Do you have things that you’ve been praying about for a long time? Do you wonder if God is listening or if He cares? I certainly have. In 2008 I “retired” from 20 years of church ministry to stay home and care for my husband’s grandfather. (I’ll tell that story later.) In 2009 after his passing, it was time to re-enter the workforce. I had been substitute teaching here and there, so for immediate income I began picking up every subbing job I could find. I polished off my resume and began dreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up, and reflecting on where I thought I would be by now.
If you have done any job hunting recently, you know what a daunting experience this is. Initially, I was a little finicky. The job had to appeal to me for me to apply. Well, a year into this I began to be frustrated and confused. I was praying like crazy for a job. Any job. “God, I will walk through any door you open even if it is a pit stop on the way to the perfect job.” I trusted that He had a purpose and a plan for me and yet I was frustrated that this was taking so long.
I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG).
I was running out of steam. Job hunting was exhausting. I knew a door would open. I just needed to wait, trust and continue to pray. Buddy Owens a pastor at Saddleback Church put it this way, “When God closes a door, He opens another but it’s hell while in the hallway.” That is the perfect description of where I was at. My time in the hallway lasted for 3 years-that’s right 3 years to find a job.
Isaiah 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him (NIV).
I clung to these scriptures and trusted Gods plan. There was plenty of discussion, frustration and maybe a temper tantrum or two expressed on my part over those years. But, I always returned to this prayer, “God-your will-your way.”
My sister gave me this great analogy. God was leaf blowing. God was making the path perfect and cleaning up all the details. Many of those details were within me-strengthening my dependence on Him. The future I had been hoping for since college was in higher education and that future took over 20 years to realize. It included 3 years of job hunting. Now, I can look back and see all of the leaves that needed to be blown out-of-the-way. The pile is big enough to jump in. God’s plan was perfect. He opened the door in exactly the place I wanted to be working. It is what I hoped for. I needed to be willing to wait on His timing and trust the scriptures assurance.
How long have you spent in the hallway? What leaves are being taken out of your path? I encourage you to keep praying, keep leaning into God. God is acting on your behalf with a purpose and a plan that is better than what you imagine.
Share your hallway story. How have you seen God at work?