An Ode to Woodmen Valley Chapel

I’m once again pausing on my current series of re-capping Africa (I know! So close to the end!) to give you guys all some life updates. I alluded to a few in my last post but what I didn’t know was that I was about to have some changes that even I didn’t see coming.

Before I left for Africa, I had been talking with my HR director at Woodmen about shifting my job to a hybrid. Knowing there was going to be a young adults position opening up and that I could probably make a good case for a social justice ministry, I dreamed big and went for it with her. She loved the idea and we dreamed and planned before I left. She promised that while I was gone she would start running it by the powers that be. I came home from Africa and it seemed like there was good energy around the change but still more due diligence to be done. I wrote a 5 page business / ministry proposal justifying why this ministry would be a good thing and why Woodmen was the right place to launch it.

It was going slowly and I kept growing frustrated with the pace but knew this was where God wanted me so I stuck with it. I truly believed this would be my new role at Woodmen and in Colorado for the next few years.

Boy was I wrong.

The same week as my previous blog, I was asked if I would be interested in applying for a job at Compassion. Given the job description was for an admin, I politely declined. The head of the department graciously said he understood but thought it might be a slightly different job than an admin. I agreed to meet with the team if nothing else to gain stronger relationships at Compassion.

The Wednesday before Labor Day I went to Compassion and met with two directors of the department. Having nothing to lose, I was very candid and honest about my hopes, dreams, things I am good at and things I’m weak in. It was the most amazing interview I’ve ever had. Twenty minutes after I walked out of the door, they called to let me know they had picked me. They agreed to allow me to take the long weekend and process through the decision. My head and heart were spinning. This was definitely not something I had planned or dreamed of – not in my wildest dreams. But… it was shaping up to be a dream job. Literally something I didn’t know could exist. After much prayer, discussion with my family, and time alone with the LORD, I decided to take the job or as my friend Greg called it, “live a great story.”

I came back from my weekend away, quickly called Compassion, formally accepted, and then began the tough process of telling my teams and friends at Woodmen. They were all stunned. Generally very excited for me but stunned nonetheless. Granted, it happened faster than I could have anticipated but the LORD knew.

Today was my final staff chapel. I was asked to give a small update on what is happening in my life. I knew I was going to be emotional but what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion I would feel. My voice began to break as I thanked my fellow colleagues and dear friends for the last almost two years.

So Woodmen. Here’s to you.

Two years ago, I was a broken insecure young woman.
I had lost 3 jobs in the span of a year.
I was living back in the same room I lived in during High School.
I hated being back in Colorado.
My heart was broken.
I didn’t know my favorite color or what was truth about myself.
I didn’t know community the way I know community now.
I was angry and scared and lonely and hurting.

The LORD used Woodmen and the people here  to radically change my world. Not only did my perceptions of myself change but my perceptions of the LORD’s heart for me, truth, grace, love, and friendship radically changed. I am a better, stronger, more secure, passionate, confident, driven, loving, humbled woman because of the 1 year 10 months I’ve had the privilege of doing Life with my friends here at WVC. What I thought was pain and punishment was actually a gentle redirection to save me from myself and destruction. It was the most loving thing a gracious Father could do for a child.

I will always look at this season with an aged knowing smile because I can SEE the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. This truly has become my door of Hope.

And it’s true – you can’t out dream Papa.

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