Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Dreams May Come...

Its hard to come up with an opening line after taking so much time off from writing.  It needs to be great.  It needs to be so amazing that you'll forgive and forget that I ever left you for a moment.

Here are some of the ones I've erased:

"Man, have I missed you guys!" - True...but not good enough.
"What's up with all this crazy weather!?" - Seriously!?  I'm not going to be one of those people that talks about the weather because I don't now what to say.  Next!
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." - Also true, but I decided not to plagiarize. 
"A horse, a priest, and a one-legged cowboy with a lisp walk into a bar...." - I know it sounds like it's going somewhere super hilarious, but trust me, it's only going downhill from here.

The big question is, where do I begin?  Should I tell you about my new job?  Should I tell you about all the changes that have been taking place in my life?  Should I tell you a clever, entertaining story that will change your life forever!?

Instead of deciding, I'm just going to tell a life-changing story about my new job and how it's brought changes into my life.  Sound good?

In order to tell this story properly, I'm going to have to do a little rewind.  This story starts back in April when I came to Florida to visit Tony.   

We had only really known each other for a few months and had only seen each other in person one time before that.  I came down with the intention of just getting to know Tony better, and somehow left feeling like I am supposed to move to Florida to be with him.  It seemed crazy, sure, but I just....knew.  When I got back to WV several of my Facebook friends had commented on my status about my trip to FL telling me to have fun, asking me where I was going, etc.   One of those people was Dr. David Bogue.  My current employer.  

Dr. Bogue and I met years ago when he was a Plastic Surgery resident at Georgetown University Hospital and I worked for his program director, Dr. Stephen Baker.   Dr. Bogue and I became Facebook friends and kept in touch here and there over the years.   I forgot he started his private practice in South Florida until he commented on my status.  

I wrote him back to tell him that I was in his neck of the woods visiting my boyfriend.  The conversation that followed ended with a job interview.  When I told him that I was considering moving to South FL, I jokingly added, "just in case you need someone to work in your office, " I never imagined that he would write back and tell me that he, in fact, did need someone.

I learned that Dr. Daniel O'Hara shares his practice office space with Dr. Bogue and that although they are two separate practices they share the space and they share staff.   They had been looking for someone to hire for months and didn't find anyone.  A week after our initial conversation I had a phone interview with Dr. O'Hara and their office manager, Jessie.  They told me they were interested and were going to get my offer together and call me in a few days.  

I was all sold out for this job.  I didn't have to try or strain.  This fell right into my lap.  I felt like this was a confirmation from God that I am supposed to move to FL. God was opening a door for me and all I had to do was walk through it.

This is where my story takes a turn.

About a week later I was presented an opportunity to stay in WV and work with Young Life.

If you've read my blog much, or if you know me in real life, then you know that God has given me a desire to work with teens and young adults.  A burning desire.  He also has given me heart for my homestate of WV.  Every time I think of WV I get misty-eyed.  I dream of it at night.  To me there is nothing more beautiful than WV and the people that live there.  This opportunity that was presented to me basically sounded like everything I had been waiting for and preparing for all these years.  I would get to stay in my homestate and make it better by helping the youth.  I would get to work in full-time ministry.  It was also just landing right in my lap without me even trying.   

But what about Tony!?  What about moving to FL to be with him?  What about the job with Dr. Bogue?

If I would have asked people for their opinions I am sure I would have gotten all kinds.  But I knew that this decision I was to make would have to be made by me alone.  Well-meaning people could possibly guide me in the wrong direction.  So, I took it up with God.

This is going to make me look like a selfish, ungrateful brat...probably because that was what I being, but I was mad that God had given me two super amazing opportunities at the exact same time.  What was He thinking?!!  I kept begging Him to tell me what to do.  Begging for a sign; wonder; miracle; billboard; anything!!  But He did no such thing.

At first I didn't understand why God wasn't telling me what to do, but as time went on without a peep from Him... I realized why.

He trusts me.

I could make whatever decision I felt was best and even if every person around me was upset or thought I was stupid or making mistake, it wouldn't matter because my Daddy trusts me.

Tony was so amazing throughout this process.  Never once did he try and push anything on me.  All he did was listen. He didn't let fear cause him to try and sway me to come to FL.  You know why!?  Because Tony trusts me.  He trusts that I hear from God and that whatever I decide it will be what's right.

I thought I knew what I was supposed to do at one point.  Tony was getting ready to come to WV for the first time and I was going to tell him at the end of his visit that I had decided to take the job with Young Life and stay.  But before I told him I wanted him to see why.  I wanted him to see the beauty of my homestate. I wanted him to go to Young Life with me and see the need for himself.  I wanted, when I told him I was staying, for him to look at me and say, "I totally understand".  When he got there I had all kinds of things planned.  He and I took a day-long road trip through the mountains. We went on four-wheeler rides with my family.  We had food and drinks with my friends and family.  

But then something happened.

A few days into his visit, despite my goals, efforts, and plans, I finally knew what I was supposed to do. I was supposed to lay all of this down, move to Florida, work for Dr. Bogue (despite the fact that weeks had gone by without any word from them) and marry Tony.

Yep.  Just like that.

It wasn't because God finally showed me that billboard I had been waiting on. was me.  It was my heart.  It was Tony's heart.  It was our destiny together.  It was what God wants to do through us.  The bigger picture is SO much bigger than I can even imagine.  Even though I hadn't heard back from Dr. Bogue's office, I knew that God would make a way for me to find a job in Florida.  Laying down my dreams in order to go where I know I'm supposed to go doesn't mean my dreams are dead and gone.  Oh no, friends....quite to the contrary.   My dreams ARE God's dreams.  My dream is to do God's will even if I don't understand.  My dreams and God's desires for me aren't two competing things.  My heart IS His heart.  Whatever I lay down in faith to follow God where He asks me to go (even when I don't understand), will be raised up again.  Our dreams don't die when we sacrifice them to do God's will.  They lay comfortably at the feet of God where we left them; awaiting their timely resurrection.  

After I had made my decision, I told the folks at Young Life, told Tony, and then everyone else.  That was on a Monday.  On Tuesday morning, weeks after that promised phone call, I got the job offer from Dr. Bogue's office to be their Patient Treatment Coordinator.

Here I am now, starting my second month working with Dr. Bogue and Dr. O'Hara and I can clearly see why.  Dr. Bogue's speciality is breast reconstruction after breast cancer.  He is one of the best reconstructive breast surgeons in Southern Florida and he is only a few years out of his residency.  He gives women back their womanhood.  I've never worked with cancer patients before, so this has been such an amazing experience for me.  I am in the exam rooms with them, I hear their stories, I see their fear and pain, I hear the good news and the bad news, I see the scars, I see their scars disappear.  I get to hold their hands, I get to pray for them even though they may not know it.  I carry them in my heart and think about and pray for them often.  When I tell them I am praying for them, I don't just say it....I do it.  I don't have to beg God to heal them, touch them, comfort them, and carry them.  He WANTS to. He LONGS to.  He just needs someone to release His power through prayer.  That's why I'm there.  God has blessed me with the opportunity to pray for his beautiful, hurting angels.  He has broken my heart for their broken bodies.  How blessed I am.  How very very blessed I am. 

His dreams are my dreams, even when they look differently than I expected.

Man, I missed you guys!