January 30, 2009

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Where is God leading you? You may be surprised

Debra Tomaselli“I’m sorry this is happening to you,” my husband, Joe, said as he slipped into the recliner after dinner one night.

What was happening was that the economic crisis hit home. I cringed at the thought of giving up full-time writing to return to the business world, but it is what I needed to do.

As I settled into the couch across from him, my own response startled me.

“Joe,” I said, “you don’t have to apologize to me about going back to work. This isn’t your fault.”

I leaned forward, elbows on knees.

“These circumstances are much bigger than you,” I said. “God knows what’s happening. My ‘yes’ isn’t to you, my ‘yes’ is to God himself.”

It was in that moment, before I even arranged the first interview, that my work was ordained.

And graced it was.

As a former insurance professional, I chose to return to that field.

Initially, I phoned three contacts in the area. One laughed, and said they had just laid off 10 employees. Another said her agency wasn’t as unfortunate as others because only one position was eliminated. She promised to contact me if business picked up. A third agency never returned my call.

I should have phoned an agency that I had a longstanding relationship with, but for some unknown reason something held me back while, for two more weeks, I wrestled with the parameters of re-entering the business world.

Then one day, while driving home from Mass, the answer rose from within. I knew just exactly what responsibilities that I wanted, the hours I was willing to work, and the compensation I needed to balance my writing and my business.

And I knew it was time to call that agency. Almost instantly, they hired me.

“I’m really glad you are here,” the department manager said on my first day of work.

I learned that in the last two weeks two people had left that department. Suddenly, I understood why something stopped me from calling them in my first round of contacts. My timing couldn’t have been better. And yet, I knew it wasn’t my timing. It was God’s perfect plan.

Since I’ve started working, there is no doubt it is where I’m supposed to be.

I’ve walked beside co-workers dealing with sickness, suffering and even death. I’ve shared in their joys, and divided their sorrows. One day, one of them hugged me and thanked me for my faith. Another asked how I could be so genuinely happy all the time.

Maybe you, too, are facing changes. Perhaps your current situation doesn’t match the plans you had for this stage of your life. Don’t be afraid. Trust God.

After all, it’s not about taking a job or losing a job, working in business or writing full time.

It’s about being where God wants us to be. It’s about saying “yes” to a God who is in control of our situations. It’s about trusting him at all times. It’s about sharing our faith and our hope with a world that so desperately needs it.

Embrace the changes. After all, our “yes” is to God himself.

(Debra Tomaselli lives in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Her column appears in several diocesan newspapers. Her e-mail address is dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.) †

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