When God Gives You What You Always Prayed For

It’s very hard sometimes to believe what you’re praying for might actually happen – and that’s where faith takes over.

The thing about praying for something or asking for something or wishing for something is that you have to believe it will really happen – but that’s easier said than done.

A friend said it well when she said, “We say, ‘I’m sure God CAN probably do it, but I don’t know if He will.'”

And then He does. And then the cycle repeats itself. Instead of remembering how He came through the last time, we worry or lack faith or just totally doubt Him yet again.

I do this ALL the time, and I know God is looking at me thinking, “When will she learn to just trust me?”

I tend to try to take things into my own hands when I don’t think God can handle it, which is a whole other topic on control and letting go of it. When I do that, I usually end up taking the longest, messiest route to where He was going to take me anyway… and He had a MUCH easier route planned.

I did that with love for a really long time. I tried to make the next guy “the one” by controlling the entire situation and relationship and trying to convince him to love all the quirky, crazy things about me. But that never worked because none of those guys were ever “the one,” and instead of making them love me, I just let myself feel more and more unloved until I didn’t even love myself.

All I wanted was for someone to WANT to hang out with me (bizarre idea, right?) and to make me feel beautiful and love me for the absolute worst and weirdest things about me. That’s what I prayed for yet I seriously thought it was impossible and that it would never happen.

Looking back, that doesn’t make a lot of sense that I believed that something I had desired and prayed for for so long would never happen, even though Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The problem was that I wasn’t delighting myself in God, I was worrying and controlling and trying when He just wanted me to delight in Him and enjoy the season I was in while He orchestrated my beautiful love story.

Again, I never imagined actually falling in love or anyone falling in love with me, so I gave up… and I started my journey of truly delighting myself in The Lord and giving up control. I wasn’t perfect and tried to pick the control back up sometimes, but I was actively giving God control of this “fairytale” I had in mind.

I also never imagined that if I DID fall in love, it would teach me and reveal to me so much about how God loves me.

But both of the things I could never imagine happened. Someone fell in love with me while I was not even looking. And then I fell in love with him. But most importantly, we were falling more in love with God the entire time.

It took me a very long time to really comprehend that someone really did love me. Because I was so used to controlling the situation and screwing it up, I didn’t think it could actually happen – I didn’t realize God had given me EXACTLY what I had prayed for in the most unexpected way.

The guy He sent me came out of nowhere, but He was the guy of my prayers. It has recently clicked more and more (my fiancé says it took me until last week to understand it… and he says that every week) that my prayers are now my reality.

The saying has been all over social media recently about your life being exactly what you always prayed for. Mine is what I prayed for but not how I thought that prayer would look –  it’s better. That’s the point. What I was praying for and trying to cultivate myself was never going to work, but God knew how to cultivate my prayers into a beautiful reality.

He sent me someone who would ultimately paint a picture of His love – someone who loves me at my very worst, loves me unconditionally, loves me when I mess up, loves me when I cry and when I laugh, loves me for my weird quirks, wants to spend time with me, knows me better than anyone, and sees the best in me when I can’t see it in myself. And that’s how I learned how God loves me. P.S. That’s exactly how God loves you, too.

I am a total sap, so I cry a lot. Lately, in the midst of wedding planning, I have teared up a lot thinking about how much God must love me, despite my moments of weakness and sin, to give me exactly who I have always prayed for. He gave me that love my heart desired. Little moments remind me that I always dreamt of someone loving me exactly the way my guy loves me, and that brings me to tears for so many reasons. And all of that has shown me more than just love and a really great time with a really great guy – it has shown me just how powerful God is.

I think of how He protected me from getting hurt so many times in order to save me for this part of my story and how He lined things up just to lead me here to my husband.

I wish I could’ve known then everything I know now about the man I get to marry because I would’ve done things a lot differently. But at the same time, I’m so thankful things happened the way they did. God let them happen and let me make my own choices because He knew I wasn’t powerful enough to ruin then what I have now and He knew that all the heartbreak I encountered would make me appreciate the incredible love I have now all the more.

God answers our prayers, but not always in the ways or at the times we expect. And usually you get exactly what you prayed for in a way you never imagined – and it ends up being even better than what you hoped for you when you prayed.

And when God gives you what you prayed for, remember that the next time you pray for something – believe He will do what you are asking Him to do in the very best way possible, at the very best time.

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If I Could Go Back, I’d Do It All Differently

Everyone always says, “If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, so I agree that we shouldn’t change anything because it makes us who we are, BUT I can’t help but thinking there are a few things I’d change. But since I can’t, I hope that my mistakes can help someone else change their paths.

College is such an odd time for everyone. You go from a teenager to an “adult” trying to quickly prepare yourself for the real world that you are very unsure of. There is no real way to prepare, so you find yourself just trying to find yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved college. I tried to take advantage of every opportunity and meet all kinds of different people. But I feel like I was very reckless in the process. My mentor always says, “Leave beauty marks everywhere you go.” I think I did do that in many, many instances. But sometimes I feel like I left bruises instead of beauty marks.

College gives you a perfect platform to live out the calling God has given you and show others His love. You may never again be surrounded by that many people on a daily basis again. I mean I was at a campus with thousands of people, some who needed to hear about His love. But I was so focused on what I was doing or what others were doing that I didn’t really use that platform He had placed right in front of me.

Although I was a Christian, I was still so broken and hurting because I wasn’t surrendering my every day to Him. I was worrying about what people thought about me, what people said, what they were doing that I wasn’t, who they were dating, and so many other things that didn’t matter.

I fought jealousy and harbored ill feelings toward so many girls all because I was insecure and did not know my true name as a Child of God. I wasn’t living in freedom in that. I was fighting to be known and loved by people when I didn’t have to fight at all because grace and love had already been poured out for me.

I know so many people who live that way in college, in adulthood, in high school… no matter the season. I slip back into it sometimes too if I’m not careful to surrender every single day. But I know how especially easy it is in college when there are thousands of beautiful, talented people around you for you to compare yourself, too. But please don’t. Please recognize your worth, not because of what you’ve done, but because of what has been done for you.

I also know how easy it is to spend a lot of time partying. I don’t even mean the crazy, movie-scene partying that a lot of people do. I just mean drinking too much and saying and doing things that you know aren’t giving any life to your purpose. It seems like the “thing” to do and I know you want to be cool and fit in with everyone else, but sometimes it’s even cooler to stand out.

When you stand out, you attract other people who stand out. Then, you start hanging out with people who stand out and they speak life into you and make you feel like you were meant to feel. And then, when you are hanging out with people who may be lost, they see that spark in you that is God, and they want it, too.

But, when you continue to go down that road that God did not intend for any soul, you feel lost and dark and lonely, no matter how many “cool” friends you have. That’s nowhere for a human to be.

I recently went back to my college town for homecoming and took my fiancé with me. I thought it would be cool for him to meet all the people I knew and see all the places I use to go, but I started feeling those feelings of darkness as I reminisced.

