Tag Archives: unemployment

A Little Sabbatical

Long time no write!

In September, I joined a student internship through my church–New Song Christian Fellowship. Since then, there’s been a whirlwind of classes, meetings, learning, mentoring, working, sleeping, eating…

And during all of that activity, there has not been much time for me to sit at home on the computer on the internet.

But hey, that’s totally a wonderful thing! For awhile, I’ve been longing for an internet sabbatical. Well, I got one!

It’s been wonderful to be immersed in ministry to the point of not having time for the computer.

Here’s what’s happened since my last blog:

I needed a new job. I looked for one. I found one. Now I’m working seasonally at a home decor store. When the Christmas season is over, I think my temporary seasonal job will end too. So now I’m on the lookout for the next job.

I’ve taken and completed one term of Bible classes in my student internship at New Song. I took Pentateuch, Systematic Theology and Spiritual Leadership. I recently turned in my finals (Dec. 1) and now I’m waiting on my grades for those classes. I think I did well on the finals and I really enjoyed those classes. In January, I start my second term of classes.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I’m too busy for the internet and that’s a wonderful thing.

I’ll post again when I’ve got some free time. Have a Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the important One here, not materialism.

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What Is Knew?

What do I know?  What’s there that I knew?

What’s knew is I’ve been learning a lot from my church lately.  There’s always something that I could blog about but whenever I’m really pensive it’s never when I’m at a computer.  And a BlackBerry really isn’t the best tool for writing a long blog.

So, bullet-point-esque as it is, here’s a quick run down…

1. I lost one job and got another.  (Doesn’t it seem like I’m always talking about jobs?  Feels like that to me.)  I was working as a Human Resources Assistant for about two months.  That’s what I started doing after my four month employment hiatus.  However, that job was temporary and its tempness ran out.  Thankfully, my manager told me a week ahead of time that my assignment was ending.  So, I applied at local grocery stores, banks, retail stores, etc.  I was willing to do pretty much anything to serve my community, even if it meant working as a cashier though I have a college degree.

However, my former boss (the one I had while working at CCM Magazine) called me up and offered me contract work at her current job.  She was laid off from CCM a little while before I was.  So, thank the Lord, I am now working again as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist.  Basically I help make websites more search engine friendly.  It’s fun.  It combines math and English.  It’s always interesting.  If you need any SEO help, I’m your girl.  🙂

The weekend after I found out my temp job was ending, a little bit of worry crept in.  You are aware of how the economy is right now.  Although I believe in God and trust His provision in my life, it’s sooooooo easy to fall into worry and concern over my financial future.  However, one evening while I was taking my dog for a stroll, God really spoke to me.  He said, “Lindsay, you have to believe Me for Who I am.  I am not a God of doubt or anxiety or fear.  I am a God of trust, faithfulness, belief and faith.  If you are believing in fear, worry and anxiety, then I can’t help you because I am not those things.  But if you believe and have faith for provision, protection and promotion, then I can deliver those things.  I can’t and won’t compromise My character so you need to trust me for who I AM.” 

That was a revelation!  God can’t deliver doubt.  He can’t deliver fear.  Cuz those things are not His character.  He can deliver aspects of who He is but cannot deliver aspects of who He is not.  Glorious revelation.

I also received another dog-walking revelation a week or so ago.  As my dog was doing his business, I prophesying over my life and speaking truth over my unemployed situation.  (Obviously, at that time, I did not yet know of the Search Engine Optimization job.)  I was walking around on the cold night and saying things like, “God will provide.  I am in His will.  I am walking obediently.  I am under His hand of blessing.” 

Soon, counter thoughts came in from the Enemy.  “You can’t trust God to come through for you.  Look at the economy.  You’re going to be unemployed again.  You’ll never get another job right now.  In fact, you are speaking in pride when you say God will provide.  You’re being conceited.  You are supposed to be humble.  God will oppose this.”

And, God (through the Holy Spirit) replied, “Whoa, whoa…wait a minute here.  Trusting Me is not prideful.  In fact, it’s humble.  What’s the definition of humility, Lindsay?”

“Humility is confidence properly placed in Christ,” I said.

“That’s right.” He replied, joyfully.  “So, if humility is confidence properly placed in Me and I oppose the proud and give grace to the humble, then there is nothing wrong or prideful with trusting in Me.”

“Exactly!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly.” He responded.

There’s nothing wrong with trusting God completely because He is entirely faithful to provide. 

Another lie from Satan refuted.  Another thought victory won.

2. The Church as a whole is suffering from Bible illiteracy.  That’s a big one, folks.  A big one.  So big that it may offend some of you as readers.  And, if you are offended by that, then it supports my point of being Bible illiterate.  Cuz the Bible says not to take offense. 🙂

But seriously though.  There isn’t enough Fear of the Lord in the Church today.  People don’t revere God.  People are not really in awe of Him.  And they are espeically not in awe of His Word, i.e. the Bible. 

