Careers advice

Forgive me Lord, for I am going to be presumptuous.

I sit listening to careers advice at uni and I already know that half my heart isn’t really listening. 

I am trying to concentrate, trying to plan for the next steps, listening to jobs I can apply for, I’m trying to listen but my mind is being pulled by scripture.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11-14

I remember when this passage was given to me. It was lovely, but at the time I was slightly clueless and they were just nice words of comfort. I passed the passage on to my close friend at Christmas when it was whispered back to me in response to a prayer of encouragement for her. I scrawled it into her card hoping it would make sense. 

And here I am, being inspired by this passage again for the third time. But this time I acknowledge the words, not only in my mind, but in my soul, and in my heart. 

I sit here thinking about the future and all I have in my mind is that I want to visit residential homes and listen to the people there, I want to tell them that Jesus loves them and they are never alone. I want to hold their hands and pray with them, I want to bring them communion and let God’s light shine through their hearts. I want to go to schools and show children how they are all wonderfully and fearfully made. That they dance with the Lord with every laugh and every smile. I want to bring them the stories of the gospel and dress up with them, I want to see their faces shine as God’s face shines on them.

I want to welcome new lives into the world, into the church, I want to see people brought together by God, I want to be there at the end as they rise in glory to be in the arms of Jesus. 

I just want to show you how wonderful our Heavenly Father is, how the warmth of the Holy Spirit can be breathed into your life, how close you can come to walking on the water with Jesus. You only have to put your feet over the side of the boat, and I will hold your hand until you run over the waves to him.

Yes Lord, you give me a future and a hope, and that is more than enough for me.

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4 thoughts on “Careers advice

  1. Those verses from Jeremiah have been my rock for a long time now. They were inspirational as I questioned what appeared to be a calling to ordination. They have been with me through the darkest days and fears of the last couple of years. They are ever present even in the simplest of problems to be worked through. But we also have to remember that we are wonderfully made in God’s image and he gave us the powers to reason and to choose. I have to remind myself that I can’t just sit back and leave it all to him. I have to pray through the choices on offer. And I might make the wrong choice. But God will eventually guide me back onto the road that he has in mind for me. So it’s good that you investigate all the possibilities for your future after university. You can minister to people and tell them of God’s love every day in whatever path is opened to you. I was 60 when I was ordained. I never wished I’d taken that step earlier because I knew that it wasn’t the right time – it wasn’t yet God’s time. I was where he wanted me, working in church schools and ensuring that the children and families of those schools felt God’s love and presence in their lives. That was my ministry, my service. I have a very visual picture in my head inspired by those verses – of a traditional God sitting at a huge desk with this enormous book of life in front of him. We’re all in there, every one of us, believers and non-believers, and God has his plans for each of us written in his book. Sometimes he has to sigh and make adjustments as we make the wrong choices but his plan is sure, leading us from the moment of our birth through to when he takes us home. Yes, very simplistic but I’ve used it in sermons and it’s amazing how many people can resonate with it. May you feel God’s hand in yours, Amy, as he leads you to the next stage of your ministry.

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    1. Thank you for your words. Oh how I often pray through each of the choices and options that come my way, often going forward until I receive I firm and heart wrenching no. I’ve followed many opportunities to what I originally wanted to do and unfortunately they end up leading to nothing. I know and I do keep my options open but I have to acknowledge that urge, that friendly push to work with people. It is what I want to do, ordained or not. I just need to find that place where I am needed and I trust in God to show me.

      I love your description of God with the book of life, I’m sure he sighs a lot at my page! In fact there is a film called the book of life and my children love it. Lots of love xxx

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  2. Hi Amy

    I like Pat’s response to your blog, and I appreciate your blog itself …. it must feel like sitting in a room with all the doors open – not just one or two but many and not knowing which way to turn. And then finding when you step one way the door nearest to that direction suddenly closes! A number of people have talked about guidance being about pushing doors and finding out if they open. For you, it appears that you see lots of open doors which leave too many choices. So stepping towards them and finding that they close is perhaps more accurate. It is perhaps more discouraging that pushing a closed door? I don’t know …. But the principle is still the same, we make a move in one direction and in the moving we make ourselves available to God and he then directs us. There is a verse in Proverbs which in the original version I know is perhaps sexist but the sentiment is really valuable …………..

    ‘A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps’ … Proverbs 16:9.

    Best wishes

    Roger

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    1. That is a very good description of what it feels like. Walking towards doors that close surprisingly which always startle me and I walk back and try another, and another. It becomes sort of like putting your hand into a mouse trap knowing it’s going to hurt your fingers but you try it anyway!

      Is it discouraging? Maybe, because I think of all possibilities and keep my mind open I am opening myself up to more door slams. Has my determination to find another career that will suit me that is not ministry related increased the door slams, yes for certain.

      When I fix my mind on another path, a compromise so to say that is close to the church but still incorporates my original interests, this is also now a door slammer. My doors are reducing even as I look for other things, yet there is a door that is still there, one that I’ve walked towards and it hasn’t slammed shut, one that I step towards because it is irresistible. I’m waiting for it to shut in my face!!! I trust God and his plan, I trust myself to have my own mind, whatever direction I go, whatever doors slam shut, and whichever lets me walk through, I know he will be with me.

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