I’m starting week two of a three week sabbatical. Half of the first week was convincing myself that I was really on a sabbatical. Still, it’s been great. I’ve had some time to think about all that God has done in me over the last several months. He’s been busy, and it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns.
Last year about this time, I learned that the hospital I worked for was going to require that all it’s nursing staff begin wearing the same color scrubs. Up to that time, it was really a free for all in that department. It was a ridiculously long drawn out process of choosing the perfect color for the nurses. Molehill, once again became mountain. I was in pretty desperate need of new uniforms, but I was determined to wait until the mandatory color was announced before I ventured out to invest in more scrubs.
Navy. The color “they” chose six months later was navy. All that hoopla and suspense for navy. I was just happy for a decision. I could finally go out and get the uniforms I so badly needed. Only every time I started to buy some, I heard, “Don’t”.
“What? Why not? Lord, you know I need scrubs. Have you seen the worn out things I’ve been wearing? They’re embarrassing.”
“You don’t need them. Don’t buy them.”
So I didn’t buy scrubs. God knew what I did not. He knew that in six months I would no longer be wearing scrubs of any color. He knew that I would be entering into a great time of professional uncertainty, and He would be leading me away from what I had been doing for the last ten years.
Okay. I did buy one navy scrub top. But it was four dollars at a thrift shop and it was a really good brand and looked new. That’s what I told God there in the Goodwill store as he was telling me not to buy it. I bought it anyway. The few times I did wear it was a struggle. I knew I had been defiant in even buying it so I finally ended up just letting it hang in my closet. A symbol of my distrust.
I didn’t understand what God was doing. Didn’t he know how many years I had invested in my current position? All the time and money for certification in my field? Didn’t he know that I had become really good at my job? You see, I knew that him telling me not to buy navy scrubs meant he was getting ready to move me. I just had no idea where I was going.
Those six months were hard. I learned that it’s okay to not know what my next steps are. You see, I knew where I wasn’t supposed to stay, but not where I was supposed to go. I only had a part of the picture. So I learned how to press in and how to trust God more. I learned how to trade in my vision for my life for what he had planned for me… Sight unseen.
I learned how to walk through my situation as more of an observer rather than a participant. I wanted to watch and see what God was doing. As the security net beneath me continued to fall away, I could hold on knowing he would meet me at the right time, just in time.
I learned better how to not be afraid, and I saw the effect that had on the people around me. Acts 4:13 tells the account of Peter and John as they were threatened by religious leaders for healing a man in the name of Jesus. The courage they showed in the face of what would make most of us cry uncle, brought others to greater faith in Jesus. One guy sold property he owned and gave the apostles the money in support of them because of their courage.
Learning to trust God in uncertain times is a win, win. It not only grows your faith, but the faith of others around you. If we say to the world that we trust in a great God only to fall apart at the first sign of trouble, how great can our faith, or our God, really be?
And that’s just the beginning. I’m still taking this time in my life step by single step. I can’t see way out in front of me, but I am learning more and more how to trust the one who can. Proverbs 37:23 says that the Lord directs our steps and that he delights in them. I’m in good hands, and so are you.