23 July 2012

The Reason Why

(I have this poster/metal sign.) 
In my early twenties, I decided to pursue Navy Officer Candidate School. I devoted several years to this pursuit. I lost weight, got in the best shape of my life, studied hard, passed the entrance exam with the highest score ever recorded for a female applicant in that tri-state region, went through the medical exam, and was promptly rejected. And rejected. And rejected. I had letters of recommendation from 4 Flag Officers and letters of recommendation from officers in 3 different branches of the military. I had a letter of recommendation from the Deputy Surgeon General of the United States. I was told time and again by a mystified recruiter that there was absolutely no reason he could find that I wouldn't have been accepted. "Just keep trying."

My godfather, a retired Army officer, thought my path could be helped by having a security clearance, so I moved to Washington, DC and got a security clearance, and applied again. Letter of rejection.

My story eventually moved in a different direction. God took me where He wanted me to be, but I couldn't ever figure out why I didn't make it into the Navy's officer program. I came to the conclusion that God had closed that door so that He could provide me with a different future. I speculated that perhaps He had orchestrated things to save me from some death or injury on foreign shores, but I was still puzzled by it. Hadn't He directed my steps to that process? What was He going to accomplish by directing me to this repeated failure?

I knew that His hand was at work in my life. I could see Him moving me. I could see Him opening and closing doors. My life wasn't random. I wasn't without guidance or purpose. I wasn't bitter about this, though I was somewhat disappointed for a time. It just seemed odd. Why would God bring me to this, then not see it through?

Truth be told, I could see that it was a maneuvering sequence of events in my life, and it brought me to a place where He could work on other areas in me, especially spiritually. I was fine with His sovereignty in this matter, but I didn't really get it.

The other night my husband and I were watching "Black Hawk Down" together. The thought was suddenly clear in my mind.

The reason I didn't get into the Navy was that it would have made me harder than I already was. The work God has done in recent years to soften me and make me more feminine, more able to bear His image as a woman of God has been extensive. He took me down to my foundation and rebuilt me. To have allowed me to enter the armed forces would have required an even greater, more painful process to redeem my heart and renew my mind. He has plans for me that require me to be soft of heart and spirit. He used this foray toward a military career as an opportunity to bring me to a place where He could work with me, then He protected me from a very real spiritual danger that I was never meant to encounter.

See, this is one of the reasons I love my God. He has a greater good in store for us than we can even imagine, and all it requires of us is our trust, which He gives us. He doesn't need to explain Himself to us. He doesn't owe us anything, but He loves us so much that He invites us to come close to His heart. And what we find there is the answer to our questions-- perhaps not the answer we expect, but the answer nonetheless. He's all about creating beauty from ashes, and I'm so glad that He's the God I serve. Can you imagine a holy God that didn't love? How ferocious that would be! How horrendous our lives would be!

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.                     ~Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NKJV)~

Have you thanked God lately for the conundrums in your life? Have you thanked Him for doing the works you don't understand? Maybe you should... You never know what His purposes may be, and they may, someday, become clear to you. Then again, they may not. Trust Him anyway. It's worth it. :)

Much love,

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