Again, don’t get me wrong, there were so many beautiful times there that I will never forget. I grew and excelled and explored, but I also got so hurt and injured because I let me guard down and didn’t focus on Who mattered.

When I was in college, I cared a lot what people thought. It wasn’t that I wanted anyone to think I was great, I just wanted them to know I really was a good person and a loving person and a kind person, and I felt like I had to prove that to everyone. I felt like I had no grace and that if I ever said or did anything wrong, people saw me differently and then spoke about me differently. And I didn’t feel that for no reason. It actually happened. People judged me and made me feel so worthless, but that wasn’t totally their fault. I gave them that power by placing my worth in their hands instead of the God who already called me worthy no matter what I did or said.

There were people who loved me like God loves me and spoke so much life into my purpose, but there were people who made me feel so defeated, even if they didn’t mean to. I try to always speak life into people because of that. I know I fail sometimes, but I don’t ever want a soul to feel the way I did. And the sad thing is, I probably made people feel defeated during those days, too. I would certainly go back and change that.

I heard a speaker say, “What if we always made everyone we came in contact feel like we feel after looking at Facebook on our birthdays?” Everyone shows you love on your birthday! So, why can’t we always do that?

The truth is, you can’t always do that. You’re human. The good part of that is, you don’t have to. God takes care of that. He gives us grace, and He steps in. We are not smart enough or big enough or great enough to save anyone or have the responsibility of making anyone happy. Sure, we can help, but at the end of the day, all we are doing is pointing people to Him. So, do that with your every day.

So, when I was back in my college town with my fiancé, I was rushing to get to a spot during the homecoming parade to take a picture with members of a student organization I had been a part of. I had asked them to wait because I was, of course, running late, but I didn’t expect them to because everyone was busy. Still, I wanted to go see and talk to people I hadn’t seen in a while. When I got there, I was greeted by several people who kept saying, “Yeah everyone was saying we were supposed to wait on you but we knew you wouldn’t make it,” or, “We were all laughing about having to wait on you.” My heart kind of sank. I had that “uninvited” feeling that you feel when you walk up on a group talking about you. I knew they hadn’t been nice when they were talking about me. I knew there was eye rolling and people thinking that I thought everyone should wait on me, even though that wasn’t the case. While much of what I was assuming was likely true, I also knew Satan was using it to absolutely suck the joy right out my happy heart.

Then, a girl said that someone had said, “We don’t want Kaitlin to write a blog about us if she misses the picture.”

I felt like I had been punched. I felt like someone was making fun of and attacking what I loved to do the most. Writing is what I love and what I know God has called me to do. But still, I greeted everyone and smiled, all the while fighting back tears that I felt were stupid.

My fiancé could tell something was wrong, so when I told him, expecting him to tell me how silly I was being, he said, “That was so mean of them and I am so sorry.” I collapsed onto his shoulder and cried. And then I cried some more at lunch. I had been so excited to see everyone, and I had let them bring back old feelings. Feelings of unworthiness, feelings that people were talking about me, feelings that people didn’t like me, feelings that people thought that I thought I was better than everyone.

That set me up for a day of insecurity. I saw people who I knew hated me and I wanted so badly to reach out and tell them I was different and that God loved me and them and everyone.

But guys, we can’t walk around proving ourselves to ANYONE. We don’t have to so we really shouldn’t waste our energy. You are NOT everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok. You’d be boring if you were.

I walked around moping and defeated for a while and said, “Well, I just won’t ever write another blog since people are making fun of it.”

Then, God said to me, “I have asked you to write, not for you, but for Me and for other people.”

The rest of the day at least 7 people came up to me and told me my blogs had really been helping them. That was God’s wink to me to tell me to keep going.

And you know what, the person who said the thing that hurt my feelings didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. Maybe she wanted to get a reaction and get a laugh. Maybe she just said it mindlessly. It doesn’t matter. My battle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s against an enemy who uses small things to create big feelings. But my God already has victory over that.

I wish I would’ve known that in college. I wish I would’ve walked in freedom. I wish I would’ve left beauty marks instead of bruises. But now, I can appreciate how far God has taken me. And I can pray that those after me on the same campus will do what I should’ve done.

If I could go back and do it differently, I really would. But since I can’t, I will be thankful for what I learned and who it made me and how I can help someone else. God knows what He’s doing, and I trust that. He works ALL things together for good – our bad feelings, our bad thoughts, our past mistakes, our insecurities, our moments of weakness – He uses everything not just for good, but for OUR good.

Friends, whatever season you are in, do what you can to live in freedom and lead others to that freedom, but don’t ever get so discouraged when you mess up that you stop. Keep going. Always keep going.

Carry on,

Kaitlin

 

The Day I Tried To Return My Wedding Dress

I absolutely panicked when I realized I didn’t want the wedding dress I had picked (and my mom had paid for).

What was I going to do?

I texted a few of my bridesmaids, called my mom, and called my fiancé.

The girls and my mom all assured me that the dress is absolutely beautiful and perfect for me and that I was being ridiculous, but I didn’t care.

My fiancé was so compassionate and sensitive, all the while knowing how ridiculous I was being. He said, “Kaitlin, you know you are going to be beautiful no matter what you wear and the dress absolutely does not matter. No one will even pay attention to the dress. And, really, you could wear a potato sack and be the most beautiful girl in the room.”

Ok, ok that’s so sweet, but he HAD to say it. (I think my mom is paying him to be so nice to me).

The funniest part of it all is that, after freaking out for weeks, I decided one day to call the shop and ask if I could switch my dress. I was determined to get a different one.

But before I got in my car and dialed the number, I felt like I should pray. So I said, “God, please give me a sign and help me with this wedding dress situation.” Then I laughed and said to Him, “Do you even care about my wedding dress? There are big things happening in the world, so why would I even bother you with this?” But He said to me, “Of course I care. You’re my daughter.”

Something told me to keep the dress I had, but of course, I called the shop anyway. I called twice.  No answer either time. I thought, “there’s my sign.” But I ignored it and called my mom, and she said, “that’s a sign.”

That night I attended the Church of the Highlands ReCreate Women’s Conference, and the minute the night portion began and the words flashed up on the screen, I burst into tears.

Matthew 10:29 reached out and grabbed me, “…”But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it…” and God said to me, “I told you I care about your wedding dress. I care about every single detail of your life.”

The entire conference was like that. Me crying, God speaking to me, my heart changing. It was incredible.

I was so moved and so convicted about comparing myself to other women in every single aspect. It’s easy to do that when you’re planning a wedding. “Her dress was prettier, her ring is great, she has the best venue, I bet her hair will look perfect, her decorations look like they jumped of Pinterest…” And we do that in every day life too. It’s a constant battle for so many people, and something God is fighting against in our hearts every day.

Those feelings of comparison are amplified on occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and honeymoons because we think they are supposed to be perfect and better than the girl who posted about hers last week, but God never intended on any of that. Those big occasions are a chance for us to celebrate all He has done for us and given us in this earthly life, not to ignore contentment and long for more.

