You’re Exactly Where He Wants You to Be

I believe that God sets us up for exactly what we need, even if we don’t always understand it or see what the bigger plan is. I had been searching for a job for about 2 years after graduating from college and was working full time in retail just to be able to pay my bills. It was tough, but I am a persistent person, and a hard worker, so I always made sure to send out about 5 resumes and applications a day, even after working all day long. I tried everything, I took time on my days off to apply for many more jobs, I went on countless interviews, and I even got a few job offers, but none of them felt “right” to me. There was always some feeling in my gut about those job offers that made me turn it down. I couldn’t really explain it, though I made an excuse for each one. “It would have me making less than I am now,” or “I’m already in a commission based job, I don’t need to switch to another one.” While it seemed odd to me to not just jump at the first job that was offered, I stayed true to my gut feeling, and stayed the course I was on. Then one day, my neighbor walked over to my mom’s garage sale while I was at work. Lo and behold, he worked for a digital marketing company, and with my mom’s amazing sales pitch, she got his email for me, and I submitted my resume to him the next day. I didn’t even know what I was applying for, but I was desperate to get my name out there and find a job in my field. Well, I got an interview with the Project Manager and Admin of the company, and I also got the flu the same day. I went anyway, after taking my DayQuil of course, and walked out feeling like a complete failure. I was certain that I answered everything all wrong, and that they had no place for me in that company, as I hadn’t gone to school for anything they did. A couple of days later I got the job offer. Without hesitation, I accepted, and spoke to my then-employer about my two weeks notice. No excuses about how I would make less money, or that it wasn’t specifically what I went to school for. No nothing, just acceptance of a job that I couldn’t have been more grateful for.

I’ve gone to the same hair stylist for years, because she’s the only one here I trust to touch my hair and not make a mess of it. Because we are similar ages, we always catch up on the latest with each other’s lives, and about a year ago, she and her family had just gone through some serious health issues. Well, I don’t know what else went on in their lives, as far as what people said or did to help, but I know a few months later, I started going through my own personal hell when someone very close to me got a cancer diagnosis and my world turned upside down. I went to this same hair stylist to cut my hair and donate what I could to someone who was fighting cancer and wouldn’t have their hair. Well, of course we started talking and I shared with her what was going on, as we all do with our hair stylists. What I didn’t expect was the woman next to me to also have had a similar experience with someone close to her getting cancer a few years back. She overheard me talking about why I was in there, and what was going on with my life, and she reached over and tapped my arm and explained that she had a similar situation, and then she asked me if she could pray with me, right then and there, and in the future. Let that sink in for a minute. This to me, was an absolutely amazing experience, and something that I needed at that moment. I guess you could say God set me up at the right moment to meet someone who would forever impact my life. I don’t even know her name, she didn’t introduce herself, but yet I feel like I know so much about her.

Now you may be wondering how those two stories connect. A few months after I got the job, that was when the health issues started. If I had stayed in the retail job, I would have gone days without pay, and I wouldn’t have been able to miss much work, because that’s the hard fact about retail. With that job that I accepted, I was able to send my boss a text when the nightmare began simply saying that we were going to the hospital. The next day, I had to send a text saying that it was cancer. There wasn’t mention of how I needed to come in to the office, instead there was just understanding and patience for someone grieving and going through a huge amount of change that she wasn’t ready for. There were countless appointments after that, and two surgeries, and with each one came this amazing understanding. I was allowed to work later on certain days to make up the hours, given the ability to work from home, to work from the hospital, to duck out suddenly if something came up. I was given an afternoon off to sleep, but wound up in the ER instead. I was given a flexibility that I will forever be grateful for, because it’s not something that had to be done. It wasn’t a requirement for me to have that time off, and any boss would have been perfectly acceptable to not allow me the time off when I asked for it. But he didn’t, and he made sure that I had a support system at work when I needed it most. I know that in retail it just wouldn’t have worked out the same way. I wouldn’t have been able to afford all that missed work time, as there aren’t sick days or vacation days when you work in retail sales. It was all a part of God’s plan to set me up in a position where I would be able to do both, where I could learn something new, contribute to my company, and still be able to help my family in that horrible time. Even though it was months out, I was being set up for exactly what I needed, even if I didn’t understand it at the time.

