Purpose In This Place

I wrote a poem for last year’s NaPo that began, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

It was in a completely different context, but I didn’t realize how true it would end up being.

Wanting to Witness

There’s a stereotype about writers – we’re hermits who sit at our desk and type words all day. Well, I think we all know that stereotypes are rarely true; but sometimes they have a grain of reality.

Between school, Bible Bee studying, writing, and my lack of major interest in sports or drama, I don’t get out of the house all that often.

I mean, sure, I go to church, and homeschool group; but as far as interacting with people outside my group of homeschooled, church-going friends? There hasn’t been much opportunity.

…children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world… (Philippians 2:15)

This was the verse I was thinking about one day right after Bible Bee Nationals. That same evening, I started looking up job opportunities.

See, I’m a hermit not by choice.want to be involved, interacting with the culture and the world around me. But I don’t have many chances to do that.

How do you shine as a light in the world, when you’re not in the world in the first place?

I’ve been looking for a job since last December.

I’ve applied at dozens of places. I’ve even had multiple interviews. Somehow, nothing has worked out and every possibility has fallen through.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

How can you be an ambassador, when you’re stuck in your own country and all the flights are either cancelled or delayed?

Waiting and Wondering

I had an interview at Walmart, and that job is still a definite possibility; but what I didn’t foresee were the endless complications stemming from the unfortunate fact that I’m not eighteen yet (and Florida has some really strict labor laws for minors). The managers are working on figuring it out, said they’d call me when they do.

So I’m waiting. Going through my days just like usual. Pricking my ears at the sound of the telephone. Hoping against hope that this time, this phone call, will be it.

Because this, right here, right now, is not where I want to be. And I don’t understand why it’s taking so long, why all the waiting, why this continual limbo.

Somehow the topic of witnessing keeps coming up. Sunday School, Bible study, articles across the internet.

I can’t seem to get away from it. And I can’t seem to do anything about it.

I believe – strongly – that God is calling me to be a witness to the world – just like He calls all believers. But how? How, when all my attempts are frustrated? Four months of searching, and still nothing.

Recently I’ve been memorizing Isaiah 40. These verses come to mind often.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
(Isaiah 40:12-14)

There’s something I was told by both my dad and a few good friends when this whole catastrophe began: “God will put you where you will glorify Him the most.”

And so I have to believe that God – the God who holds oceans in His hands, the God whose understanding surpasses infinitely that of the wisest man on earth – this God has put me where I am today.

And that must mean He has a purpose for me right here. I don’t understand why He would hold me back from the calling in my heart, but somehow my being in this place will work more greatly for His glory than my being anywhere else.

This isn’t where I want to be, but this is where I am. I’m still praying. I still believe I need to be witnessing. But I guess what I need to remember is to be present. Be here. Give all of myself to whatever situation I’m in right now.

Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:13

I’m waiting; and maybe I’ll be waiting for a while.

So I pray for the strength to rejoice.

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