If you were to ask me a month ago where my career was heading, I would not have hesitated to say, “I plan on sticking around the YMCA for a while, hoping to be a full time director soon.” So naturally a couple weeks ago when I heard a youth director position at my branch was opening I got really excited. I was even more excited since the opening was Jim’s, the director I had worked for for the past two years, and I had worked in all the programs he oversaw. I was hoping that this would finally be my shot I had been waiting for. I had poured my heart into the programs I was in charge of the past couple years, and had went above and beyond what was asked of me at the Y. So then the moment came, and I found out that my name wasn’t in the hat for the position. What!?!?!?!?! I was pretty shocked. Not that I wasn’t going be just be offered a job, but that my name wasn’t even in the talks. I had done everything I thought I could to set myself up for this shot. So here I am thinking that my life was heading in a certain direction, and then suddenly find out I couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone knows you don’t work at the Y for the money, and I had told my directors there was no way I could do what I did last year again. I needed to make more money (and honestly deserve to). So now what was I going to do? Being a site coordinator of an after school doesn’t really pay the bills, and the Y isn’t willing to give you 40 hours a week unless you are a full time director. I could get another part time job to try to fill the hours, but where would I go that would actually pay me a decent amount? There was no way I was going back to restaurants. I appreciate the years I spent in that industry, but I am more than glad that they are over. The path I thought I was on was clearly hitting a dead end, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
A lot of times when people are in situations like I was you will hear people tell them, “When one door closes, God opens another one. You just need to go through that open door.” Well I don’t believe that. I’m sorry but it’s not biblical. There are no Bible verses that tell us that. Now I am not saying that God can’t open doors for us and provide us with opportunities because He most certainly does. But this may be a news flash to some, Satan can open doors too. If you live your life by the philosophy of “God will open a door” then Satan has got you right where he wants you. You will see an opportunity and jump on it because “it must be God!!!!!” You are essentially taking a gamble on your life and there is a good chance you made a bad choice. What if there are three or four opportunities for you? How would you decide what to do then? Lucky for us, God does have a plan for our life, and God can tells us what it is. In Psalm 25:4-5 it says, “Show me the right path, O Lord ; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” When one door closes, chances are there will be many paths that lie ahead of you. When this happens I would encourage you to prayerfully consider them. Ask God what does He have for you, He won’t leave you hanging.
The other reason I have a huge issue with this standard piece of advice is that it requires no faith. I really wish God would just open all the doors for me. It would make life so much easier for me. But the truth is sometimes you will have to open doors for yourself. There will be times in your life where you have to just trust God and go for it. Just because you don’t see opportunities in your life doesn’t mean God has left you (He won’t ever leave you, just check out Deut 31:6).
Luckily no one gave me that advice a week ago. I may have punched them if they had. OK I probably wouldn’t have done that, but I would have been annoyed. This was not the position I planned on being in three weeks before summer camp ended. I checked the YMCA website to see the job openings, and there were a couple that I considered applying for. Over the past couple of years Jim and I had become very good friends. He was leaving the Y to take a job at Trinity Academy as their Extended Learning Director (a fancy name for the director of youth programs). We met for lunch this past weekend and talked some things out. Talked about what was going on at the Y, talked about life, talked about his new job, talked about positions open at the Y. It also turned out that Jim needed to hire an assistant director to help him out at Trinity and he made me an offer. So here I was with so many paths to take. I could be a site coordinator for an after school at the Y and find another part time job, I could apply for one of the full time openings at the Y, I could leave the Y and join Jim at Trinity, or I could just find something new. One door was closed, and I was now looking at lots of new ones opened. I’ve spent a lot of time this past week looking into all my options. I’ve read all the job descriptions, checked all the websites, weighed all the pros and cons, I sought advice from those I look up to. Today was my day off, so I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while. I headed out to Hemlock Bluffs and walked around and prayed for a few hours. There is something really cool about being in the woods and praying, you should give it a try sometime. Thoreau and Emerson were onto something. So I head into the woods, laid everything before God and we talked about it for a while.
Today I accept a position as the assistant director of Extended Learning at Trinity Academy. I am really excited about this new opportunity. Jim and I will be essentially be building the youth programs from the ground up. There is a lot of opportunity for growth and for lots of new programs. Even with all this excitement, it is tough to leave the Y. I am going to miss my kids at Combs Elementary like crazy. I have spent the past two years with them and they are some of the coolest kids I have ever worked with. I promise I will figure out a way to come out there and visit some. I will also miss a lot of the people I work with at the Y, we have had a lot of fun together (not to say we still won’t still be able to hang out haha). I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions today. This is one of those times where I am trusting God to be in control and take care of me. It is always nice to know that even when things don’t go how I thought they would, God still has my back.
So here I go taking off down a new path. I don’t know where exactly it is taking me, but I know it is going to be an awesome ride!
until next time…