A day like a wedding day has nothing to do with the dress or any of the other million things we pay for and stress over. It has everything to do with the people surrounding you and the person you are about to promise forever to.

When I freaked out about mine and heard those reassuring words from my man, it all hit me that I could wear sweat pants and go to the courthouse as long as I got to spend forever with him.

The material things of this world are so fleeting but our souls last forever. This life seriously is just a vapor, so there’s no reason to worry about every little thing because it’ll be over before we know it.

It’s funny that ever since that little prayer I’ve fallen in love with my wedding dress. It’s weirdly parallel to how my relationship with my fiancé was. I was so iffy at first about committing myself to someone who I never imagined being with. And then after some prayer and my sweet God reminding me who I am and why I’m here, I started to fall madly in love with him and won’t ever stop. Because more than me finding him attractive, I knew we were meant to do life together and further the Kingdom – and that’s what mattered. His soul mattered.

I can’t wait to wear that dress that I picked for a reason, that was designed for me, as I marry a man I’m brought to tears thinking about. That dress will always be a reminder that God cares so dearly about the desires and worries of my heart, that life is about people and purpose, and that God has orchestrated every moment of my life, especially the one where I say, “I do” to someone He picked for me.

I thought it was so silly that I got so worked up about whether or not I picked the right dress, but I’m so glad I did because it opened a tiny little door for God to whisper through, and I heard Him loud and clear.

When You Have To Explain Your Nakedness

It is very hard to do your own thing in a world that is constantly watching and waiting.. waiting for you to mess up or succeed or post a picture or update your status. It makes this whole life thing just a little bit harder.

I’ve really been struggling with being able to live my life without worrying about what everyone thinks. To be honest, I’ve always struggled with that. I thought it would get better with age, but it has actually gotten worse.

Of course, comparison has been enhanced with social media, but I’m not going to harp on that right now. Comparison is the thief of joy and always will be.

I recently quit my job as a TV news reporter and I’m currently the Marketing Director at an Ice Complex. Saying that sentence to people over and over again sounds more and more ridiculous every time I say it.

Lately, I have felt like I’m not the one living my own life. I feel like an outsider watching and I can’t believe it’s all happening.

I have to explain my decision to so many people all the time. It’s the first thing people ask when they haven’t seen me in a while or if they’ve heard about it from a friend.

Just the other day, a girl asked me, “Have you found a job yet?”

When I told her what I was doing, she laughed. She actually laughed. I’m not making that up or being dramatic. She laughed at me because it sounded stupid to her.

I have no idea what I said after that because I was totally stunned that someone would laugh at me for what I had decided to do with my life. I felt the need to explain the entire thing to her, but she barely knows me, so she wouldn’t understand.

She didn’t understand that God had called me to do it and it was part of His plan. I don’t even fully understand it, so how could I possibly lead her to understand it?

Are you in a place where you feel like you have to explain yourself to everyone around you?

Did you make a decision that didn’t make sense to anyone except God and maybe you?

We have all been there or are there right now. We find ourselves breaking up with that guy everyone thought was perfect or quitting that picture-perfect job or selling that house or moving cities or changing majors or leaving a group of friends behind because of lifestyle changes. And we feel so stupid and vulnerable in front of the world.

It’s like that dream where you show up to school naked. There is no one to help you and no way to find clothes. You just have to stand there, embarrassed beyond belief, in all your glory.

That’s how I have felt lately – like everyone else had their clothes on and had everything together while I stood there naked and embarrassed for everyone to stare at.

News flash to anyone reading this and myself writing this, NO ONE HAS THEIR CLOTHES ON.

We are all showing up to school naked on a daily basis, and for anyone pretending to be clothed, they are doing just that – pretending. If someone tries to make you feel like their life is together and yours isn’t, chances are, theirs isn’t either and they are overcompensating.

Instead of laughing at each other and expecting explanations, we have to start struggling alongside each other and helping each other. I don’t mean just doing that for your family or best friends, I mean for everyone.

Life will never be perfect. There will always be struggles. And we will always have to make tough decisions, some small, some large. And we do not owe anyone an explanation for those decisions, especially people who barely know us.

Stop explaining yourself, and start embracing yourself. Live uninterrupted.

That girl doesn’t know that I had prayed over my situation for a long time before I knew I wasn’t where God wanted me. She doesn’t know that I’m still praying because I feel that I’m still not permanently where He wants me, but I know I’m on my way. She doesn’t know that I have dreams and goals I’m fulfilling outside of the job I go to every day. She doesn’t know that a job isn’t the most important thing to me and that a life of serving Jesus and others is.

So why did I get so upset about someone who doesn’t know my heart laughing at me? Because we all want to be loved and accepted. But we have to remember that our love and our affirmation and our identity come from a greater power than the girls who laugh or the guys who tell us we’re stupid or the people who let us know that we’ve made the wrong choice. Our self-worth is found in Christ who tells us He loves us no matter what decision we make or where we work or where we live or what we choose to do to make money for the time being as long as we are whole-heartedly living a life that points to Him.

So, don’t feel like you have to explain yourself to everyone who asks and even those who don’t. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with what you think their lives are like.

You aren’t meant to be in the same season of life as everyone around you.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.”

There is a time for everything, but your time is not the same as the person’s next to you. Every life and every journey is unique on purpose. God didn’t make anyone the same, so why would He make anyone’s timing the same?

We can’t try to live in the same season as everyone around us while we work on walking in our current season. It just can’t play out like that.

So, walk through your season with grace and confidence knowing you are meant to, and don’t feel the pressure of explaining that to anyone. And if they do ask, and you do answer, pray for the words to speak so that your answer will reflect God and His perfect will.

You are you for a very good reason and you will walk through many valleys before you get to your mountaintops. If someone watches those valley journeys and laughs, they aren’t for you, but God is. Those who love you like God does will walk through those valleys with you and lift you up out of them. And then you will do the same for them.

It’s funny/surprising/refereshing that so many people who know my story and know what God is doing have been so proud of me and happy for me for leaving what the world sees as beautiful for something “not so cool.” They know I’m heeding to the call of my God and walking on the path He has specifically laid out for me. They know something greater lies ahead, and I don’t have to explain that to them.

Whatever you are walking through, something greater lies ahead for you, too. It’s not always easy to remember and you can’t always see it, but have faith, and keep walking because you will get there. The days will pass anyway, so you might as well keep walking.

Don’t ever feel like you aren’t good enough because you are. And you don’t have to convince anyone that you are because everyone around you can see it, I promise.

The moment someone makes you feel like you have to convince them of your worth is the moment you step back and remind yourself of your worth and them of their worth, because they might need it more than you.

Guys Are Looking for Love Too

Girls get so caught up in romance and our hearts and finding love and if “he’s the one” that we forget about the other side of the equation.

We aren’t the only ones in relationships. It really does take two to tango, you know?

I never really thought guys dreamt of their future wives or hoped for that perfect soulmate or even cared about love at all until I met someone who made me realize it’s not all about the girl.

