I really did not see it coming. It simply took me by surprise.
I had recently been ordained as a minister and was investing my time in church work and developing a leadership coaching/consulting business, when I received the email. It was a prayer request for two pregnancy centers in the area whose executive directors had resigned. “Let’s be praying for God to raise up strong, godly, life-focused directors to take those positions.” The words jumped off the screen and I felt compelled to apply to the pregnancy center in the community 45 minutes away.
“Wait a minute!” I argued with myself. “How can you possibly be the right one for the position?”
It was a valid question. I have a heart for pregnancy center ministry and served as a volunteer for many years. I worked for three years managing two pregnancy center offices in the area, but I had resigned there to focus more attention on church ministry. I continued to volunteer; however, I felt my days of pregnancy center vocation were over. In addition, over a period of months, I had become increasingly aware of God’s call to minister in the marketplace and was exploring ways to do so. And then…the email prayer request invaded my life.
I wrestled with the idea of applying for the job for two days. Finally I contacted my former boss, CEO of the local pregnancy center network. “I really feel like I’m supposed to apply for this position. Do you think I’m well-suited for it?”
Her reply: “Are you kidding? You are totally qualified!”
So I made a phone call and spoke with the exiting director. I submitted an application, had multiple conversations and three interviews, and prayed earnestly for the Lord to make His will clear throughout the process. The door of opportunity continued to open, and I was offered the job.
Today I know that I’m exactly where I belong. Yes, I have a 45-minute commute and put in long days. Yes, there are challenges and changes that need to be made. But I love what I do, and I love the people I work with.
What would have happened if I had ignored God’s prompting? What if I had dismissed His leading, because it didn’t fit my idea of His will for my life? I would have missed this divine surprise.
This blessed experience makes me wonder. How often do we miss divine surprises, because they arrive in boxes of unexpected shapes and sizes? How often do we bypass an open door, because we don’t like what we see inside or we’re afraid of the unknown? How often do we try to pry a closed door open, because that one suits our preferences?
No matter how thoroughly we plan, God’s plans are always the best.
You may not see it coming, but don’t miss the next divine surprise. Be open and flexible to God’s leading. Be willing to take a step of faith.