ok, God is so good I swear.
it's so amazing how He just has His hand on everything...especially me today.
5 years and 1 month ago i gave my entire life over to Christ. now, before this...there was 2 people in my life who were "Jesus pushers" in my life who would not let up. and one of those people was this guy who was a chaplain for the OC sheriffs. and i would see him at the ER and through this organization i volunteered for (blah blah). So the OTHER person who was Jesus pushing was someone i was dating...yup, he missionary dated me...and then cheated on me...classy fella...anyway, he was the one who finally convinced me to go to church...laguna...where he would sometimes attend. so, after he cheated i was so upset and basically went there looking for him...but he wasn't there (big surprise). But guess who WAS there...yup...the other Jesus pusher (his name is Rich). And he was only there because he had just started dating this girl who went to Laguna (Rich went to Saddleback)...(and by the way...Rich was like 45 at the time and his girlfriend, now wife, Cheryl was like 40). Soo, i went and sat in service, gave my life to the Lord and the rest in history. But Rich and Cheryl were sooo influential in my life during this time. They basically discipled me through the first 6 months of my new life with Christ. I didn't know anyone...i had to leave all my friends that i had because all they did was party etc. It was the hardest time of my life, but also the greatest because of my new found love for Christ. So anyway, I love Rich and Cheryl...they are amazing. Eventually they got married and about 4 years ago was the last time I saw them. Over the years I would often think of them and wonder what they were up to...and I wanted so badly to tell them what I was doing because God had changed my life around SO MUCH from when I knew them. They only knew me as this baby Christian (well, i still am kinda a baby in some ways)...and now I study the Bible at Biola University...i just know they would want to know this.
So, i have been praying. I have been praying for a looong time for God to lead them back into my life. I tried everything...calling the numbers i had for them...emails...nothing was working...but i knew God was bigger then that...so i just kept praying.
when i was done with my semester at school this spring i didn't have a job and i had no clue what i was going to do. it took a couple weeks...glorious weeks of not working....to finally get a job at hospice as the secretary. and best of all, i was making gooood money. now, she knew i was just temporary and so they had to hire someone who was long-term...and it just so happened that the day they hired me as a temp, they found someone long term. so basically, i was out of a job in 3 weeks. i was just like, "ok Lord, this is in your hands Buddy".
sooo then my old boss got ahold of me and was like, "Carrie, I desperately need help down in San Clemente hospital in the storeroom". I used to work in the storeroom and I never ever wanted to go back there. Its a horribly boring job...and i was kind of embarassed to work there again...oh pride can be an ugly thing. BUT she was SO desperate she offered me a LOT of money that i couldn't refuse and so i took the job. and of course, she needed me right when hospice didn't need me anymore...so i assumed this was "from God" ;)...and took the job.
Well little did I know that the job was going to be horrible! Me, me, me, that's it. Only I...me...I stock the ENTIRE hospital full of supplies. I mean, some major freaking manual labor going on for the entire 8 hours a day. It's insane, i swear. People look at me and they are like "woa, you are doing Gabe's job? But you are a girl". Yes, they say this. But it's kind of good when they say this because then the little femi-nazi comes out and i am like, "oh no, i can do this mans job dangit!"...and then i go cry like a little girl. So ya, everyday I have just been going home almost in tears because I am just so upset about how hard the job is. I mean, those boxes are flippin' heavy. BUT the job is literally only for 2 more weeks, because all I am doing is training and then covering this guys vacation. :sidenote: Let me just say, i love men, they are great at carrying heavy things...thank God.
sooo, these past 48 hours haven't been the most pleasant hours of my life. Just stressful, and i am feeling a little down and distant from God. I am trying SO hard to look at my life and the bad habits I have within my personality, to try to change them. I haven't been the best friend to a few people...but I haven't been horrible ;) Gosh, i can only try my best ya know? Life in general can be so exhausting sometimes.
So last night I went to this Bible study...which is a great study by the way...and we are in 1 Peter and this is what we focused on:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."
Oh, this is just such a great passage! Just re-read it...it's just so great.
And so then I was thinking about my salvation and how good God is...and how it's so crazy that even though I can't see Him...I love Him. I love Him so much. But anyway, I could go on and on about this passage but I won't...but bottom line, it was a great study for me...and thinking about my salvation = thinking about, yup, Rich and Cheryl. And so just last night again I prayed, God, please, bring them into my path.
So, I get home last night and something happens...and boom, I am back to sadness. Only this time I feel a little better about feeling this sadness because Tim, bible study leader, said just because we are Christians doesn't mean we have to happy all the time...or at least that's how he is interpreting the greek text from this 1 Peter passage...he says that we will be be filled with joy, the joy that never fades, when Christ comes again....but ANYWAY...i am feeling horrible.
So, i can't sleep...i am tossing and turning and just so upset. I wake up in the morning and i literally cannot get out of bed.
Like seriously...i am not joking around...i think i was seriously under some major spiritual attack because i could literally not get myself to get out of bed. Now some of you may be thinking...sounds like depression...i know...well i concur with you, and i had a major bad dose of it. but i swear, i was almost overcome by sin..or the enemy...or whatever because i seriously almost emailed my boss to tell her that i quit and wasn't ever coming back. i swear, i was sooo close you don't even know. it was crazy. but i just started praying for like 30 minutes...because i could seriously not get up. it was insane. so anyway, i will spare you of more details...but by the grace of God, i finally was able to get up and get ready...2 hours late to work...but i was just glad i had made it.
so i am going about my day...as a very grumpy Carrie. manual labor this...manual labor that....etc.
and all of a sudden....
oh yah...you know who it was!
it was Cheryl!
4 years....4 years of praying that God would help me find these people again and boom...He gives me this 3 week job so I can run into her. Amazing, amazing.
So she is just like "oh my gosh...i have this patient but please come find me in ultrasound later".
So I go outside to finish my work and I just start crying because I am just in awe of God's plans! For my life! It's in this moment that I just know that maybe somedays I can be off in what His plans are (thats the little arminius-ness i have left in my mind)....but today ...in that moment...i knew i was right where He wanted and planned for me to be. And as much as I fought Him...on not wanting to work...I knew He would be more powerful than any sin of laziness or stupid-ness i was having that morning.
So I went and hunted her down when i was off and i couldn't find her, so i started to write her this note of everything that i could...and then she showed up again...and so i just told her everything that i had written ;)
and i was just crying and she was crying..and now i am crying again just writing this...because we were both just like wow....
God is so good.
He has His hands on my life...and just everything...He is in control...and i love it!