So many times, girls have been so hurt by a guy (or guys) that they see every single guy through the lenses of a generalization rather than for who he is as an individual.

I did that and still do that. I catch myself not believing there would be any way for my fiancé to really love me the way I love him because guys just don’t love like girls.

That is very wrong and, really and truly, unbiblical. God never said, “these people love more and harder and better than these other people.” We are all called to love and we learn true love through the love of God.

After finding a guy who really knew what it meant to love God and be loved by God, it became clear to me that he had the desire for love just like I did.

It comes across in the way he puts me first, in the way he does special things for me, and in the way he plans cute little things for us to do. At first I thought he only did romantic things because I like them and he wants me to be happy, but I started to realize that it was satisfying a hunger for him too.

Who are we to think, as girls, that guys don’t long to be loved? God made us with the desire to be loved. Girls may show that differently, in a more open and sensitive way, but that doesn’t mean that men are not desperate for affection too.

A woman can’t leave the man out in the pursuit of a relationship because that’s when she makes it all about her.

If we are so focused on them making us happy and buying us flowers and cooking us dinner and planning us dates then we turn this into a one-sided deal that was always meant to be 50/50.

If we are searching for all the love for ourselves, what love are we giving them?

I have found myself taking advantage, unknowingly, of what an amazing guy he is because I’ve never had that kind of love before. It initially felt like a dream and the fairytale I’ve always wanted, but then it became real. Relationships can give you butterflies and all that cute stuff, but at the end of the day, they are very real. There are real fights and real emotions and real problems and a real purpose as to why you have been joined together.

We cannot look for relationships for ourselves but for the glory of God. Have you realized that? Because I sure didn’t. I was in it for me. I wanted the butterflies and the cute pictures and fun dates and someone to hang out with all the time but it didn’t cross my mind that it was for something bigger than me.

When I first started dating my now fiancé, I wasn’t fully on board because I was all about being single. Just when I was pretty sure I wouldn’t continue the relationship, I listened to a podcast about “why you should date.” I have referenced the podcast a million times and always will. He basically said, if you’re dating someone because you think they are cute or fun or a good time, you’re really wrong. You should be with someone because, together, you can further the kingdom of Christ. Out of all the moments I think back on when I say I “knew” he was the one, that really was it. That was God knocking telling me I found the one HE wanted for me to do HIS work. Point blank. No other questions asked.

And the same goes for him. He wants love and loves to love me and enjoys having me to hang out with (I think), but that’s not the main goal of him pursuing me. He pursued me for my heart for The Lord because it matched up with his. He hasn’t been dreaming of a trophy wife to do the dishes, he has been longing for someone to walk beside him while he chases after God. We walk together through all the victories and all the struggles to, and that’s what love really is.

So, yeah, maybe guys aren’t all about all the “hype” of being in love, but they are hopeless romantics in the sense that they desire a connection with someone who will love them for who they are no matter what  for the rest of forever. They may not say it or write about it or post about it or scream it from mountaintops, but they let us know with their quiet words or loving actions or selflessness.

Girls aren’t the only ones out there looking for “the one” and getting their hearts broken. Guys are going through it too. Good men are still left in the world and they are on their pursuit just like women.

We can’t think of all men like we think of that one guy who wrecked our world just like they can’t think of women like they think of the girl who dumped them for another guy.

Every person, male or female, deserves love and deserves a chance, despite the actions of their predecessor.

Girls, let’s stop being selfish in this pursuit of love. Let guys in on the fun and remember that they have hearts too. They aren’t robots with no feelings; they are made in God’s image, and God is love.

And the one who did break your heart, he wants love too, but he wasn’t right for you. So, just pray he shows that to the woman he will spend forever with while you pray that for your future husband.

We are all running toward the same eternity, and we all want to be loved along the way. Men need love as much as women, just in a different way, so let’s recognize that and respond.

We aren’t the only ones dreaming about that wedding day and a lifetime of happiness, ladies, so scoot over and let him enjoy the love too.

 

The Day After The Day I Quit My Dream Job

I had a million and one dreams and aspirations when I was kid and none of them involved sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week.

I bet none of you dreamt that’s how you’d spend your time either.

That’s why I got a job as a reporter, so I’d rarely have to sit at a desk.

I already told you about how I up and quit my dream job as a reporter one day without another job lined up. My dream turned out to be something I was meant to do but not meant to do forever.

Well, the days came just like I knew they would and I didn’t have anything lined up to jump into.

Until.

My last week at my job as a reporter, I had several interviews. I had applied everywhere, so I was willing to interview everywhere. I was willing to work anywhere until I found that “dream job.”

I was offered a job on Wednesday night and my last day at the news station was Friday. Woah. I see you, God.

The job I was offered was not my dream job nor the job I went to school hoping to be at one day. I had never in a million years imagined I’d be where I was going. I didn’t particularly want to go there, either. But I knew I had to have a job, and, at the end of the day, it was a stepping stone and experience, and that’s better than nothing at all.

I think a lot of times we leave something because we are being called to exit, whether that’s a job, a relationship, a city, or anything else we are no longer meant to be with, but then we wait in the wrong way.

Being patient in waiting on your next step is great and beautiful and necessary. But waiting does not mean not doing anything. God wants you to wait on Him and listen to Him, but sometimes He leads you to an “in-between.”

I’m confident that’s where I am right now. And you might be there too. And that’s ok.

There’s no rule book that says when you are supposed to be where, so stop freaking out.

You might be in the job you’ll be at forever and be happy. You might be in the second of 15 jobs. You might be in the first of 100 jobs. The whole point is that as long as we are pursuing God and listening to Him, we are where we are supposed to be or on the track back there. Period.

A lot of times when it comes to something like a job, we want to just wait around and not do our part. Yes, God calls us to rest. Yes, God calls us to take time to pray and make a decision. And yes, if you are financially able to do so, give yourself time to be without a job until you find the next one, but don’t just stop and wait for Him to throw you a bone if you aren’t chasing after Him and doing your part.

Again, if I had my pick of jobs, I wouldn’t have picked the one I accepted, but I knew deep down that He was pushing me to that job. It didn’t matter what I wanted because it isn’t about me. It’s about Him and other people. Remember that little acronym? JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself – We learned it in VBS, and it’s still true.

Everything we do should be about Jesus then others then, lastly, us. The world says,”Be selfish, look out for number one, do you.” But God says, “Be selfless, look out for your fellow man, do the right thing.”

So, I go to work at as the Marketing Director at an ice complex every day not because it’s glamorous or earns me recognition or pays me a ton of money, but because I know it’s the next step on the journey God is leading me on. And I know, in some way, at some point, He will show me “why.”

If I decide I want a high level Marketing/PR job like many communications-minded people, so this is where I start: building a brand for a company who needs one from the ground up, improving social media followings, planning community events, helping the kids here, growing the Special Olympics program, plugging a non-profit organization for athletes into the community, and more than anything, being a light for the people I interact with, all the while, building my own brand and my skillset, which is necessary for any and every job.

