Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The one with integrity, envy, & my dirty feet

Let's start with integrity, which is not in & of itself a bad thing.

In May, I graduated from my dream graduate program from my dream school & in June, I received my dream certification:

& I officially became DeAnna H. Patterson, MSN, BSN, RN, CPNP!!

Then God said "no."  

No for real: after 3 years, thousands of dollars, & what felt like millions of miles later....God said "No DeAnna, the answer is no."

And He said "no" in a very clear manner. 

Like most new grads, following graduation, I prepped my CV, ironed my interview clothes, dusted off my "I-can-do-anything" pointy-toed black pumps & started applying for jobs. 

I sent out CVs & conducted follow-up phone calls as I prayed for God to make it clear what He has planned for this chapter of my life.  

As it turns out, He had been working in my heart for over a year, prepping me for His "no."  

Being in the process of adopting is much like interviewing for a job when you're 7 months pregnant--only there's no "baby bump" to give your secret away.  People don't necessarily wait for you to cross the parking lot or hold the door open as you waddle through; they also don't know that you're going to need the equivalent of a maternity leave sometime in the next few months.  

But what isn't different is the anticipation of your family growing & the personal knowledge that your life & family is about to be forever changed. 

When I began interviewing, JP & I prayed for clarity & wisdom regarding how & if I should present our family circumstances to my interviewers.  For us it was a no-brainer.  

I will always live & die by my faith, my love for my husband/children/family & friends, & my integrity.  And sometimes, maybe there's just too much integrity for my own good.  I'm a hard worker.  I am smart (in regards to a few things).  I love my profession.  I want to be a good employee.  I give 100% to everything I do.  I am a team player.  I value diversity in all aspects of life.  I want to learn from others.  So why wouldn't someone want to hire me? 

The truth that God has been pressing into my soul over the past 2 years is that while yes, I do believe I can be a heck of a PNP, now is not the time for me to do that. 

The Bible teaches us that there is a time for everything under Heaven (Ecclesiastes 3) & that God uses all things for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28).  He loves each of us & has a plan for each of our futures as we run after Him (Jeremiah 29: 11-14).  

But what He doesn't promise is that this journey called life will look like what we think it does!

Enter "envy."

I know many women who dream of being a stay-at-home Mama [SAHM] & I respectfully share that I am not one of these women.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with this dream, it just hasn't been mine (& quite frankly it still isn't).  I want to be working.  I want to be using what God has given me in the means of my brains, my education, & my passion to leave my community & my part of the world a little better than I found it.  I want to make money to contribute to our family's finances.  I want to be a PNP for Pete's sake!  

But the reality is that I do not want any of these things more than I want to chase after the Lord & the plan He has for my life.  I do not want any of these things more than I want to love my husband to the best of my ability or more than I want to be the Mama my feisty little boys need me to be.  These dreams trump any professional dream I could have, & what I hear the Lord speaking to my heart is not "no," but instead, "not right now."  

Now is the time I get to focus on my family, our family, & the magnificent story God is writing in our lives!  I don't have to do this, but I get to!
But that doesn't mean I don't struggle.  I still fight the envy my flesh feels.  My heart & soul know that I am doing everything I can to run after God, but my flesh wants the things of this world.  This is the ultimate battle.  

As my girlfriends get jobs & I see Mamas "doing it all,"--& doing it well I might add--I fight the envy that says "but I want that! I want what she has!"  (picture me whining...ha.)  And this, my friends, is a battle worth fighting.  

And now for my dirty feet. 

In the past 24 hours, I have seen God's hand at work; I have seen why He's said "no" for now & how He's revealing more of Himself to me:

Yesterday a dear friend picked me up from the mechanic shop & chauffeured me around town as we canvassed our town telling folks about Chosen Charlotte & why we're supporting the event.  We didn't ask for money, we just asked for the opportunity to share why the event is happening & why we're a part of it.  We spent 6 hours in our quaint little town & had endless conversations with people about adoption.  We met adoptive adults, people who knew someone who had adopted, & handed out over 200 informative flyers.  It was an exhaustingly wonderful day! 

Later that night, I was sharing with JP the stories of the day when I realized just how tired I was & how dirty I felt.  Thanks to my wonderful hubby, I proceeded to head upstairs to soak my tired legs in a hot bath.  It was then that I noticed just how filthy my feet were.  The weather yesterday was overcast & mild, but in true NC fashion, it was extremely humid.  I wore flip flops & a maxi skirt for our trek around town, & I honestly didn't realize how dirty my feet had gotten.  They were so filthy the bathwater immediately turned a light gray when I stepped in.  Yuck.

As I proceeded to scrub my feet, I couldn't help but think about what the Bible says about dirty feet. I was completely humbled as I recalled the Scripture that reads:

"How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns!"  (Isaiah 52:7 NLT)

We all know the prophets weren't tromping around Jerusalem in their sneakers; neither was Christ or His disciples.  History tells us they wore sandals--if anything at all.  Just before His betrayal, Jesus demonstrates humility, service, & love when He washes the feet of His own disciples (John 13).  That can't have been a glamorous event.  

I always thought this particular Scripture, Isaiah 52:7, to be in reference to missionaries.  You know the ones: the people that hear "the call," sell all their American possessions, kiss their families goodbye, & take off to the African Bush to tell unreached souls about Christ's love.  That's who the Scriptures are referring to right?

Probably so, but maybe there's a modern-day, pertinent lesson to learn here. 

So there I sat, scrubbing the dirty of the day off my tired feet.  And God took that moment to speak to the depths of my soul & remind me that "the feet that bring the good news that God reigns are beautiful."  Woa.  I sure didn't feel pretty, but as I recalled conversations of the day, I smiled at the opportunities we were given to dirty our feet as we obediently stepped out in to our community to share with them a modern-day cause that is near & dear to our Heavenly Father's heart.  

Integrity, envy, & dirty feet.  I am not perfect but Heaven knows I am trying. And I will continue to clumsily run towards Him as I store treasures in Heaven because that's where my heart ultimately longs to be.  My prayer for you is that you would see His hand in your journey & that you will have many opportunities to get your feet dirty!

No comments:

Post a Comment