Tag Archives: unemployed

Is fear or faith your motivator?

help wanted

As I reach into my savings account and pull out this months bills to be paid out on month 5 of my unemployment I think to myself “hmm I didn’t really plan to still be HERE right now.” But I am.  And somehow I’m ok with it.  At least I was before I let the world seep in and make me question my motivator.

Does fear or faith motivate you?

fear or faith what is your motivator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

keep calm and trust the process red

As a human most likely your answer is probably both, even if it’s just faith in yourself or someone else or a process.

superwomen blonde

 

If you are faith based, then ideally faith weighs in more, but let’s be honest we still allow fear to run things a lot, and probably don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing anyway because after-all at least “fight or flight” mode allows you “get the job done”, right?! Well true, maybe. But I feel like the goal shouldn’t just be just to get it done and move forward. Life is more than a series of check-marks to cross off for most of us.

For those new to my blog, I left my occupation, one of flexibility and a good solid salary because I felt there was something more that I was meant for and that occupation wasn’t my purpose in life and I wanted to take time to allow for a breather for God to redirect my path and allow me to steer down the path of His choice and I felt the only way for me to allow myself to “be still and listen” was to take myself out of my comfort zone and into a place of rest and discomfort in unemployment so that I had the time and openness to allow for redirection and purpose.

All that said and done, I sit here months later as onlookers probably see my continued unemployment as complacency or undirectedness (which I kind of is– by choice) or more commonly that I’m being unrealistic in what I am waiting for and had a great job I should have never left especially when still not being clear about what I want to or should do going forward.

Have you ever been in this place in life with a situation? You made a solid decision and believed in it wholeheartedly but then as time went on and your timing didn’t match Gods timing and everyone was buzzing in your ear causing confusion, you start to second guess what God originally told you or if you even heard him clearly at all.

too much noise; cant sleep

So here I am. Questioning my decision to have made this leap of faith.

Still unemployed. Still undirected and unclear. Still no clear view of what direction God had in mind for me.

what direction; signs

Plenty of job options but mostly just getting back into what I left. Everyone around telling me just to go back to what I know, go back to sales, take that job that’s just ok–but not what I expected–just because it’s “better than nothing.” To essentially stop waiting for the perfect job; that shiny present of a well paying job that fulfills me and glorifies The Lord while I’m doing it.

And frankly, at this point everyone is starting to sound like they are right.

I-Told-You-So

But then I have to go back to why I started.

I started out of faith.

  • Faith that I was discontent in my occupation for a reason.
  • Faith that God had something different for me.
  • Faith that He would use me.
  • Faith that He would provide.
  • And faith in His timing.

fear or faith what is your motivator

And now I am not thinking or acting in faith but out of fear.

  • Fear that my discontentment was normal, and just something people live with.
  • Fear that God maybe wouldn’t use me in the way I imagined. (which lets be honest is a very real and ok thing)
  • Fear that maybe He didn’t have something different for me.
  • Fear that He wouldn’t provide.
  • And fear that His timing wouldn’t match up to my needs.

faithbiggerthanfear_largeFight or flight.  Do I listen to the fear around me and allow it to seep in or do I trust in the character of my God who has proven time and time again that He is faithful and He is good.

It’s those times when we don’t hear or feel God,  or His timing or ways don’t match up to our vision, that is when we have to trust what we do know and that is that God is Good and His ways better.

And as always, when fearful or doubtful, go to the source of truth to put those fears to rest.  The bible says,

20130909-223050Jeremiah_33_3.251153126_stdjer2911  So the bible tells us:

  • We are chosen and special to God.
  • God will answer us and show us great things.
  • Gods plans are to give us hope and a future.

And so I gain my strong footing again, waking up and choosing faith in this journey.

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(Stay tuned to next weeks blog for the current update on month 6- last week as God made His big reveal which I can’t wait to share as I’m now playing blog catch up)

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The Art of Distraction

white-rabbit-im-late

Where did the morning go?! I woke at 8:30am and it’s now close to 10am and I’ve accomplished little to nothing.