It is not about where you are or what you’re doing, it’s about how you do it. And it’s not always easy. You won’t always want to do it. And you may be in your “in-between” stage for a long time before God sees that it is time for your next adventure. That’s not a bad thing; that means He wants you to grow just a little more before you move on.

They might need you longer and you might need to gain a few more skills that will be necessary at that next job.

I started out at the news station doing digital producing and that is not what I wanted to do. But I use the skills I learned in that position every single day at my current marketing job. And that’s how God showed me “the why” of that season of my life that I struggled to understand. And I know that he has reasons for what I’m doing as the Marketing Director of an Iceplex. I have already learned skills and programs that I know I’ll need for something later on. And had I not been put here, I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities that might just lead me to something bigger.

We are “big picture” people these days. It’s hard to focus on anything but the end goal. But, God is very concerned with the in-between. My favorite message I’ve ever heard (I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again) was from Pastor Christ Hodges. It was about the “process” and how God works on us during that in-between phase and that’s why He loves that season more than He loves what we think of as the “finish lines” of our seasons. (You can watch/listen here.)

This idea goes for anything you’re going through. If you just got out of a relationship, you might be single for a while, but that’s not because God isn’t working; it’s because He IS working and preparing you and your future spouse for one another. That doesn’t happen overnight. Nothing good in life happens overnight. It might seem that way to us every now and then, but God was working even when we weren’t noticing.

Those in-between seasons can be beautiful if we choose to let them. We can learn and grow and take what we learn over to the next season. That’s called life: learning lessons and building on them forever.

I know that wherever you are: finish line, in-between, starting line, God is preparing you for something. He always is. There’s always a next and we are always working toward Heaven. We are working not to get there but to prepare our hearts for that final prize.

In the midst of your in-between-ness, just pause and reflect on what you’re learning and know that God will show you “why” later. He doesn’t have to do that for us, but He is kind, so He does.

I have to do that. Sometimes I think, “How did I end up here in this city, at this job, with these duties?” And then I remember, “Because God.” He wants me where I am and so I’ll do what I’m supposed to until He decides it’s time for a new season.

Jobs are not all about money or power or position; they are about how we are furthering The Kingdom. You might be working in retail or the food industry or at a gas station or somewhere else where you may not feel respected or dignified, but guess what? You are. You are a respected, dignified Child of God. And what you are doing, the people you are serving, the light you are shining is making a difference.

Again, I doubt no one dreamt of a 40-hour a week desk job, and not everyone has one, but some of us do. And that doesn’t make you any less accomplished than anyone else. There’s no comparison chart, so stop trying to make one up.

Keep pressing on. Keep your eyes open and your heart thankful, no matter what the day is like, what the season is like, what the moment is like.

One major thing I learned in quitting a job and immediately finding another one like a magic trick is that God provides and is always faithful. I’m not so sure I really knew what prayer was until that month of darkness, worry, and finding real faith, but now I do. And that sure seems like “the why” to me.

XO,

Kaitlin

You’re Not The Only One

When you’re in a valley, going through something hard, you feel like you are the only one on earth experiencing that type of pain at that moment. But the truth it, you aren’t.

No matter how minor or major the situation is or seems, you are not alone.

I shared a blog post a couple weeks ago about quitting my dream job, and I never could have imagined the response I got.

I was fully expecting for everyone to think I was totally deranged and stupid because that’s how I felt.

But it was quite the opposite. SO many people poured out love and encouragement and said they were proud of me. Yes, proud of me. I was shocked, too. Then I just wept because I realized that people want to see people they love, and even people they don’t know, happy. It inadvertently makes us happier.

We are all here wanting love, so we have to give it. And we are all one big world, one big community, cheering each other on. So, no, you’re not alone. You are not the only one facing what you’re facing. Don’t believe for one second the lies that say you are alone.

Dozens and dozens of people messaged me after reading that post and shared their similar struggles. It was just a big massive response of, “Me too.”

As soon as I wrote that post and shared it with the world, I released it to the universe and to God. It was no longer my burden. Everyone who read it took it from me and took it for me and replaced it with love. I felt so much peace after I typed the last word.

But even after that, I continued to feel more peace and reassurance that I had made the right decision during my time of desperation because I knew at least one person needed it. And as soon as the first person messaged me, I said out loud, “This is why I quit my job and this is why I told everyone about it.”

And then the messages flooded in with, “I want to quit my job too,” “I want to break up with my boyfriend,” “I want to change my major,” “I want to move cities,” and they all ended with, “But I’ve been too scared. Thank you for the inspiration.”

See, God used little ol’ me and my little ol’ difficult situation to bring glory to HIM and to bring inspiration, rest, peace, comfort to so many other people who realized they weren’t the only ones.

One of the most powerful stories a reader shared with me was that of her feeling that she had listened to God’s signs “too late.”

This woman had moved to another country and had been there for five years, met a guy, and loved her life, but something was telling her to leave. She said she knew she needed to be out of the relationship and she knew she should move back to America, but she ignored God’s calling.

She finally decided to leave and move back home so she could spend more time with her grandson. It was hard for her to leave her boyfriend, but she committed to listening to God’s calling. Her bags were packed and she was ready to make a huge move when she found out her son and grandson had been killed in a wreck.

Too late.

Those were the words that hit her like a ton of bricks.

But it’s never too late to listen to God. We can’t ruin His plan for our lives and we can’t stay off the path forever, no matter how many detours we take. So, she moved anyway because she knows God wanted her to.

She connected with my story not because it was exactly the same but because we both had a choice to make concerning God’s calling, and neither one of us found it easy.

I heard plenty of other stories of a girl who had grown up wanting to be a lawyer and went to law school at the University of Alabama and was halfway through when she decided she wanted to quit and flip houses and go into the real estate business. She knows law won’t make her happy.

Another girl felt God calling her to a new city so she left friends, broke up with her boyfriend, found a new job and was miserable for months until she saw “the why” behind God calling her to move.

The point is – we are all going through it. We are all figuring life out and making turns and trying to be happy, but there is a comfort in knowing there is always someone else going through either exactly what you’re going through or something that can teach you about your situation. God did that on purpose. He formed relationships a long time ago because He knew how much we needed them. He knew our stories, our struggles, our hearts, our fears, our dreams, our joys would all match up in some way at some point. He made us so different and so alike at the same time – what a thoughtful God.

So, in the midst of your struggle right now, right where you are, remember you are not the only one in the valley and you won’t be the last one there either. Just like someone used what they learned from their lows, use what you’re going through right now to help someone else. That’s one of those “why” moments God gives us – He shows us that the reason why we struggle is sometimes not for us but for someone else. Our heartbreaks can help heal.  And He does something inside us during those moments and those seasons that remind us to live life like that – like every day, every situation, every rise, and every fall is not for us but for someone else, for everyone else. Less of us, more of Him. More of everyone else.

You’re not the only one,

Kaitlin

When You Go Through Something That “Isn’t That Bad”

Have you ever told someone about something you’re struggling with and they responded with, “It isn’t that bad.”

