Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I’m being obedient, so now what?: The journey to my future career and education continues

If this is your first view and you haven’t viewed the blog “What God says versus what I said” you may want to read it because it’s PART 1 of the blogs that share my journey over the last 10 years through my career and education as well as what I learned on the way.

So the summer of 2010 started brightly. Although I was back to 1 job only at Hyatt job so I could pursue my 2nd degree, needs were still being met. My first semester going to school for my gifts, was unlike any feeling I ever had in a classroom. I was majoring in Entertainment Technology (stage management, stage tech and stage craft) and taking classes in the dance program there, and I was in heaven.
There’s this feeling that comes soon after you make scary obedience move, that lets you know you did the right thing. Some call it peace, others call it confirmation. I just know that FINALLY I was where I was supposed to be.

Something about me, I LOVE the arts, especially the performing arts and most definitely Christian performing arts. I love it all: the creative process, stage management, the technical side, the rehearsal process and of course being on the stage. And I personally believe that Christian performing arts are not just for “good clean entertainment” or just for a means to praise & worship our God, but also they are a very effective way to open up hearts and minds to see what thus saith the Lord. If done well, they can be a sermon though those arts. I believe that Christian performing arts can draw souls to Christ and can lead to salvation. Music, visuals, song and dance can reach areas inside some types of people that words can’t.
You can have a passion or natural talent for something and just do it not really think more on it, but if you’re like me, God will get ahold of you and GOD will be like NO REST UNTIL YOU WALK THIS OUT AT THE LEVEL I HAVE PLANNED FOR YOU TO DO IT!

I ENCOURAGE you to take your passions seriously. Ask God how far he wants you to go with it. Does he want it to be a career? Or just something to minister to yourself and community? Sometimes in the body of Christ we rely on our natural talent and whatever our ministry leaders impart into us. I challenge you that if you know you have a gift or talent and you want to use it for the kingdom, you should be the BEST at it you possibly can and give it more time than just whenever rehearsal meets. EDUCATE yourself on it! If there is ever a time that there should be excellence, it should be when you’re executing something for God’s glory and to draw people to Him.
So If you have a knack for doing sound, read up on sound and engineering! See if you can take some online classes at a schools that provides that. If you enjoy singing in your choir, GET a vocal coach! Learn how to read music. Learn some scales! If you have the gift of gab (teaching, motivational speaking, preaching) maybe take a speech class or join toast masters. DON’T. JUST. COAST.

*steps off soap box
So yes it felt good to be making moves towards what God has placed in me to be manifested in excellence.

Then, of course as is the course with my life, that 2nd semester of 2010 (fall semester), I get denied for financial aid. Oh yes, too many credits. I even appealed and got denied, then I requested to meet with dean, he really wanted to help me but after its denied that’s it.

In this same span of time, seeing I wasn’t gonna have financial aid potentially, and also just deciding to take another stab at bachelors degree level employment, after 2 years at hyatt, I took a job offer for a company based in Orlando but that also let some people work from home in jax and Gainesville. It took me back to the $15 I was making before.
I went thru 3 interviews and had EVERYBODY praying, b/c I was so scared to make a move but so thirsty, yeah I said it thirsty, for better.  Well, I got it and everything went great for 2 weeks. Then the next 2 weeks, not so great. Well then all of a sudden when I called to log in, my log in wouldn’t work. I had to call them to see why and that was when they let me know THEY DECIDED TO LET ME GO!!!! OH LORD TAKE ME NOW!

But seriously I was kinda devastated. I had prayed on that thing and God gave me peace.'

And I was like ok God i finally did it i finally went to school for what YOU wanted me to go to school for and now i can't afford to go to school and can barely afford to live? huh?!?
So here’s the thing, when you think you’re following God and it leads you to a valley (sn: oh my bishop has preached about this!) don’t think oh I’m just not hearing him, or oh he’s trying to sabotage me. SOMETIMES God gives you a yes because he wants you to go down that road because he has a test there for you or a lesson for you to learn leads you to a test or to a place where you have to trust him more than ever.

So yes, as I have been breaking down the career/employment/education portion of my decade of dissabration you’ll see this hasn’t been the first downsize or failed attempt when I tried to make a positive change.
This time, I found myself making zero dollars! And although I was able to finish out that semester of school with a little help from mom, I not only wasn’t able to afford school, but now I wasn’t able to afford, well ANYTHING.

Oh my lamb, I can tell you the things I learned in this time were things I can use the rest of my life.

  1. It was NEVER the job that supplied my needs. So if I ever loose a job again, I won’t fret b/c I REMEMBER watching God make miracle after miracle after miracle.

My phone was never cut off, I never got evicted, and although I had a car note, I never lost my car.

  1. Your history can become your favor. When I had money, I helped everyone I could & I paid my bills on time. You know that thing about reaping what you sew is so real. All my bill collectors made arrangements with me. Friends allowed me to borrow lumpsums that I still can’t believe they did. my apartment complex, they took what they could and just worked with me on the rest just off of proof I was seeking employment.
  2. When life just pistol whips you, don’t lay on the ground too long thinking WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED! Because life hasn’t stopped so there is still work to be done.
  3. Don’t completely disappear and keep it all to yourself when you’re in devastating situations. Then, how can God use anyone to any doors, if people don’ t know the door needs opening. Silence in times of trial can truly be deadly. Your spirit can die, opportunities can die & even blessings, all b/c you chose to go at it COMPLETELY alone. Just because you didn’t want to “trouble” anyone.
 NOTE: If you’ve taken the prayer and consideration to surround yourself with good people and people God has ordained for your life, then sharing shouldn’t be a problem.
This came to life for me when just chatting with my wonderful , humble and loyal friend Chelsi Henry. She hired me as an intern during the fall 2010 campaign and it was paid. A great experience and I even made connections that I know that will be useful for me when its time to execute my visions (more on that later)

Election time ended and I was like well, what now God? Sure enough I joined a staffing agency and had temp holiday work at Cole Haan making $13 buck an hour.
Then I got hired as a temp for Allstate. And a gig that had no guaranteed length, continued to be extended and carried me over from after the election was over and the intern ship ended into the new year, 2011.

More lessons:
Let it burn. When God hasn’t told you to move but everything points towards you moving, you gotta let it burn and SIT STILL!

Turn the volume down on the anxiety and restless channel and turn it up on the Holy Spirit channel, let him comfort you. Let him show you what you are supposed to be learning in this season. Because if you don’t learn it, TRUST you’ll be back there again.
Obedience doesn’t mean smooth sailing, it just means covering; obedience doesn’t mean things won’t fall apart, its just means its God’s doing and you are covered by his promises that come with obedience.

Optimism can save your life. Did you know that the burden of negativity and hopelessness can physically weigh you down? so when you’re in a bad season, just remind yourself, “I WILL GET THROUGH THIS. THIS ISN’T A SITUATION THAT GOD IS UNEQUIPPED TO BRING ME THROUGH OR RESTORE ME FROM IF MY BIGGEST FEAR TAKES PLACE”

Scriptures that took me through this time, if you’re going thru ANYTHING like this, get yo spiritual food on!

Isa. 55:8 NLT "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

Rom. 8:28 NIV “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.”

Gal. 6:9 NLT “So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.”

2 Cor 12:9 NLT “Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

Matt 6:26-27 NIV “26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

MY NEXT BLOG: Do you remember why you’re doing this?

Sometimes you forget what your motive is and just start doing it to prove something to the world.

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