In my early working career, I liked my job in administration at a new hospital, but a big brand new company moved to town. They had an opening for a human resources director, and I interviewed. The vice president said his boss’s daughter applied, and it was between the two of us. In the meantime, other jobs came available, and I applied for those. The interviews were positive, and I was sure I would be hired for one of them.

I had prayed about this change, and I didn’t understand when I wasn’t chosen for any of them. Why had I been called back for second interviews and not one of them panned out? What was God trying to teach me?

A prominent doctor came to my office, and he told me his neighbor was the vice president who had interviewed me. He said the man wanted to hire me, but his boss made him hire his daughter. This doctor asked me not to leave. I was upset the doctor found out.

Then the chief operating officer told me he was the other neighbor to this vice president. He asked why I was leaving. He also wanted me to stay. I did stay, and the raises and opportunities were good. A year later, the big company I’d been to for interviews didn’t succeed, and a large number of employees were let go, including the vice president of human resources!

The lesson I learned was that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, and I should appreciate the plans the Lord had for me right where I was working. He already knew this would happen. I thanked the Lord for taking care of me—and telling me no.

Are you struggling to understand why the Lord has told you no? We may not know right away why God says no to a request, but we can rest assured God has our best interest at heart.

Molly Jebber writes Amish historical romance. Her award-winning books have made Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten List, live interviews on news sites, and received near excellent ratings from RT, and featured in USA HEA. She’s a national speaker for Women’s Christian Connection and guest lecturer at Ohio State University, libraries and conferences on writing, publishing, and marketing. She loves God, her family, and friends.

 

 

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Thankful… Years Later by Judith Couchman

New York, New York. As a young woman, that’s all I wanted. In New York City, I would morph into a valued editor and writer. I would create a stylish lifestyle. I would prove my talent and worthiness. I would become who I longed to be–patterned after female writers in the biographies on my bookshelves–but of course, not addicted and less screwed up.

But even with those lavish dreams, I didn’t move to New York to work and write. Although in my late twenties a reliable NYC company offered me a job, I turned it down. Not long before that offer, I’d returned to a walk with God after an eight-year spiritual defection. At that juncture, I felt an unyielding call to work in Christian publishing. Within a year, I joined a Christian publishing house, but not without bits of doubt.

Through the years I wondered about my road less taken in Christian publishing, versus the tantalizing road to New York. Did I chose the right path? What would have transpired if I’d lived in Manhattan? And through the decades, I watched a few friends, one at a time, accept jobs in the City but in a year or two, leave feeling demolished.

Eventually, I privately admitted that with my ADD and emotionality, I might have fled New York with similar wounds. It can be an unrelenting place to work. I can’t know for sure, but crumpling felt like a high probability. Christian publishing suited me better, and in that industry, God allowed me to spiritually affect lives. Although many Christians migrate to that city and meet success, I’m not certain I would have fulfilled my dreams. They were selfish and uppity. They didn’t reflect God’s way.

Gratitude for Unanswered Prayer

Yesterday, as a nation we celebrated Thanksgiving Day. Rightly so, during this holiday we focus on fulfilled desires, unexpected blessings, and answered prayers shouting God’s love. We feel thankful. At the same time, we can also express gratitude for certain unanswered dreams and prayers. The pathways God blocked with a better plan, more fashioned for you.

What if I’d married my high school sweetheart? What if I’d taken that assignment or trip? What if I’d spent large sums of money on that program? With time, we might feel grateful for “the things that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to.” We can feel relieved.

Think back on your writing and speaking ministry. Your family and personal life. What desires and prayers remained unanswered? Can you say “thanks be to God” for these blocked pathways? Tell Him. And gladly anticipate what’s next.

About Judith Couchman

Judith Couchman has traditionally published more than forty books, Bible studies, and compilations. She’s also worked as an editor, speaker, and writing coach. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com.

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