It’s like a punch in the gut. Because to you, it IS that bad.

It might be that your cat died or your debit card got stolen or you ran out of gas… or whatever. The point is – to you, in that moment, it was a bad feeling.

You may have a bad day or week or month, and to someone else who is going through something horrible, your problem probably seems like a drop in the bucket, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tough and you aren’t experiencing self-doubt and anxiety and a whole list of other things.

Recently, I have been going through a career change. I quit my current job as a news reporter without having another job lined up, and I never in my life imagined quitting a job and finding a new one would be so hard – mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s very draining and it’s very tiring and hearing “no” a million times can really crush a person’s confidence.

It has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life and my pride and ego and worldly desires have been torn down one small piece at a time, and every piece stings a little more.

So you can imagine that I have had a few breakdowns here and there – and I know I’m not alone in that. Change is scary, and sometimes, we let our emotions control our reaction.

I know many of you have been there – maybe on a smaller scale or maybe on a much bigger scale.

Maybe you are changing positions at your current job or maybe you are changing from “in a relationship” to “single” or maybe you are accepting the change of no longer having a loved one here on earth. No matter the change, “small” or “big,” it can be hard and can wear you down… if you let it.

In the midst of all the stress and anxiety I have had about this change, I have been taking it out on people closest to me. One night after finding out I didn’t get a job I had applied for that I really wanted (and really thought I would get), I had a meltdown and just poured my heart out to my fiance – my anger, frustration, doubt, insecurity, fear, confusion, etc.

And out of all the kind, encouraging, positive things he said to me, one thing stood out and made me so mad: “It’s not that bad.”

WHAT?

It’s not that bad? Ok that’s fine that you don’t care about my problems AT ALL.

I mean I went totally 14-year-old “you don’t care about my life” mode. I was furious that I had completely poured my heart out and explained my frustration and he had the nerve to tell me “it’s not that bad.”

He wasn’t being mean, of course. He was just trying to tell me that other people are going through worse things, and at the end of the day, a job is not the most important thing in the world and should not cause me so much stress. Not when God has already handled it.

And he was right.

But in that moment, I was focused on my problem, my life, my worries, my stress, and my situation. I wasn’t focused on the reality that it really wasn’t so bad and that God was going to handle it without a doubt.

I think a lot of us do that all the time. We want people to listen to our problems and feel sorry for us – we want them to tell us what we WANT to hear, not what we NEED to hear. But listen when I say, you NEED those people who will set you straight and point you back to God in those dark situations. And we have the chance to really exercise our faith when we truly hand it over to God and watch Him work while we finally relax and do our part in a stress-free manner.

And no, a job change/a job search is NOT that bad, but at the time, it has been the most important thing on my mind. However, I’ve had so many opportunities to really trust God and let Him show out for me AND others to see.

I have a friend I reference often who had colon cancer, and he has been in and out of the hospital for the past year and a half. Every time he gets out, he goes back. And not only is he strong, his fiance is the strongest woman I know. They have held on to their faith in God the entire time. Of course they have had some very rough days, but they have oozed with peace and the mentality that “it’s not that bad.”

They know it could be worse. He is thankful to be alive and she is thankful to have him, no matter what that might look like right now. Because they KNOW God is going to come through and they know that have to trust Him through the process and grow in the meantime.

That’s what it should look like for me and you, too.

Whether a job, a relationship, relocation, tragedy, heartbreak, struggle – you name it – “it’s not that bad.”

This is NOT to downplay what some people are going through right now. There are people in the world right now who just lost a child or both parents or a spouse or their entire family or their best friend. There are people who have seen murders or fatal car wrecks or mass shootings. There are A LOT of bad things going on in the world. And those things remind me that the things that seem so huge to me really aren’t that bad.

However, so many of those people experiencing those things think and say the same thing as my friends! They are living through their own personal hell and are still able to find the bright side and recognize that maybe someone, somewhere else is in more pain. They recognize that “this too shall pass” and that EVERYTHING will pass, good or bad, but God won’t. And that’s what they cling to.

If that’s not encouragement, I don’t know what is. I’m encouraged by those people I don’t know who do it, people I briefly cross paths with who do it, and people I love, like my dear friends I mentioned, who do it right in front of me.

It encourages me to take my struggle and hand it over. It encourages me to have the mentality that “it’s not that bad” and I will get through. It may not look the way I always thought it would, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t using it and using me for a much bigger, more beautiful purpose.

So, my fiance was right. (Don’t tell him I said that). It’s not that bad and it never will be, even on days my world comes crashing down, because I have faith and a God who is bigger and has promised to deliver me. He has promised me the PROMISED LAND. He has promised me eternal life. So, I refuse to let “this life” be that bad because I am setting my sights on things above.

I encourage you to do the same. I know I’m speaking to someone right now who is in a low, low valley. Lower than they’ve ever been. Friend, whatever it is, I PROMISE you WILL be OK. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but God is working and He will pull you up on to the mountain.

And on a lighter note, when you spill your coffee or get a flat tire, laugh it off and remember, “it’s not that bad.”

God provided me with a new job, by the way. It wasn’t when I thought he would. It wasn’t where I thought he would. It wasn’t what I thought he would. It was nothing I expected or really wanted, but it’s what He wanted for me. I called out, and He answered. He took care of me. And maybe it was to remind me that it really just isn’t that bad and I really just need to have faith. Because He will. He always does.

Trust His timing,

Kaitlin

 

The Day I Quit My Dream Job

My heart is so heavy as I write this.

I never really imagined my life in this spot. I guess no one probably does.

I have cried. I have prayed. I have prayed a lot. I have cried a lot. My soul has been weary. I’ve let the stress of the situation overcome me and I haven’t given it over to God. And that’s why I write this.

I contemplated even writing this at all. My pride and the enemy wanted me to internalize it and not share it. But God’s calling won, so I’m writing it.

I’m writing it for me and I’m writing it for whomever else needs it for whatever reason.

I need to write it to release it. And I know someone needs to read it.

I quit my job a few weeks ago. My dream job. The job everyone thought was “perfect.”

My last day is August 12, 2016.

I have worked at a news station for a little more than two years. It was my first job out of college. And I started somewhere most people have to work a few years to get to.

I graduated and started working there as a digital producer, wanting to be on-air as a reporter all along.

It’s been my dream to be a news anchor, a journalist since I was probably 15 years old. I don’t remember ever not wanting to do it. I just knew, ever since I was young, that I would be on Good Morning America one day. It wasn’t a cute fantasy. It was my goal.. and I was in the process of reaching it. I just new it.

And I did it. I got to the first major step. Then, I got promoted to traffic reporter and then to a full-time reporter by the time I had been there about a year and a half.

I was in the role I’d dreamt of, fought for, worked for, studied for, prayed for, cried for. And I wasn’t happy.

People always say, “Wow you’re on TV! It must be so fun and so glamorous! You have the best job ever.”

It was so fun. Not so glamorous. But so fun. I worked so hard and learned so much and the people I met changed me. But I felt like something wasn’t right.

