(Written on Tuesday morning on the train to Kansas City. I’ll try to write an update soon to share how God responded to all this)
Well, we’re on our way to Kansas City again (I’m sitting on the train right now, taking advantage of the stretch of free time to write). To be honest, I’m a little anxious about this trip, mostly because it’s not looking the way I planned.
My plan was very organized. I planned to spend the weeks leading up to this trip applying for jobs, searching for housing, and making lists of apartments to visit and places to apply (I’m definitely a list person). I planned to arrive in Kansas City with interviews lined up, appointments set, and all the information we’d need neatly together in a folder. Sounds like a good plan, right?
And we have applied to countless jobs over the past couple months. We’ve searched apartment listings and made a list of a dozen or so places that look promising. We even have several places to apply in person. But until yesterday we hadn’t gotten any calls for interviews. Without interviews, I wasn’t sure what we were supposed to be doing in Kansas City or where to even start. What if we were going about this all wrong? I became increasingly discouraged and anxious.
God has been working on my heart over the past few days, though. He showed me my obsession with doing everything correctly, wisely, and reminded me that my scrambling to do everything right wasn’t going to get us jobs and open the way to Kansas City for us; His favor is what will make the way for us. God asks for our faithfulness and our trust that He will do what we can’t possibly do ourselves. In His eyes, wisdom is to walk in awe of Him (Proverbs 9:10).
As I see my plans slip out of my reach, I am forced to remember that “In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9) and “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the decision of the Lord that endures” (Proverbs 19:21).
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above you thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
I know that God has a plan for this time in Kansas City. My prayer is that we will be in tune with His plan, that our hearts will be soft enough an our ears open enough to be receptive to whatever He does during this trip, whatever He shows and speaks. We are asking for Him to make His direction clear to us, not just in regards to job and housing, but also in what community we should plant ourselves in (we realized that we were too hasty in committing to the ROCK and feel led in a different direction; we will be staying with the Boiler Room this trip and exploring that community a little more). We pray that He’ll show us the next step to take in following Him.
And last night I came home from small group (where they prayed for our trip, for direction and peace) and found two (yes, two) phone messages from people who had received my resume and were interested in setting up interviews. I called the one back and am supposed to call again when we arrive in Kansas City to set up the interview. I called the other one back this morning and left a message.
The two calls reminded me of back when I first moved back to Toledo after leaving college. I had been job searching for several weeks and hadn’t heard anything back from any of the places I applied. I was getting discouraged. Finally one afternoon I knelt down in my living room and told God I trusted Him to make a way. Five minutes later I got not one but two calls for interviews. Two days later I had my job at Churchills. To me, these two calls were God’s reminder of the way He provided for me in that season of stepping out in faith and a reminder to trust Him to provide for us this time, too.
I feel like this trip – this whole process of following the Lord’s call to Kansas City, really – is stretching my faith in a way that it hasn’t been stretched in a long time, stretching it in a good way, even though my flesh struggles against it. We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know how this is going to work. All we know is what the Lord spoke so clearly in Kansas City this past November (and confirmed over and over in the following months). This trip feels like a jump off a cliff, like that moment suspended in the air as we wonder whether God will really catch us. But we’re trusting that He will. We have no other choice.
As we pulled out of the train station this morning, I re-read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 7: 7-8:
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Since we came back from our last trip to Kansas City we’ve been praying for “open doors” that would enable us to move out there. I felt like God was reminding me this morning that He’s promised to open doors to those who knock. So we’re going out to Kansas City to knock on the door of the Lord’s will, trusting that He will open it to us and show us which doors to knock on next.
Please pray for us during this trip:
– that we will be receptive to God’s plan for this trip
– that we will hear God clearly
– that God will open doors for us, especially in the area of jobs
– that God will set up “divine appointments” during our time there
– that we will grow in faith and intimacy during this trip
“Not only that, but we boast even of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5