I began a new chapter in my life a few weeks ago. I felt like it was a great opportunity to start something else new…this blog. Timing is so important. We often want what we want when we want it. Well…not often…maybe more like always.
Tuesday (a few weeks ago) was my last day in an office outside of my home. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly. A few weeks ago my work situation/environment completely changed, which required much thought and action by myself & my co-workers. For me, it was an opportunity to embrace a change and to experience a completely different work environment. I spent the next several days really thinking about what all this means for my co-workers and what it means for me. There was a form of “survivor guilt” that was really weighing me down.
While I was processing what had just happened and all the implications of the change for me and my co-workers, I was reminded of a prayer I had cried out and repeated to God nearly 15 years ago. I never said a word about it to anyone. Mostly I just chuckled to myself. Tuesday evening, I began setting up my equipment to be prepared to work in my “new” home office on Wednesday. I could not have done it without my very talented, “techie” hubby.
As we worked together, we began to discuss this change. Hubby reminded me of the prayer from nearly 15 years ago. Of course, we both remembered the prayer vividly because it marked a time of major change in our lives. At that time we were welcoming our daughter into our lives. To say our life was changing dramatically would be an understatement. Before having my daughter, I had a great job working in industrial construction with great pay and great benefits. I knew returning to the job was going to be difficult after having a baby. The high stress job, the commute, and the thought of putting my daughter in child care weighed on me heavily. I began to pray that God would make a way for me to work from home, and I started to research options. I appealed to the owner of the company I worked for at the time. I had worked for him for 7 years, and we had a great working relationship. It was 2002, and working remotely was not a popular option. I presented my ideas to the owner, but while he didn’t want to lose me, he wasn’t comfortable with the arrangement I proposed. He had plans to advance me within the company and wanted to see me grow under his mentoring. I didn’t know this at the time. My guess is that God had his reasons for that too.
When this didn’t work out, I began to explore other options even purchasing a book that would supposedly connect me with companies that hired for ‘work from home’ positions. Of course, that was a dead end as well. If only I knew then, what I know now. Oh well…no regrets.
My prayers changed a bit after it seemed that no ‘work from home’ options were available. I began to pray that God’s will be done. I prayed, “Lord, if it’s your will for me to return to work full time, please let me know. And, Lord, if it’s your will for me to work part-time, please open that door.” My heart’s desire was to work from home, and I had made that clear to God, but it was not God’s will. Within a week of this prayer, a part-time banking job literally knocked on my front door. So that’s what I did, I accepted the part-time position when my daughter was 3-1/2 months old. It wasn’t the true desire of my heart, but it was a good fit for the time.
So…fast forward 14 ½ years…I didn’t expect it and I wasn’t asking for it. Yet here I am with a home office…working from home. The irony and humor is not lost on me. Some say children need you more in their teen years as they do when they’re little. God knows. I never thought for a minute that God didn’t answer my prayer. I just thought his answer was ‘no’. When we don’t get what we want when we want it, we immediately think, “God is saying no.” How clearly I see now that God really is true to His Word. He works all things for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). His answers are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). He will not withhold any good thing from His children (Psalm 84:11). These are the thoughts I could hear in my head. God’s answer wasn’t no. His answer was “not right now”. It wasn’t the best time for me to work 100% from home. I wasn’t the person then I am now. I wasn’t as responsible or as stable as I am now. I had just had a baby, and I was adjusting to life with a new human in our home and marriage. I can only imagine what kind of employee I would have been had I worked from home during that time, but God knew. He knew I couldn’t handle it at that time, at least not in a way that would bring Him glory.
So a few weeks ago, I clearly received a lesson on God’s timing. I see the importance of ‘in God’s timing’ more clearly now that I have ever before. He ALWAYS answers prayers and He ALWAYS knows what is best for us. We can beg, plead, and cry out to Him for what we WANT, but ultimately He faithfully gives us what we NEED. You may be praying for something. You may be hoping God will give you a job or a ministry or even a growing family. I know it may be hard to hear, but you just may not be ‘ready’ for what you’re asking. God knows what you can handle. In fact, he knows better than we know ourselves. Sometimes the desires of our heart are given to us quickly, and sometimes it takes nearly 15 years…sometimes longer. The way God fulfills our needs and desires doesn’t always meet our expectations or even what we think is best for us, but He never gets it wrong. Never.
Remember: God sees the WHOLE picture. We only get the view of part of the scene.
Be encouraged and know that the God that saved you is still the God looking out for you offering the best for you.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, NIV