My mental and physical health have been way less than they should be. And even worse, my spiritual health was deteriorating. I’ve been sick from the inside out.

It all kept getting worse. I started dreading going to work. And this had nothing to do with anyone but me. I started having a bad attitude. I had a spirit of offense, so any time I felt like someone was being “rude” or attacking me, I attacked back. And I pushed people away.

I stopped being a doormat, but I started being a bulldozer. I didn’t want to be there and I didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore.

I got tired of waking up at 4 a.m. and I got tired of the stress and I got tired of being tired.

Then one day it hit me and I knew I had to quit. I had said I was going to quit before, but this time was real. I called my mom and told her. I didn’t ask her if I should. I told her. And  the sound of her voice told me that she approved of whatever decision I made, and that gave me the green light.

I told my bosses and we talked about it and worked out a deal. I knew I had to pay to be released from my contract, but I also know there is no price tag on personal happiness.

Ever since that day three weeks ago, I have been more sick, more stressed, more tired, and more upset than I ever was before.

But I have gotten closer to God.

I have struggled in wondering if I made the right choice and if I should tell them I change my mind. I have struggled to find another job – one that pays more and allows a normal schedule and allows me to use my skills and my degree.

I have felt ashamed, stupid, and pathetic. I have felt like a failure and a quitter. With every “no,” with every moment of fear, with every “What are you going to do now?” question, I have sunk deeper and deeper into the beginnings of a very dark depression. And that’s real. And it’s scary.

I have said to myself, “What are you doing? You have a job so many people dream of and so many people would love and so many people think you are perfect for, and you’re throwing it all away to be happy?”

And then I have answered myself: “Yes. To be happy.”

I have fought myself out of what could be a very bad place in my life by resting in Truth.

I mean, I took a HUGE leap of faith quitting a solid job without another one lined up. But it’s strange how many people have said, “Wow, I’m proud of you,” or “Wow, you are so brave.” That shocked and excited me. Other people want to do the same thing, but they are scared. And so am I. So, I’m not doing anything but trusting God. I have to not only say I have faith in Him, I have to ACTUALLY have faith and live that out.

Not everyone is in my situation. But some people are. Some people want to quit their job and pursue their passions. Some want to leave a relationship. Some want to change their major. Some want to move. Some want to start a business.

And fear is a huge reason so many of us don’t.

I’m telling you right now that if God wants you somewhere doing something, you will. He will guide you there.

And if you make the wrong choice, if I made the wrong choice in quitting my job, then guess what? We are not smart enough or powerful enough to mess His plan for our lives up. That’s the best piece of advice I’ve been given through this time of struggle.

His plan is like a route. You are going to a destination. You might take a few wrong turns or run off the road or take too many bathroom breaks, but you ARE going to get where you’re going. You just have to follow Him. He has the map. If you don’t follow the map, you won’t get there. If you do follow it, you’ll get there – it might be messy and tiring – but you’ll get there and there will be a lot of beauty and growth along the way.

This process has hurt and been one of the very hardest times of my life. I’ve had breakdowns, cry-fests full of mascara and snot, and moments of just emptiness. But at the same time I’ve never felt myself moving closer to God. It’s a wild, awesome paradox.

At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with a “job.” It has everything to do with God reminding me why I’m here and who I am. He is just using this to shake me.

Jobs do not define us. Careers are not all life is. Jobs can be used for His glory and they can be an outlet for us, but they are not who we are. We are His. And if what we are doing is not furthering His kingdom or drawing us closer to Him, we have to make a turn.

My profession can be used for Him, and I believe I was using it for Him at one time, but that’s not the case for me anymore. So, I have to make the choice to turn.

A life change like this is scary, but it forces you to either rely on yourself or in something greater. So many times, I’ve tried to make it by myself. I haven’t let anyone help me or tell me anything. I haven’t listened to God. And that’s when I have been broken.

But the days when I seek Him and surrender my worries to Him, I am free.

I am scared out of my mind but I am free.

My favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, constantly says to never quit your job to write a book. You have to have a job. And I’m not quitting my job just to write a book, but I am quitting A job to write a book. To live. To press into God and His church more. To pour into students. To spend time with family. To love on friends. To travel more. To exercise more. To cook more. To find a new job. To DO more than I have while I have been worn down in a place I’ve already been used. It’s time for me to go.

Most people don’t understand what I’m doing and that’s ok. I don’t either. But He does.

Change is scary. You won’t understand and everyone else won’t understand, but that’s ok. Change is good and necessary for growth. Growing pains are real, but the outcome is something bigger and better.

Today, one of my co-workers told me about a dream she had.

Co-worker: “I had a dream my boyfriend proposed. He bought me a religious card and it had a Bible verse in it, which is weird because neither of us are very religious.”

Me: “What verse was it?”

Co-worker: “Psalm 17:1.. It’s weird that I remember the verse.”

Psalm 17:1 “A prayer of David. Hear me, LORD, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer– it does not rise from deceitful lips.”

At first I thought maybe she needed to hear that verse for some reason, and that’s why she dreamt it. But the more I thought about it, I realized I needed to hear it, and she was a vessel for God to speak it to me.

I have been crying out to Him with honesty and innocence and sincerity. And He wants me to know He hears me. He wants you to know He hears you. Our prayers are not in vain because He did not die in vain.

You and your life plan matter. Even when you are in an “in-between” stage where you might have to swallow your pride and work somewhere that isn’t “cool” or “prestigious” or “fun.” The fact of the matter is the plan was never ours to begin with.

I have learned that I have to read His word and worship Him to hear Him. I can’t hear Him if the noise of the world, the Enemy, and my messed up thoughts are inside my head. So I have been so much more dedicated to really leaning in to hear Him. What a difference that makes.

And I may have to do something I did not plan on doing or do not want to do to get to where I am supposed to be, but that’s fine, because He never said life would always be fun or easy or glamorous.

I compared this entire thing to a relationship just the other day (of course I did).

When I was in college dating the guy I thought I would marry, I knew deep, deep down, he wasn’t the one, but I was too scared to leave. We broke up, got back together, and had a very unhealthy relationship. But in the end, we broke up and I moved on.

I then dated someone who helped me move on. He was fun and distracting, but He wasn’t the one either and I wrestled with what to do. So, God did it for me.

After I let go of my own plan for my love life and surrendered it to God, He delivered me the most wonderful, loving, caring man that will be my husband very soon.

The point is, it was a long journey to get to my dream guy. It hurt so bad and I made so many mistakes. I didn’t always listen to God and I drove myself crazy. He removed unhealthy relationships and habits and helped me grow every step of the way. And in the end, I finally gave up and let Him do what He had been trying to tell me to be patient for.

And I’m confident the same thing is happening now.

It could be a long time until I have my “dream” job. Because my dream changed.

Someone told me only a week before I quit, “Dreams change. People change. We grow and get smarter.” We figure things out… what we love, what we don’t love, what makes us happy, what steals our joy… and that’s called LIVING.

