Kneeling, face against the floor, I wept tears of brokenness – physically, emotionally, and psychologically – for both myself and my family. It was March 2019 and my world was a mess. Hardly an area of life was functioning well. And all of this on the heels of a second round of cancer treatment.
Still face down, I suddenly had an internal vision through my tears. God was doing a new thing and it would touch each person and every area of petition. Hallelujah! Afterwards, I remember telling everyone in my circle.
God gave me a verse to encourage me while he did this new thing. It was Psalm 27:13-14 “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Neat verse. In retrospect, I should have realized the implication of the repeated call to wait.
Waiting and Doubting
A year later, I was still waiting. I hadn’t observed much change. I began to doubt. Had I misunderstood my experience? Was I remembering it wrong? Two years later, then three years, it was pretty much the same. I often found myself journaling my faith struggle and searching scripture for other circumstances of waiting on God’s promises. Finally, at four years in, real change began happening in my family. And yet my own personal situation hadn’t shifted.
An Unexpected Opportunity
In the fall of 2021 Grace Leadership Institute began promoting a leadership training series; three classes set to begin that winter. From the first time it was mentioned, I knew I was meant to attend. It was a knowing without any obvious reason. After all, in what way was I anyone’s leader? At the time I was teaching middle school English. While influencing others is part of the job of a classroom teacher, I was puzzled as to why or how I’d benefit from taking leadership classes.
Having a bit of a geeky side, I enjoyed the role of student again. The instructor kept things relevant and interesting, and in each course I gained insights: clarifying my calling, realizing the reality of life rhythm over work-life balance, and assessing my assets and issues as a leader.
But to what end? I kept asking myself, always with no solid answer. I could feel the weight of the wait. When would it all make any sense? Was I building up expectations, or setting myself up for disappointment? After all, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”.
An Intriguing Job Posting
One day I came across a job posting that completely intrigued me. The position sounded like it was written for me, using the exact language I’d used in my prayerful petitions for work more suited to my person and abilities.
Significantly, the job would require the successful candidate to hire and build a team— to be a leader, in other words.
I apparently put more talk than action into pursuing the job because when I finally got around to submitting my application, I got a notice stating that applicants were no longer being considered.
Big, big bummer! I was pretty mad at myself for a good week.
I went on with my life, chalking it up to yet one more dead end.
A Surprising and Hopeful Change of Events
Five weeks later I got an email out of the blue requesting an interview for the position I’d applied for. What?! Surprised and cautiously hopeful, I prepared for the interview. It went extremely well, and in a matter of days I was scheduled for a second interview, this time with the hiring manager.
I’ve been in a lot of interviews— on both sides due to being a former recruiter myself. When I sat down to with the hiring manager, I could feel it immediately: this was a “dream date” interview.
They’d been looking for the right candidate for months, to no avail. There was always a very specific missing quality. And I had it! In fact, it was the exact same characteristic that seemingly prevented me from progressing in the multitude other positions I’d applied to over the last near-decade.
I was incredulous. Could this be what God had been preparing me for— and preserving me for— this whole time? Is God’s plan to answer both my needs and those of this organization at the exact same time.
How God has been preparing me
At the time of this writing, I don’t know for sure. I await my third (and hopefully final) interview. I hope I get it. But whether I do or not, I see how God has been at work preparing me, equipping me, and molding me with the skills and mindset I’ll need to lead a team well— whatever and wherever that team may be.
The art of obeying God even in the middle of uncertainty
This is the work of trust, isn’t it? To obey even in the middle of not knowing why. Faith, after all, is the evidence of things yet unseen. My obedience to take those leadership classes came not because I saw how they might benefit me in the moment. The obedience came because I know the God who plans all things for good, even if that good rarely comes in a timeframe I myself might prefer.
I do trust that it will all make sense. Maybe after my next interview! Or maybe not until heaven. Either way, what I’ve learned through taking those GLI leadership classes was invaluable to me.
Learning to trust and obey God’s direction —even when I don’t immediately understand the reasons— is simply a beautiful cherry on top.
Interested in Trying out a Leadership Course?
Grace Leadership Institute offers regular courses and intensive weekends on a variety of leadership and Biblical topics. You can learn more about our courses and check out upcoming offerings here!