I guess the point of this is to trust Him. Even if something makes absolutely no sense to you at the time, even if you don’t understand why your instincts and your gut are telling you to do one thing, just go with it. It’s God’s work keeping you on the path you need to be. He won’t lead you astray, and He will always give you exactly what you need, sometimes before you even realize you need it.


Hurricane Matthew After Effects

Hurricane Matthew After Effects

Like many people, I had an eventful week last week thanks to Hurricane Matthew. When it was coming at us, it was making a direct hit on the island I live on. The news reports were crazy, saying that the whole island could possibly be destroyed, that there would be devastating damage, etc. I have never evacuated for a hurricane before. When I was younger we always just stayed at the house, and played cards, listened to the radio, and so on. With that being said, we were going to stay at the house and ride this one out, until we made the very last minute decision to leave and go more inland (It helped that the neighbors were all leaving too, and we didn’t want to be the only ones here). So we packed up the cats, and some valuables, and went over to a friend’s house to wait it out and pray for the best, to pray that our house would still be standing, to pray that we would be able to get there quickly to assess the damage. Our prayers were answered, and the hurricane wobbled away from us just enough that our island was saved from the devastating effects of the storm. Now, we didn’t walk away with no damage, our fence got demolished, but compared to what we saw in other countries like Haiti, and what we were seeing up the northern coasts of Florida, we were very grateful and blessed.

One of the best parts of that storm though was seeing how people acted. Natural disasters can either bring out the best or worst in people. Now, I definitely saw some of the worst in people who were getting ready for it, but I also saw some of the best. We got help putting some boards up on our house, which was great, because by the time we were thinking we should do that, all the screws were gone, and all we could use were anchors. Now, if you don’t know anything about the difference, or really what one does, as I didn’t, let me give you a brief summary. Anchors create bigger holes in the side of the house, and are also harder to get out, whereas screws are easily put in and out with minimal damage. Well, beggars can’t be choosers when you wait the last minute to board up, so we worked with what we had, and thankfully had a friend come help put them up. After the storm though is when we received the biggest help. As I mentioned before, our fence was demolished. Pieces were down all over the yard, and one even was leaning on the house into one of the boarded up windows. It was a huge mess to deal with, and our next door neighbor had the same issue. Well, when we were talking in the driveway, he told me not to worry about the fence, that he would pick it all up and take care of it for me. I can’t even tell you what a relief that was. There was so much to do inside and out, that just the thought of hauling heavy fence pieces was exhausting, but I knew it was something I had to do. Well, the next day he hauled away his and our fence pieces, making my life so much easier than I could have ever imagined. Now, this guy has helped me out before, he fixed a tire on my car, and the front plastic piece, and each time is such a wonderful surprise, especially when I don’t even realize it’s a problem until it’s fixed. This was no different, it actually made my day to know I could focus on emptying stuff from the garage and the back porch rather than picking up debris. Then a few days later, another friend came over and figured out how to get the boards off the walls (take that anchors!) without causing damage to the house. I am fairly handy, but not when it comes to that stuff, so I would have been so lost without his help, but instead it was completed, and he is owed a new set of drill bits, but I promise he will get one.

So what’s the point of me saying all of this? It’s that even though these people had their own houses and their own things to take care of, they reached out, and pulled together with others in the community to help. And across the state, you were hearing of neighborhoods were a group gathered with chainsaws and cleared away the damage and tree debris left by the storm, or friends who took people in because they had power, while so many didn’t. This is how we are supposed to react when natural disaster or tragedy strikes. We are supposed to band together, and help one another out, not turn on each other, or leave everyone to fend for themselves. Even when it’s difficult to find the time, because we all have so much going on, take time to help your neighbor. Even if it’s helping the elderly woman carry in a case of water, or picking up trash that got blown all over your neighbors yard. I promise you, it’ll be worth it to help them out in a time when they need it.

