Following Jesus When The Path Doesn’t Lead Where We Expected it To

FollowingJesus_030713

Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
– Psalm 73:23-24 (NLT)

Monday was a big day in our household. In the past two weeks, my husband had attended ten interviews with nearby hospitals, and Monday was the day the job offers were set to come in. We were already blown away by God’s goodness. How does an ordinary person get ten interviews in two weeks and how do we even say thank you for that? When Monday rolled around, my husband held his breath while we waited to see what would come of it all. The job would be for one year – his final year of on the job “training” before he moves into the next phase. One that could take us out of New York City and anywhere in this country. For years we’d been dreaming about that moment and wondering where God might lead. Would it be close to family? Would it be somewhere we’d never imagined?

When I got to my office that morning, I’d barely sat down before my phone rang. It was my husband, just half a floor away in another office at the medical center we both work at, calling to tell me the first offer came in. Soon after that, four more had hit his voicemail or inbox. He had five offers on the table, each from one of his top choices. This doesn’t happen everyday in our lives, and we had no idea where to start. As my husband read out the offers to me I immediately zeroed in on one of them. It came from an Ivy League university with one of the best hospitals in the nation. Normally I’m not attracted to those kinds of things. I was raised in the Midwest, went to school in the Midwest, and still like to secretly slide my shoes and socks off under my desk and let my bare feet roam free. There’s nothing wrong with Ivy League universities, but they’ve never really called my name.

But on Monday when I heard that name, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. An Ivy League university wanted my husband! He could have one of the best hospitals in the nation on his resume! That could open so many doors. Who wouldn’t want him to work for them after that? The chances of finding a job close to family and friends would be so much higher. I saw a golden idol that looked like it could answer all of my prayers, and I totally knelt down and worshiped it. I begged my husband to take the job. I listed all the reasons that it would make sense. I Googled facts and figures showing him that this job, out of all the jobs, would be the one to make him happy.

Then my husband did something totally amazing. He sat down and considered all of the job offers, each of them good ones in their own right. And he started to talk about what was right. Not just for him, but for the children and teenagers he’d be working with, for the people he’d be working for. It wasn’t an easy decision, and if he could have I think he would have said yes to them all. But in the end he chose one, and it wasn’t the Ivy League university I’d initially fought so hard for. Instead, it was another good hospital. One known locally but not much at all outside of New York City, but one that would allow him to get excellent training with children he really cared for.

And I was reminded that this thing I’ve dreamed of for so long – this two year plan to be close to family – wasn’t a sure thing. That none of us holds our future in our own hands, and while we can dream and plan and work toward achieving a goal, ultimately Jesus might lead us somewhere we never expected. The path He takes us down might have twists and turns we couldn’t see coming even if we had a telescope a mile long, and it might take us through valleys that seem to low to ever climb out of or mountains that feel so high we never want to come down. But no matter what, His plans are for our best. We belong to Him. He holds us by our right hands, guiding us with His counsel, and leading us to a glorious destiny. That destiny might not be what we expected, but it will be better than we ever could have planned for.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 (NLT)

One of our favorite things about being here with you is having a conversation about what God is doing in all of our lives, and then digging down deep into what the Bible says about different topics. Steph and I are going to be sharing related links at the bottom of some of our posts now of blog posts and devotionals from you guys, other blogs we like, and our favorite Bible teachers that speak to us about the things we’re talking about here. We’re calling it, “Psst… Here’s more good stuff!” Let us know what you think!

For today’s good stuff, these posts spoke right to my heart about following Jesus when the path doesn’t lead where we expect it to:

Linking up with Emily Wierenga’s Imperfect Prose on Thursdays.

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8 comments

  1. Kim,

    Nice to meet you. I’m hopping over here from IP’s link up. What a neat story of God flooding your husband of job offers, but especially of him pausing to really listen to God, and weigh those issues. Seeing strong men of God is a great thing.

    May this new transition go smoothly for your family.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Nice to meet you, too, and thanks for visiting from IP! Yes, he really reminded me that it’s about following where Jesus leads and not where I want to go. I was so focused on moving closer to family that I forgot to pause and ask God what He wanted. Thanks for the well wishes!

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  2. Glad to have visited you, today, via IP. This is an important story b/c it highlights the importance of doing things for the right reasons, also of really taking time to consider and pray. Sometimes the most sparkly places just aren’t the right ones. Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey w/ us!

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  3. wow, Kim, this is so well written and such a good lesson. it’s so easy to try to control our futures. i’m so impressed by your husband’s good heart, and by your humility. bless you girl.

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  4. Oh, I love how the NLT phrases Psalm 73–“glorious destiny”! What an awesome word choice and such an encouragement to keep repeating to ourselves as we go through the twists and turns and the hard days when our future seems a bit bleak. He’s got a glorious destiny in store for all of us. Yes! Holding onto this right now when “glorious” isn’t exactly the word I’d use to describe my story.

    And I’m so grateful you have a godly man by your side who isn’t afraid to follow God right down the path of unexpected and unobvious choices, straight to the heart of God’s plan for your lives. Looking forward to hearing how it all unfolds for you in the months and years to come.

    Grace to you both in this new chapter of the journey!

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    1. Courtney, I loved this verse as soon as I read it, too! My friend texted it to me last week, and I immediately wrote it down. I hope to commit it to memory one of these days. Keep holding on to God’s promises. He’s got you in His hand, friend!

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