It’s known as “The Good Book.”  If the book’s so good then why do so few people read it?  Why does no one study it and pore over the words on the pages like they pore over Harry Potter, Twilight or a Mark Twain novel?  I am speaking with exaggerated words here when I say “no one.”  But on the grand scale, it seems like no one.

I’m not just speaking to you all.  I’m also reminding myself.  I admit/confess that I do not know the Bible as well as I need to.  I will be pursuing the Word with more purpose and focus from now on.

3. I had five points a minute ago and the last three somehow got deleted because I was typing so fast and then suddenly it was gone.  I hate it when that happens.  (The things I go through for you, Abi.)

4. We officially launched New Song Murfreesboro (http://www.new-song.com) on October 26.  We meet in a movie theater.  It’s awesome to have a full-time Sunday morning church after over a year of preparation.

5. I led worship at Life Group (our church’s small group ministry) for the first time last Wednesday.  It was awesome!  It’s a humbling and awe-inspiring experience to lead worship.  I love it.  I’m excited to grow in this area.

6. My interest for marriage has been piqued.  I sense that I’m ready to move into a marriage season.  No I’m not dating.  No I’m not courting.  However, I want to do those things.  I mean…almost every single person wants to be un-single to some degree.  But I really am sensing a desire for marriage rising up inside of me.  I’m not discontent with being single.  I don’t hate being single.  I’m not even complaining.  But I am saying that I do want to get married some day.  And I hope that day comes soon.  *nod*

7. I think I’m done.  After the fiasco of losing half this blog, I better quit while these words are still here.

New Page: Contending For MTSU

I just posted a new page on this blog called Contending For MTSU. Be sure to check it out. There you’ll find specific information about my pursuit of a job and a successful college ministry at Middle Tennessee State University.

Whenever I post an update there, I’ll try to post an update here, too. For now, here’s a repost of what’s on that page. Check it out at https://lettersfromlindsay.wordpress.com/contending-for-mtsu or just click the link on the top of my blog.

Since May 2008, I’ve been contending for the local college campus through prayer walks and praying scripture.

I believe that God has promised me a job there. I have been unemployed since May 2008. This page is to document my journey to a job at MTSU and to highlight a few of the prayer points and revelations God has revealed through my prayer walks there.

August 13, 2008: Exactly three months after being laid off at my last job.
Last night, before I went to bed, I read more in the book Visioneering by Andy Stanley. Andy referred to the first few chapters of Nehemiah. In those chapters, Nehemiah received a vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and ask the king to grant him favor and finances to help him rebuild the walls. Take note that Nehemiah was asking a rival king to finance the rebuilding of a city that his predecessors destroyed. Seems like a steep request.

Well, when I went to the campus to pray today, God led me to the business building. Last week, I applied for a job in the business department. So, as I made my way across campus, I prayed for favor with the people responsible for hiring in the business department. I also thanked God for giving me a job at MTSU. Though, by worldly standards, I don’t have a job yet. By worldly standards, I am still unemployed. But in the Spirit, God has promised me a job there.

It is so amazing to hear God speak to me so clearly about my future at the college. Not only has He promised me a job, but He’s now led me to a specific department to pray for. Awesome!

I’ll keep you updated on any progress.

In Transmission

It’s nearly August and I am still unemployed. As of August 13, it will be exactly three months.

I am in transition. From working in Nashville to working in Murfreesboro. From what I thought was everything I wanted to what I know is everything I’ll need.

I’ve invested many hours in petitioning God and asking Him what I should do. Questions like: Where should I apply? What should I say in the cover letter? Where are You leading me?

Honestly, I haven’t received a clear word from Him on where to apply. He hasn’t said, “Lindsay, I want you to apply for the Claim Processor 1 position at State Farm.” He hasn’t said, “Direct your attention to the Daily News Journal and look for jobs there.”

During the entirety of this time He hasn’t called me to go on to the next job. Rather, He has asked me to stay. He reminded me of things He said months ago and is still saying now. Things that I ignored. Things I took too lightly. Things I thought were clever ideas and crafty suggestions. He asked me to linger in His presence, spend time and grow in intimacy with Him.

In the words of my pastor, “With every encounter comes a commission.” Whenever I spend time with God, I should come away with a conviction for the next task He’s called me to.

I’ve been thinking that God would give me directions on job stuff. I’m unemployed. Shouldn’t He be getting me out of this? Shouldn’t He be providing for me? Shouldn’t He do this? Shouldn’t He do that?

No.

Romans 9:20-22 (NIV) says: 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “[a] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Who am I to tell God what He should and should not say to me at certain times in my life? Who am I to direct Him to where He should lead me? Who am I to demand that He only speak to me about a pressing circumstance?

It is not my place to talk to God like that. By His character, God will provide for me. He is my provider. He just may not necessarily provide for me in the way that I expect Him to.

