For as far back as I can remember, the world has taught me that if you do the right things and have the right qualifications, everything will fall into place.
I turned 26 in June, and I had a sure plan for my 26th year. I was excelling at my job, moved into a new house with a year lease, and just jumped on board to volunteer with my church with a year-long faith commitment. Life as I knew it was perfect.
In August, everything changed.
I was abruptly let go from my job, which had been my source of security since graduating college. Honestly, I was blind-sided. I had no idea this was coming and had no backup plan. I had lost my grip on what I could count on and the company that had become my family over the past four years, now was essentially saying “you’re not enough”. I felt as though I was being ostracized from a group of people who have seen me grow up, encouraged and empowered me, and picked me up when my personal life was in shambles. And now, I felt betrayed. I was the first employee behind the three founding partners, and over those four years I knew that my job was secure. Until it wasn’t.
We all experience seasons that bring us to our knees. Whether you’re the college graduate who has applied for 100+ jobs without any promise, the thriving young adult who suddenly receives the cancer diagnosis, or the newlywed who becomes pregnant while you’re still grasping the ins and outs of marriage — Everyone gets to a point in their life where they realize they are not in control.
In my situation, rather than recognizing that God’s timing isn’t coincidental, I held onto anger stemming from the lie that I had failed. I had failed at my job, I wasn’t good enough, I was unworthy. Rather than beginning the grieving process, I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity and shame. I allowed my heart to harden, rather than embrace how God was working.
Abraham has a similar story. After leaving his homeland with hope in God’s promise of a son, and after months of following God, he began to doubt God’s promise. It’s in this moment that Abraham prays to God in the dark of night, a darkness that mirrored his disappointment and discouragement. It is in this darkness that Abraham once again receives, believes and hopes in God's promise of descendants as numerous as the stars. He gets real in front of God, who in turn meets with Abraham and restores his hope.
When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.
What we are pressed to learn in these times is this: our failures are a reminder that we are not God, not that we are disowned. No matter how organized our planner may be, we do not know what will happen tomorrow, next week, or five years from now, but that doesn’t nullify His promises.
When we put our hope in anything but the Lord, He has a way of sweetly bringing us to our knees. See, I had been so secure in my job, that I forgot who was actually in control. I had placed my hope in something other than Him. I had constructed my own plan, which clearly wasn’t the plan God had for me. I hit rock bottom. But the good thing about hitting rock bottom — it allows you to connect with the creator in a way that’s nearly impossible without being there.
We are thrown into seasons with two options — trusting that God has a better plan for you and His plans are truly FOR YOU, more than you could ever imagine, or trying to go against His plan and constructing a new one of your own.
By choosing the first option, and embracing the season you are in, God moves in extraordinary ways. It’s not always easy, in fact it’s never easy, but trust me — it’s worth it.
Shelby is a lover of community and jokes that she has never met a stranger. She skips small talk and jumps right to the heart of the matter: lovin’ on people right where they stand. As a watercolor artists and master letterer, she uses her gifts to make goods that bring people together and spread kindness in a world that needs more of it. You can find her at @ShelbyPipken or @ShelbyNickelDesigns.