Does time ever get away from you? It does me….all the time. Take this morning for example. My second Tuesday of “funemploment” I’m basking in my morning “quiet time”, that time us Christians claim as sacred one-on-one time to devote to our relationship with the big guy upstairs only problem is:

social-media-marketing
“Oh lemme just check Instagram real quick…..oh cool I wanna reply to that Facebook message first……ok just one email”, and before I knew it 90-minutes just flew by and I had yet to give God any minutes.

I believe in the society of today this is one of the biggest obstacles to our quiet time and one of the devils most useful sneaky tools. I fall prey to this trick so often if not daily I’m sad to admit. 😦

THE ART OF DISTRACTION.

Sometimes its a great thing….

And sometimes, not so much.

It is one of the devils most seemingly innocent but deadly tricks. I consider myself a somewhat disciplined Christian, most days able to easily say no to the obvious things that the devil tempts with like invitations to late nights and heavy drinking, exciting events that fall during my women’s bible study, and men asking me out who clearly don’t put God first being just a few examples that come to mind —-but the devil is clever and adjusts his game plan as we strengthen our faith.

2 Corinthians 11:14 says, No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 

Reminding us that not all things that look good are good, and also, as shown here– reminding us that Satan can use things that don’t seem sinful by nature, for evil. Instead of causing us to do evil, all he has to do is draw us to things that draw us away from time with God and he has accomplished a great feat.

Now, it’s not others so much that he uses to pull me away from my time with The Lord, it’s myself. Its the art of distraction as I wrestle with a seemingly innocent idea of quickly checking social media first thing in the am rather than jump into my bible study.

Afterall, how much more enticing is finding out what happen while you were sleeping than digging Into that book,” I hear the devil whisper in my ear. “Just a quick look won’t hurt, then you can get to your study, Jessica.” —but the reality is the devil knows how hard it is to reign in my mind once the day hits and once I start redirecting my focus.

 

So this morning, I failed.

I got sucked into distractions and when I finally prompted myself to study, out of sheer guilt (also not from God— as if it wasn’t bad enough to steal all that time, now the devil guilts me for falling prey to his alluring distraction), I had to laugh as I opened my book to to this page:

enemy will try to discourage you satans attacks(Set-Apart Femininity: God’s Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman)

Isn’t it true though? Anytime we make changes (in my case quitting my job so I can focus on what God is directing me to do) the devil redirects his focus as well. So now that I have created time, he’s creating new ways of keeping me occupied and away from

My goal : Time with God

and the Ultimate Goal: Winning hearts for the Lord.

Why does a short time with the Lord matter to the devil? Because the devil knows how powerful time spent getting to know our father and prayer is. He knows if he can just thwart that the day will will be completely different.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)

Believers, you know its true. Everyone of you can think to a day when you were disciplined and took time to pray and do a little devotional or bible reading or whatever your quiet time looks like and no doubt you walked into that day with more confidence and direction and willingness to succeed than when you woke up. And on the other hand, we all have those days where we rush out of bed (or get distracted from our quiet time) and jump into our day and just can’t seem to catch up or feel successful that day. The whole dynamic of the day changes due to that one small act.

And the devil knows it!

So tomorrow I will start again. I will wake with intent and leave my phone where it lies, by my bed, and dive into the most important part of my day remembering how vital it is to my day, my health, and my ability to love on and serve others.

Get behind me Satan!!

The importance of not knowing.

Once again this morning I’m reminded why only seeing a few feet ahead in this journey we call life—is the way God planned it.

As I listened to a sermon from Passion City Church and I hear Louie Giglio speak to, The Word Series, Part 16; Breath on the Page —once again God speaks reasoning and confirmation to me about the importance of stepping out into the unknown.

open door your future

The importance of being uncomfortable where you are sometimes and not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

The bible is oftentimes described as a road map Louie says; a manual for your life. But he also brings to our attention that it is a roadmap to life but not to your life. It’s to be used as a reference in life as a Christian, but it’s not specific for your life. Only when it’s applied and prayed over and you listen to God does the bible become specific to your life.

