Thursday, August 1, 2013

Go West or Bust

Most of our friends and family already know, but in mid-August, John and I will be moving to New Mexico. John was offered a position in the Corporate Transactions group of a firm in Albuquerque and he will be starting in early September.

The job search process was grueling, and we are very thankful that he was able to find a job to start directly after taking the bar exam. Many of his friends and classmates do not have anything lined up yet, and it is quite a reality check as to how the legal economy is still struggling. Recently, a few top firms in New York pulled their offers to many of their starting associates because they did not have enough work for everyone. Some of John’s other friends will not be able to start their positions until January (and will basically hang out until then). So we certainly recognize how blessed we are.

When we first accepted the job offer in New Mexico, we were thankful to have something, but were somewhat disappointed with the circumstances. John went to a top 10 law school and had a scholarship… one would assume that there would be more opportunities available – that we would have our pick of jobs, perhaps. Instead, he had one offer at a firm in a small market. Why did God not give John a job that he really wanted? Why was God going to make us move all the way across the country to a strange place that we knew nothing about – when our hearts wanted something much different? We felt let down, forgotten about, and confused. Didn’t God know that we wanted to do BIG things for Him? And how were we supposed to do that in New Mexico, of all places?

After much prayer, God is beginning to slowly change our hearts toward the move and New Mexico. Although our circumstances have not changed, and we still would rather be located almost anywhere else, our hearts have grown to understand a bit more about what is going on.

As humans, we tend to rely on (what we think are) our own strengths and abilities to get things done. For example, John was accepted into a top law school on scholarship because he worked extremely hard studying for the LSAT, got a killer score, had a good undergraduate GPA, etc., right? Well sort of… He did do all of those things, but did them with the gifts that God gave him. I think that the latter portion is often forgotten about. If John would have had his pick of jobs, it would have appeared to be just a natural result of John’s hard work – the fruits of his labor, per se.

However, New Mexico was the place that God was sending us. (And we know He is sending us because we certainly didn’t pick to go there.) Had we been offered a position at a firm in Florida, it would have been great – exactly what we wanted, even. But we would have not been able to see God though the process. Our fingerprints would have been all over the plan, and unfortunately, God would have been blurred out.

A perfect Biblical illustration of this concept is in the story of Gideon (the same thing I am studying in my small group – coincidence? Unlikely…). Long story short, God directed Gideon to battle the Midianites. Gideon started with 32,000 troops, and with 32,000 troops they were still outnumbered by the enemy. Despite already being outnumbered, God sent most of the soldiers home, leaving only 300. This gave the Israelites a 1:450 disadvantage against the Midianites. God knew that the Israelites had such a strong tendency to take credit for all of God’s work that He had to make the circumstances so unthinkable that the only explanation for a winning outcome could be God.

Feeling confident that God is sending us to New Mexico makes going there much easier – exciting even. He obviously wants us there for a reason, right? Otherwise He would have let us go to Florida. Whatever comes out of New Mexico will be completely God given… our finger prints won’t be anywhere, that’s for sure.

John and I have learned many lessons through this process. Perhaps most importantly, we know that God has a plan for our lives. He is not going to let us go through life haphazardly… He wants to groom us and make us alert of Him to better serve Him. Also, we need to learn to listen to God. We cannot work for God effectively if we are not in tune with Him or deaf to what He is saying. We would have not heard God’s voice to take the job in New Mexico had we had any other job offers distracting us. Lastly, God is the provider… Not us. No matter how hard John and I work, everything we have is a gift from God – not a result of our labor.

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