Monday, February 9, 2015

Humility Takes a Hidden Form | Part I - The Back Story

+ JMJ +

Nashville is my new home as of June 23, 2015. I prayed and felt God calling me here--starting late May of 2014. It was an obvious call. Something I'm going to remind myself of now ... by posting it here.

Last year, I started to really want to leave where I was working to do something that I felt completely passionate about doing. I work in computers--creatively and codefully. I love it, but I didn't feel like I was where I was supposed to be.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a novena pray-er. They work. Period. St. Rita's feast day is the 22nd of May, which was when I was going through the thought process. Why not begin a novena to her? She's the saint of impossible causes--surely she can help out. I started thinking at the time, "What am I the most passionate about?" Answer was: my faith, of course. I had discerned out of becoming a nun and consecrated virgin earlier that year... well the month before. So I was like, "What can I do with that?" My next thought was, "What else do I love?" Helping people with money. Who does that best? I believe Dave Ramsey. Why? Because he takes Biblical values and puts money in perspective. So I thought to myself, "Maybe I can do something in finances."

The second day of the novena, a guy from grade school calls me and says he works for a financial company that sells insurance--um I can't remember how he even got my phone number... I was like O,O (that's my surprised "God actually listens" face... duh.) I talked to him for a while and told him I'd get back to him. In the mean time, I called the guy in Nashville, Josh, that is my contact for coordinating Dave Ramsey classes. I asked him what his thoughts are on selling the type of insurance that the company sold. Long story short, I ended up deciding not to go with that guys company, because I believed the insurance did not really help people and felt almost immoral pitching it to people since I thought it would hinder them financially. The call didn't go without merit. Josh told me that The Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey's company) was hiring and to look into positions. So I did.

I'm going to take you now on a trip to Cleveland, TN--to Pastor Tony of a Charismatic Bible Church's house. What was I doing there? Buying a wheel for my mother's car that I busted driving in to my church's parking lot on the way to Mass... If this is how God treats His friends, no wonder He doesn't have that many... (Thank St. Teresa of Avila for that one.) I got there and, being the person that I am, I delved into a conversation about Jesus and the Bible and God's love... We got to the book of Revelation. He was commenting on it and then I said, "I like Dave Ramsey's quote where he uses Revelation. He says not to worry about stuff. He's read the back of the book. We won." Then I start to mention to him that I was looking into getting a job in Nashville to work for Dave.

I begin to tell him all the reasons I would never move out of my hometown, Knoxville. "I don't know anyone in Nashville. It would be like moving out to an alien land. I've lived in Knoxville for 25 years. I love it. My family's there. All my friends that have left have pretty much come back--save a few. I've lived off the same street the whole time I've been there. I've gone to the same church for 20 years. I know someone everywhere I go. Everything I have and want is there. Why would I want to leave?"

He told me a story of a man who sold all his belongings, paid off his debt and bought a plane ticket to Asia to be a missionary.  That man left everyone he knew and everything he had, because he felt God calling him to go somewhere. He had $20 in his pocket. He brought many people to Christ and found his wife there.

I realized something that's obvious. Life isn't about a job. Sure it's a big part of it, but life is about so much more. I said to Pastor Tony, "You're right. God could use me wherever I go. Even if it was to bring one person to Him, that would be worth it. [to save one soul!] And hey, I could even meet my spouse there!" It's true. Everything was put in perspective. If I moved out of Knoxville, it wouldn't be just for a job. It would be because God wanted me to be somewhere else. I would work, but I'd be interacting with people everywhere I went. I'm a tool. haha. And proud of it. I wanted God to use me.

I started saying to him, "Well maybe God's just using this to open my mind to moving out of Knoxville..." "No! If God wants you to be in Nashville, you go where He tells you. Think of the story of Elijah and the widow and her son. Elijah was in the desert. His water had dried up and the raven stopped bringing him food. God sent him to the town to be helped by the widow. He ended up in return helping her. Elijah could have gone anywhere, but God's Will would not have been done unless he went to the widow. If He's calling you to Nashville, go. Go and His Will will be done."

Okay. I was convinced. Tuesday of the next week when I was at Mass, I sat down in the pew before it started and was like, "God, if you want me to move to Nashville, I want the first reading of this Mass to be the story of Elijah and the widow and her son." I opened up my Roman Missal app and sure enough it was. smh. CRAZY.

Next thing I realized was, "Wait I do know someone! And she's a widow! And she has a son! And she rents a room!" It was crazy! The room was available. It was perfect... now to get the job.

I applied at The Lampo Group and discovered it was a 7 week process. I ended up going through three interviews. Each one they were highly impressed with me. Then. It ended. An automated email showed up in my inbox saying thank you, but we are taking the search in a different direction.

Yes. That was it. I was so confused. I thought it was obviously God's Will that I would get the job and move. It seemed like a wide open door. I had no idea it would be slammed in my face. I became dejected--wondering if I ever really was able to discern God's Will. I can't say anything positive came of it at all that year. I never really felt satisfied like I had learned something--never was happy and content. I was pretty miserable. It was a year of no's. The rest of which I won't go into.

I ended up writing my Christmas letter and thinking, "What is anyone going to want to hear about this past year??" That was when it was good. I began it by writing that even though not everything turned out as I had wished, I grew in faith and fortitude... or at least tried to. After starting, I realized then that I was to be thankful for the things that were not related to me individually. My brother and his wife welcomed my new niece, who became my Goddaughter. My friends' welcomed into their homes their first children. My cousin, his wife, and one of my other Goddaughter's moved closer to my home. There were things to be thankful for--even though I also had my contract terminated early, due to 10% of IT getting laid off and all the rest of the mess of the year. I took the focus off ME and put it into those around me, which made it better. That capped off the year. I ended it grateful--despite the no's. Like the title says this is Part I. I will carry on with the story in my next post. It will most likely catch you up to this year and there will be more examples of how I've been forced to grow in virtue. There may be a Part III if it get's too long.

+ Pax +


(I know this is not a really satisfying post--the next one will be better...this was mostly for my sake. :))

[Read More: Humility Takes a Hidden Form | Part II - Just a little biiit closer. + JMJ +]