Just like a car manual that shows how a car works and when services are needed how to find parts and what to fix, but like the bible, our Christian manual, a car manual isn’t specific to your car. Your specific area conditions, your driving, others driving; all those things change the needs of your car and shape the things needing fixing and make your car needs less predictable.

If your manual for your car said, at 10,000 miles you will have an accident and it will cost you 3k out of pocket to fix because the other driver didn’t have insurance —-you would sell that car before that happened right?!

Of course, who wouldn’t. But that’s not what the manual is for, it’s not that specific to your own car —it’s for the type of car you have not your unique situations.

Gods word is similar. It’s meant to give you insight about who you are and how to live life—but it is not a complete roadmap that shows you all the stops and attractions you will stop at.

Psalms 119:105 says,psalms scripture on marinaHis word will — Light your next step. And your next step. And your next. Not your whole life at once. God will be a lamp into your feet and a light into your path. Because, if we saw our whole roadmap we would start driving on our own, and perhaps pick and choose where we want to stop and things we want to avoid. I know I would. “Oh great, painful breakup—No thank you Jesus—I’ll skip that and go this way instead.” And by doing so we lose the opportunity to gain valuable growth and insight learned through that stop in the roadmap that God so carefully knows, that stop that might provide the humility gained in order to be the person we WANT to be, but couldn’t be if we had to chose the difficult path taken to gain the “fruit” we desire.

So if God only lights our next step—-How do I at least see that step?

Listen to God in your life. 

You say, well that’s the problem—He’s not exactly sending angels to speak to me or burning bushes so I get answers.

Guess what?! We are so much luckier than that!! When Christ died he said as noted in John 14:16-18; 26-27 (NIV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bec in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

So we don’t have to depend on a sign from God through a prophet or a bush every once in a decade if we are lucky—but we have His spirit in us to help us each and every moment of our lives!!! I used to be so jealous the old testimony folks got more tangible and direct answers—-but then I laughed at how silly that is—and how jealous Moses and Jonah and Micah etc would be to be us —to have the living spirit of The Lord within us–walking with us daily—to guide us—if we listen.

“Ok great that sounds good, but again I can’t hear anything,” you say.

Man, trust me I have been there, and if this is you—you are in a great place because it means that you want more—you desire to hear God—and God desires for you to hear Him and is working in you to draw you closer so that you can hear Him!!

So, let’s work on listening to God together!! Are you up for it??

HOW?

  1. Get to know God. Knowing God to the degree that you can hear God means knowing His word. How to know God? Read His word. God cannot speak anything that is not true to His nature, His written word, so if you know Gods nature through reading the bible –you will know what is from God being spoken into your life. Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). God’s truth is consistent. He is not going to tell you one thing in the Bible and then tell you something different in an impression.
  2. Rest in his word. To me—this is the hardest part. I’m a do-er. It feels lazy and unnatural to rest. To do nothing. It goes against everything I know and with the task list in my head it is a quick way to more stress—is that how you feel too?? Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God,”.
  3. Listen. That’s why it’s so important to take time to actively rest. To hear God we have to know how he speaks, by knowing His word. And to hear Him speak, we have to quiet our minds and listen. Most people just pray, and talk to God but forget prayer is first and foremost a conversation with God—-a conversation by nature is a two-way communication—but so often we speak and then go about our busy day.

Well how do you expect To hear God if you didn’t take time to listen to Him? 

Ahhhhhhhh (did a lightbulb go off? I hope so, because as simple as that concept is, I know it never really struck me till i read it in this book which i highly recommend you read if you struggle with hearing God—this book changed my life!)

Another great read about figuring out your purpose is one of my favorites by Rick Warren,  A Purpose Driven Life–who also has an amazing post on this topic here.

Study His word, take time to pray, and then listen. Rest in silence. And wait for God to speak. Pray your mind is still and doesn’t wander but when it does refocus and direct it back to listening to God.

So I sit in “the wilderness”, and make sure to take time to read my life manual, and sit still in the quiet so that when God speaks, I will hear Him loudly and clearly and not prolong my trip in the desert because I missed my exit.

god is already there