I have been working at Bethel College in the Campus Store for just under four and a half years. In that time I have grown in so many ways. I went from assistant manager to manager of the Campus Store, survived a building expansion while remaining open for business, and experienced, due to budget cuts the loss of a very valued and loved coworker (her position was eliminated). In these times, as in my every day life, I have leaned on the love and care of my Lord and Savior. Someone told me once that if everything is going dandy in your life and you aren’t experiencing spiritual warfare then you aren’t a current threat to Satan. Ever since I heard that I have always found a moment to remind myself whose side I’m on and then just grin because that means I’m making Satan nervous.
Starting a few months ago I felt like something was changing within me. While I loved Bethel (and still do), I felt a faint tapping at the back of my mind. I didn’t understand it at first and even ignored it. In June, when my coworker’s position was eliminated I felt as if a dam had burst. My cup was already running over with daily duties and now how was I going to take on her responsibilities as well as run a store on my own? In the wise words of my loving husband, he explained to me that my “cup” had been running over for a long time and until I could show people that I couldn’t accomplish my tasks, then it would be assumed that everything was just fine. Being a worker and not wanting others to view my shortcomings as my lack of ability to do my job, I would put in extra hours and run at full capacity. I realized that I had forgotten what it was like to breathe and to relax. I began feeling it in my chest and would often cry on Justin’s shoulder at night. I wanted so much for the store to be a success and to accomplish everything on my plate at the time it needed to be done. I realized that my attitude was slipping and I was growing tired. During this process I still felt that gentle nudge.
In one of my emotional lows I found out about a part time accounting position at GCC. I decided to apply and went to an interview. I was even called back for a second interview but in the interim realized that this position was not what I felt like God was leading me towards. A few months went by and I received an email from Jami Ruth at GCC about a position that had opened up on the Communications team and we made arrangements to meet and talk about the role. I quickly found myself getting excited like a little schoolgirl.
I spent much time in prayer throughout my days asking God to guide me. One morning on my way to work I was searching all my radio stations trying to find music to listen to and was unsuccessful. I landed on a station that happened to be talking about jobs. Some of you may know from my story about our move to Indiana that God has used the radio to speak to me quite clearly before. I truly believe that God knows how to get our attention. I was riding along listening to this man that called in about his new job. He must have been in some trouble in the past and was just getting back on his feet. The next thing I heard resonated in my mind and my heart the rest of the way to work. The DJ said to the man, “Wow, it sounds like God is really doing something and it’s time for a change.” Talk about chills! I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in God instances and this was a major one. A tear ran down my face as I realized this message was indeed for ME.
That same afternoon my cell phone rang and the call went to voicemail (because I was at work). I later listened to the message and it was a friend of mine that I hadn’t talked to in awhile. She wanted to meet for lunch. I thought it was strange that she would be calling me out of the blue but when I later met with her I realized it was about a job opportunity she had for me. Now I not only had this opportunity at GCC but an opportunity elsewhere too. I prayed to God asking Him for guidance. This news of possibly leaving Bethel was so fresh in my mind and now I had two job opportunities before me. Both were amazing opportunities given to me by God loving people/places.
I began listening to God closer and closer. I explored more and more scripture, I prayed, I listened to music, and I sat in silence and sometimes tears. What I realized is that for quite awhile I had been hearing God and feeling like I was listening to Him but had really been allowing Him to become part of the white noise of my every day life. When I intentionally went to Him and seeked Him on this, it was like it was blaring from everywhere what He was trying to tell me. He helped me to feel His direction and calling to GCC. It wasn’t easy and I went through a lot of spiritual warfare to get there but even that showed me that my decision was the right one.
I remember this particular instance clearly because I was amazed yet not surprised at the power of my God but it was so cool to me. I began my morning reading from my “Jesus Calling” devotional. (If you haven’t gotten this book yet, do it! It will speak God’s breathable word to you on a daily basis.) I read the first few lines and I knew the day was going to be a doozy. It said, “Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don’t let discouragement set in. You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy. When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: “Jesus, help me!” At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you.” I was blown away by the wording of this devotion. In the battle with Satan all I need to do is call out, “Jesus, help me!” and at that instant the battle becomes His? All I could picture was an epic Hollywood fight scene in some movie where there’s darkness and danger and then all of a sudden the hero rushes out and wins. That’s my God. I’m sure glad I read that because that day I felt Satan constantly trying to beat me down and I called to Jesus to help me and He took over and helped me through that long and trying day.
I have grown so much through this experience. It was tough to leave Bethel. I have come to love the people there so much. I have become invested in my student workers’ lives and the lives of my coworkers and community there. God knew it was going to be hard for me so He filled my last day with love. People came from everywhere to see me off and wish me luck in my new adventures. Even Jaimes the UPS man left me a note. My student workers wrote me beautiful notes and came to be with me throughout the day. Bethel College is a wonderful place and I believe awesome things are already happening there. I’m so grateful to have been a part of that campus and can’t wait to see what God brings Bethel in the years to come.
I start my new adventure tomorrow at GCC (Granger Community Church). I can only imagine what God has in store for me there and for the people that will cross my path while I serve. For the Bible says in John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”