Monday, April 14, 2008

Big Decisions

It's really interesting that Jen should happen to write about turning over situations to God at the very moment that I need to hear it. I enjoy reading the comments posted by other readers - and learning their stories of how God guided them through tough situations. My faith is strengthened when I hear about God-moments in other people's lives. I definitely need a little extra boost in my faith right now too.

Here is my tough situation: Ryan and I were offered a job as Residence Directors for a college dorm.

I realize that this isn't a life or death situation. But it is causing me a lot of stress. And acne. It's the kind of situation that seems to warrant the most prayer - one that involves a job (aka: money) and moving. I don't really know what I want, so I am going to lay out my thoughts in a pro/con list.

1. This is a ministry job - it would have a clear and distinct purpose, something I find lacking in my current job.
2. If we have baby, and I quit my current job (which I will happen), we will have a little side income to supplement Ryan's grad stipend.
3. If we don't have a baby, I would still quit my current full-time day job and work a part-time job instead.
4. I am frustrated in my current job - this could be a good change.
5. We are night people, this is an evening kind of job.
6. No rent and free meals - good for Ryan when I don't have the energy to cook.
7. The bedrooms in the dorm apartment are a bit bigger, and there are 2 bathrooms (instead of one).
8. The dorm washer and dryer are right next to our apartment (easy access).
9. The campus is really small and we would get to know everyone - there is a good possibility for community.
10. This decision involves a huge leap of faith.

1. What kind of time commitment are we really getting ourselves into?
2. If I have a baby, I will have to take care of baby and a dorm full of boys.
3. Lack of privacy.
4. I hate change.
5. What if I still have to wake up the same time I do now (aka: too early) while going to bed later than I already do?
6. The free meals are dorm food - I would probably still buy groceries and cook a lot anyway.
7. The kitchen in the dorm apartment is smaller than our current kitchen - much smaller.
8. We have our own washer and dryer in our current apartment - and we would have to share them with a bunch of guys in the dorm.
9. We already have a community in our little neighborhood - at the very least, we are good friends with one neighbor!
10. This decision involves a huge leap of faith.

Ok. So in reading through my two lists, it seems like most of my "Cons" are just complaints. I've outlined some real issues (time and privacy), but the rest are mostly issues of convenience.

I guess it all comes down to trust and figuring out what is God's will for Ryan and me. Sometimes I can be a little dense, and it may take me a few lifeboats (ever hear the joke about the flood?) before I understand where God wants me to go. This situation seems to have a lot of those lifeboats, however. There are too many "chance" occurrences surrounding the job offer. Ryan and I just happened to contact one of his old college professors (who we had been meaning to catch up with) and he, now an administrator, just happened to think we would be good for the Residence Director job. We happened to miss the application due date, but the college let us turn it in late anyway. An opening for a part-time job just happened to come to my attention the week Ryan and I found out the college wanted us to take the Residence Director position.

I don't necessarily believe in coincidences. But I do believe that God will move and shake events or occurrences in my life to help me follow His path. Right now I just need to feel peace about our decision. In order to find my peace, I have to turn over this situation to the Lord, and try to follow as best I can.


Jennifer F. said...

I know, weren't the comments to that post great? I learned a lot from hearing people's stories.

Also, I've started reading an *excellent* book on this subject. It's called What Does God Want?: A Practical Guide to Making Decisions by Fr. Michael Scanlan. It's a quick read, and I highly recommend checking it out if you're interested in the topic of discerning God's will.

You'll be in my prayers!

ashleyrae said...

Jen, thank you for the book suggestion. I will definitely have to read it. And the best thing about the book is that it was written by Fr. Scanlan, a priest at my alma mater. He is a WONDERFUL man - and a great speaker and writer. Another fantastic book by Fr. Scanlan is Let The Fire Fall. And thank you for your prayers, they are so greatly appreciated.