to be perfect and all-inclusive; it includes everything we need and nothing we don't. And it's never a disappointment.