I have been scared of what people will say because everyone has always supported me in this, and so many people helped me get to this place. In and out of my workplace.

But, again, it’s not all about the job. I went to a university I never thought I’d go to, met people I never knew I’d meet, got an internship that led to a job in a city that was never on my radar, hated the city, fell in love with the city, fell in love with the people, met my future husband, and grew so much mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I would NEVER be in the exact place I am in life right now if I wouldn’t have moved here for this job. Hmmmm…. maybe God used the job for a bigger purpose. Just a thought.

I pray for a good job making a good living, but more than anything, I want to live. And I don’t have to devote my life to a career that used to appeal to me to do that.

I don’t have to be a famous anchor to do that. I may not be meant to do that, even thought I was so sure of it. I’ve been known to be wrong.

But I do have to press into Him and His purpose for me and run with it. Run super hard with it and don’t ever stop. And encourage everyone, absolutely everyone, I meet along the way to do the same.

I keep feeling like I’ve given up. And I have. I’ve give up MY life and plan for Him.

I also keep thinking about all the little girls who have come up to me in the park or at the mall and said they looked up to me. My job gave me that platform. I feel like I’ve lost it.

But God’s platform is SO much bigger.

I could work at a grocery store, a bookstore, a coffee shop, a school, a plant, a gas station, a mall, or at a job making millions – none of that matters. All that matters is how my life points everyone else to their greater purpose and to Heaven. And that I am filled with joy while I do it.

So, to recap (and gather my thoughts) on this whole big foggy mess of a life leap:

  1. I decided to quit the job I had always dreamt of and went to school for.
  2. I freaked out that I had made the wrong choice.
  3. I worried what everyone would think.
  4. I worried I would disappoint people.
  5. I worried I would never find another job I love.
  6. I worried people I work with will hate me.
  7. I worried I was messing my entire life up.
  8. I stopped worrying.
  9. I started praying, reading, listening.
  10. I gave it up to God.
  11. I applied for jobs and then let Him work.
  12. I decided to devote more time to my real dream of writing a book.
  13. I let go of my pride.
  14. I accepted whatever He has for me.
  15. I realized a job is a job and things are things, but God is God and I have to focus on that.

This has all been a lot. My mind has been in a fog, but I can see God through all the fog, and He is waiting on me right where He has always been.

I have no idea where I’m going from here. I could end up back at the job I’m leaving or I could end up somewhere I never imagined. Trying to figure that out will drive me insane, so I’m letting the Author handle it. And I’m not letting anyone else rent any space in my mind, including the Enemy.

Friend, whatever you are facing, it will all work out. As my best friend said, “When has your life not worked out?” Somehow, some way, as long as you are fixed on God, it WILL work out. It may not be how you imagined it, but all of the best things in life happen just that way.

You are a vessel. He will use you as soon as you say “OK.” Your story will help someone. Your life will lead someone. Your words will lift someone.

So, that job, that relationship, that payment, that disease, that temptation, that person, that place, that thought, that struggle… it is NOT bigger than God. It never will be. Rest, I mean like hard-nap-on-a-Sunday-rest, in that truth.

Oh, and you are LOVED. So loved. Remember that during this trial because love conquers all.

I didn’t quit my job because I was mad. I didn’t quit because someone hurt my feelings. I didn’t quit because I hated the place or the people. I quit for me. I quit to explore what else might make me happy. I quit to figure out life. I quit to follow God’s plan and pursue it more. I quit to pursue people more. I quit because I felt something pulling me away.

I’ll be sad, I’ll be confused, I’ll be angry, I’ll be numb, but I WILL be OK. You will be OK. It will ALL be OK.

Because I’ll also be happy and fulfilled and joyful and free. Not because of a job – no that is not my identity. I am not the “news reporter,” I am not “Kaitlin Chappell,” I’m not “that girl with the cool job.” I am a Child of God. I am Chosen. I am Redeemed. I am Loved.

And we share all those names. So shake off the others. The good ones and the bad ones. Because neither are important.

Step out on faith when you are called to and then actually live it out and see how He uses you.

I’m going to try my best to do that while I open up the next chapter of this really crazy, beautiful, ever-changing life.

Go be love,

Kaitlin Chappell

 

The Day I Stopped Loving My Boyfriend So Much

Whenever I have a bad day or I’m feeling down or just not “enough,” I always tell myself, “At least I have a good boyfriend who truly loves me.”

It’s always nice to know there’s that one person who will love you no matter what, whether that’s your boyfriend or mom or sister or best friend.

But just the other day, I decided I should probably stop loving him so much.

We are now engaged and getting married next year and I love him more than anyone on the planet. But that’s just the thing, I have to remember to love God more. I have to get through those bad days by saying, “At least my God truly loves me.” I have to lean on Him, not anyone or anything on earth.

How many of us do that? “Well, at least I have a good job,” or, “At least I have really nice clothes and a big house,” or, “Who cares if this didn’t work out because I have a better opportunity somewhere else.”

I’m not saying any of those things are bad things, but they can become bad things when we value them over everything else, including our relationship with God.

People will fail us. He will not.

If I let all my joy depend on my boyfriend (fiance, whatever, I’m not used to it) that is unfair to me and him. I am putting unrealistic expectations on him to give me the joy that only an almighty God can deliver. So, when he can’t do that, because he’s not God, I let myself get upset and feel let down, when, in reality, He will never be able to fill that void.

There is a God-sized hole in your heart – I know you’ve heard that before – and it can only be filled by God. There is no boyfriend or friend or job that can fill it.

People are certainly important. God created community and fellowship for us on purpose. He speaks through our loved ones and uses them to talk to us. Think about that – you are being used for your loved ones just like God uses them for you.

But have you ever let anyone down? The answer is yes. Because you aren’t God either.

We are here to help each other, not heal each other.

We can’t save anyone and no one can save us. Only God is in that business. All we can do for each other is point to Him and love like Him.

My boyfriend/fiance points me to Jesus. Always.

Just last night, I was crying and just having a bad day, and instead of him trying to fix the problem, he listened to me and then prayed over me. He took my problems and gave them to Jesus.

That’s what we have to do. Give it to Jesus.

No one can heal your broken heart like Jesus. A new boyfriend, a new girlfriend, a trip, a new house.. none of that is going to heal your broken heart. Jesus will – I promise.

So don’t put that pressure on anyone else, or even yourself. You can’t be your own savior. “You weren’t meant to carry this beyond the cross.” Remember that.

While I love my fiance and am looking forward to a lifetime with him, when I catch myself loving him and spending more time with him than HIM, we start to have problems. I can’t love him the way God intended when I’m not loving God.

So I decided to stop loving him more than anything else because that is reserved for God. I decided to stop loving anything more than I love God. I have to put Him first for the rest to follow.

I encourage you to do the same. Because I love you and know that will give you the best life. He will give you the best life.

So yes, I love my boyfriend very much, but I’ll be careful now to not love him too much and not let him love me too much. It’s the old triangle theory – if we both have God at the top, we will inevitably grow closer… through Him.

Go be love,

Kaitlin