It’s also a great reminder that no matter what happens in your life, God sets you up with everything you need. Now, our area was incredibly blessed, but many others were not, and I pray for those areas to band together and heal quickly as well. Some of the damage can’t be undone, but we can always move forward and push on….together.

Let’s Talk Gossip

We all gossip, don’t even try to deny that you do, just admit it. You gossip, I gossip, we all gossip! Woo! Now, in some cases gossip is harmless, and in others, it can actually cause issues for all parties involved. In addition, there is good gossip and there is bad gossip. Both can also have repercussions that aren’t necessarily a good thing.

What do I mean by good gossip? Generally, gossip is considered a bad thing, and it has a negative connotation, so how could gossip possibly be a good thing? Well I don’t mean that it’s a good thing, but I mean it is more of a positive thing, such as gossiping about something good. For example, I was once the subject of some gossip in my dorm my freshman year in college. I didn’t even realize I was popular enough to the be the topic of gossip, but it must have been a slow week. I was really close friends with this guy that lived in the dorm, and we also had a class together. Well, we spent a lot of time together going out to dinner, hanging out around campus, you get the idea. While we usually had others with us, we did occasionally just hang out the two of us. It wasn’t anything more than friendship, though I will admit I had a crush on him. Well, you can imagine my surprise when my roommate tackled me one day after class and yelled at me for not telling her. I had no idea what she was talking about, as far as I knew, I hadn’t withheld anything important from her. She then started going on about how cute we were and how I must be so excited, and how could I not have told her I was dating him, and on and on. It was news to me that he and I were dating, but apparently the whole dorm was talking about it. So I dragged my roomie over to his room to find out if he had heard of this and what we were going to do about. I was actually excited, thinking this was a way for us to move forward into something more. Well, while he had no issues with everyone thinking we were dating, he also had no interest in actually dating me. Must be better to just have the appearance than the reality. Oh well. So we got that sorted out, and eventually the gossip died down, but I will say, everyone was very interested in our love lives (or lack thereof) and I had so many girls that I usually just said hi to coming up and talking to me about how great we were together and how we were so cute, etc. It was actually kind of flattering, having all of that attention, and nothing that was said was bad, just that we were dating, so neither of us really cared. He made a great point that it didn’t matter what people thought, we knew what reality was, so why would we change anything. This kind of gossip wasn’t bad. It didn’t hurt any of the parties that were the subject of it, and it didn’t cause any serious damage later on. It was just people reading too much into what they were seeing. Not a big deal.

The other kind of gossip though, that’s where it gets to be a little more tricky and cause more damage. Let’s say for example that you have an old co-worker, and you mentioned something that the old co-worker used to do in front of someone else. While nothing you said was false, it somehow got back to that person and they weren’t very fond of it. Now, we all have done stuff we weren’t proud of, and it sucks, but if it’s reality, then it’s hard to fight it. Well, this co-worker then decides to start gossiping about you and your family, making up lies and spreading them to all of your old co-workers. This is where gossip becomes damaging. First of all, the co-worker spreading the lies is damaging her own reputation, as we all know that what Sally says of Suzie says more about Sally than it does Suzie. What it also does though, is damage the other person’s reputation, when it’s not deserved. Sure, majority won’t believe it because they worked with you, and they know the real you, but others feel the need to believe the lies spread by this other person. Now, that doesn’t make either of you bad people, but it definitely tarnishes reputations. And that’s where gossip gets its ugly side.

When something is said, it can’t be unsaid, but if you do feel the need to say it, it should at least be true. I personally am working on not caring what people say about me, but it’s a hard process to work through. It’s important to remember though, that if people choose to believe lies over the reality and the knowledge they have about you, then it again says more about them than about you. It goes to show that they would rather see the bad in a person than the good that they know is in there. And it can be hard, especially if this person that started spreading the rumors and lies used to be a friend. That can actually be one of the worst things. So the most important thing for you to remember is to keep your chin up through it all. And maybe try to tone down gossiping.Sure, it can be fun to participate, but you never know if what you heard and what you’re spreading is reality. And it’s not so much fun when it’s you that’s the subject of the gossip fodder.

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