The year was 2006. I was in a relationship that my friends and family lovingly supported, but wanted better for me. I was struggling with my own desires and making bad decisions left and right. I was headed toward nursing, but was choosing self-destructive things along the way. That’s when I met Dave Bishop. Dave is the founder of a scholarship program for women called Pathways To Independence. In meeting Dave, I told him my life story, my dreams, my goals, and my failures. Dave offered me a full ride scholarship to the college of my choice in Orange County. Months later I found myself living in my very first apartment in Huntington Beach, away from my support system, and on a totally new path. My life had been disrupted in the best way possible.
Over time, my desires began to change. I started going to church on my own and found a church I wanted to serve at. For 2 years I spent 12+ hours at church on Sundays giving everything thing I could. That wasn’t all that changed, I found myself switching from Nursing to Social Work and going to my first 4-year University, Cal State Long Beach. I also moved from a solo-apartment to a house with 5-6 girls who were passionate about living for Christ.
In 2010 I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. The self-destructive things that I desired were replaced with a vibrant and passionate desire to please God, and God alone. I also found myself in one of the most life-giving and healthiest relationships I had ever been in. From 2007-2010 I worked in a privately owned Doctor’s office and only a month before graduation I was laid off. Another disruption that proved itself essential and life changing.
At this point in my life I had gained more confidence and more direction than I had before. I knew I wanted to serve and help people and I had a desire to love others the way Christ loved me. Within several months of being laid off I was offered a position at the Orange County Rescue Mission as a Case Manager. This would give me the opportunity to speak into the lives of others in a new and exciting way.
After 3 months in my new position another disruption came onto my path. The house I worked in was being closed down and the program was being changed. This meant that the staff of 6 was losing their jobs if OCRM couldn’t find another placement for us. I was confused and angry. Why had God brought me here only to take me away 3 months later? This disruption made no sense at all.
OCRM did find another position for me and transferred me to the Village of Hope, where I became the Admissions Manager. My confusion grew as this job seemed more challenging and far different than anything I would have chosen for myself. In my confusion, I decided to trust God completely with what He was doing. After all, I should have been unemployed again but God placed me in a situation that I had no control over and it became evident that He was completely in control.
I worked diligently in this position for a year and a half. During this time I was engaged and married to the man of my dreams, and best friend. Life was perfect. Me and my Husband were ministering to others in areas we loved and with people we loved. However, work did present some challenges, I continued to trust God and follow His lead on a daily basis.
On June 1st, 2012, another disruption to life came our way. I was let go from my position at OCRM along with several staff members. The day I walked away from the OCRM campus I lifted my hands in worship and praised God for all that He had done there, and for an opportunity to serve and love the people I met. I also praised HIm for His faithfulness because past experience taught me that He was doing something major in my life.
I was unemployed for 41 days. In those days I experienced waves of confusion, joy, peace, trust, fear, and rest. It was a mixed bag. But I remembered the importance of looking back on my life and recalling the situations that were tough, and the miracles God did as a result. I meditated on God’s perfect love for me and took a lot of peace in knowing that when I ask my Father for bread, He doesn’t give me stones.
On day 41 of unemployment I was offered an amazing position at Concordia University. With jubilee me and my husband accepted and have now been living on campus for nearly two months.
Shortly before receiving this new job offer, Matt Davenport preached a message at our church on the Disruptive Goodness of God. This message resonated deeply with my heart. My will and plans have been disrupted many times by God. Years ago I would fear when unexpected changes came my way, but today I know from experience that I can trust my God, even when changes are scary, confusing, and make no sense. I can look at the last 6 years of my life and see exactly what God was doing and it has been very good. Had I not experienced the disruptions to my plans, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
The fact is, God is always good. At times, we experience difficulty, heartache, and brokeness in our journey. This doesn’t change God’s goodness. God can use our bottomless pit and our hopeless situation for good. If we can learn to trust God in the unknown, shadowy places of life, we will be amazed and in awe when He illuminates the good work that was taking place at that time. We can’t always see what God is doing but if we look back on our lives and reflect on what God has done, we can see the road marks of goodness along the way, as disruptive as they may be.