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Monday, January 2, 2005

Happy New Year!

Last year, when I went home for Christmas, I was escaping the hardest year of my life. But not this year...

Last year, I had left my beloved house and family in Chesapeake Va. and moved to California in mid Sept. I came to be the music director for a church plant that would start later. It would be a volunteer position. I would need to keep working in my field - the Internet. Shouldn't be too hard to find an Internet job in silicon valley, right? WRONG. The Internet is the worst field to be in here.

By Christmas, things were not going well. 200 resumes had gone out, I'd registered with a dozen job placement sites, and 3 temp agencies. But the only work I could get was baby-sitting. Best Buy wouldn't even hire me! I was going mad.

I went home for Christmas for 3 weeks. I took that whole time to come to the decision to give up and move back east. I was really questioning my belief that God had called me to go. And questioning my belief that He would work all this out for good.


This year finishes up a difficult year, yes, but a very fruitful year too!

Practically speaking, God has provided above and beyond:

  • I was able to move into and rent a really cute little house. It had my name written all over it. Everything I really needed, and NOTHING that I didn't. Less than what I thought I'd have to pay too! Which is good since I've ended up earning a lot less than anticipated. God knew I would be making less. He brought me to this house before I got the job I have now.

  • My beloved jeep fell apart early this year. But another used jeep came available at a very reasonable price! It was at a small dealership here in Walnut Creek, owned by a Christian! It happened to be the exact same model as my old jeep. Only one year newer, but with HALF the miles. My car payment is cheep! THANK YOU LORD for your provision.

  • Thanks to a free ad on www.craigslist.com, I have had a steady stream of music students who come to my house for lessons! This has brought in the secondary income to afford me gas and groceries! I love my full time job, but I just don't earn enough there to not need secondary income. Praise God for bring me people who want music lessons!

  • Just a few months ago, I met some really cool people who make up another church plant here in the Bay Area. They have provided a close fellowship that I've missed! They remind me so much of my beloved church back east. They share the kind of fellowship that touches the heart. They share their life, their heart, AND their faith with each other. I need that.

So this year for Christmas, the ducks were really in a nice row compared to last year. But I discovered something that I didn't anticipate.

Despite having a really beautiful life before I came to CA., I couldn't manage to be happy. I cried out to God regularly about that for YEARS. Most the time, I really wasn't sure what exactly to pray for, just knew that anyone else would look at my life as enviable! But I felt heavy & trapped. So blessed and yet so unhappy.

This Christmas, as I was at home with my family, enjoying my time with them, enjoying all the activities, feeling like I had good things to share, good health to enjoy, etc... something profound occurred to me. Something was different. There was a greater capacity to enjoy everything.

Life in CA is not comfortable. I don't have a lot of the comforts that I had before... house... family... But one thing has definitely changed. An answer to prayer!!. Some perspectives of mine really had to change. I had no idea how MUCH God would change me, by getting me to leave home. Like pruning a tree, one could say, it's like my Lord has prunned away the bad, brought in new life, new perspctives on things. There is a chance at new growth now that wasn't there before.

The result: I'm happy. Maybe for the first time. My circumstances aren't better, they're HARDER! But I'm definitely happy, from the inside out. There are things I 'get' now, and I won't forget. Praise God for a much needed change of perspective on life as I knew it!

I'm finally learning to be happy. Lord, You DID hear my prayers all those years and You are answering them. If the pain of leaving home was necessary for this, at least I can see now that it was worth it. I have a greater capacity to be happy! That's gotta make for a better life in the long run...

Lord, thank You for Your hand on my life.
Lead on! I'll try to not freak out so much...


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