I cannot worry about my status of unemployment. It is not as if God is not aware that I am jobless. He knows this. He knew about it thousands of years ago. And just the same, He knows the exact moment when I will receive the next job. He’s not biting His fingernails and pacing around Heaven saying, “OMS (Oh My Self)! I am so worried about Lindsay. I don’t know what her next move should be. I’m not sure what she should do tomorrow. Oh. I’m so nervous about this.”

God is the potter. I am the clay. I am being molded, refined and perfected for my next venture. I can’t wonder why He made me into a pot of unemployment.

I researched what the word “command” means, and part of its biblical definition means, “transmitting a message.”

Although I haven’t received anything in my GodMail inbox regarding a job interview, I have received a few messages from Him regarding the ways I’ve disobeyed things He told me to do.

He told me to start taking prayer walks on the local college campus in December. I didn’t start those until May/June. He told me to write my mom a very important letter sometime in January. I didn’t do that until May. God called me to Murfreesboro in the winter of 2006. I didn’t get a local Murfreesboro number until a few days ago.

As you can read, God gave me concise directions. And I ignored them. I thought they were just ideas and suggestions. To that, God replied, “They are commands, not suggestions.”

Lots of people complain that God doesn’t speak to them. They don’t hear Him because they aren’t listening.

After months of disobedience, I realize that I am not only in transition. But I am in transmission. God is transmitting messages to me. God is commanding me. And as I receive each message and follow each command I know that they will eventually lead to a job.

I think God has asked me to stay here because I needed to comply with His previously ignored commands before I can move to the next thing.

I started taking prayer walks. I wrote my mom the letter. I have a new cell phone and a local number. I am looking for jobs in Murfreesboro instead of Nashville.

Just yesterday I asked God to tell me His next command. During the launching stage of New Song Murfreesboro (the church in my town) I missed a few sermons because of the transition. God told me to listen to all of the sermons since April. He originally told me this in April, but I didn’t do it then. However, He reminded me of this command so I began the process of listening to the old messages today.

After an honest assessment of myself, I think I’ve complied to all of God’s commands for me that I had previously ignored. While I hope that He commands me to apply for a specific job soon, I will still obey whatever command He tells me, whether it involves a job or not.

Seeds and Leads

I met Brooke Fraser last Thursday.  She is a wonderful woman of God.  She has a great voice too.  Brooke played a concert in Nashville and I was blessed enough to make her acquaintance.  I took tons of pictures but have not taken the time to put them on my computer yet.  Perhaps later…

The reason I got to meet her is because I wrote an article about her for CCMmagazine.com.   Because of that mass of words, I received free tickets to the show and an opportunity to meet her.  So, of course, I took it.

In case you aren’t familiar with her, please, read the article.  It’s got the basic gist of who she is and what she’s up to.  In short, Brooke Fraser is a solo artist with a massive career overseas who is trying to break into the U.S.  Additionally, she’s a member of Hillsong United, a music ministry movement of Hillsong Church in Australia.  She’s an amazing songwriter with an awesome voice and is definitely worth looking into!

Brooke has a song called “Seeds.”  It’s on her new CD “Albertine.”  That’s where the first half of this blog title came from.

The second half pertains to me and my ever-popular job search story.  I’ve got a few leads now through friends who work at particular companies.  I must say that it is way more encouraging to apply for jobs when I know that somebody already working there can help me out than it is to apply “cold” to jobs.

One of my leads is at my roommate’s aunt’s workplace.  She is supposed to talk to her friend in the HR department today.  At this point, I’m most excited about working there because of the earnings potential.  I’m not a money-monger, but I do have a godly desire to support my friends who are missionaries.  A few of them have contacted me recently asking me to support them and I’ve had to deny my assistance.  I didn’t enjoy doing that.  I also would love to try and bless my roommate financially.  She has helped me out so much since I moved here a year and a half ago.  From buying me lunch sometimes to paying a little extra on the grocery bill, she’s truly been a shining example of service to me.  I want to repay her for that…literally.   I am not sure if she’ll see this blog, but if she does, my thanks go to you, Shay.

I’ve started prayer walking on the local college campus.  I was sulking in my bed one day trying to sleep off my feelings when God spoke to me and said that I should go prayer walk on campus.  He’d planted that idea in me months ago but I had not yet done it.  However, last Saturday, I armed myself with scripture and went to pray.  Now, nearly a week later, I’ve gone there nearly every day praying scripture over the students, the faculty and the campus.

Let it be known that I didn’t receive any job leads until after I started prayer walking.  When God calls you to do something, it’s in your best interest to obey.  Because obedience brings rewards.

Listen, obey, receive.  It kind of reminds me of lather, rinse, repeat.  🙂

In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea

You’d think that after sitting around and thinking for three weeks that I’d have wonderful things to say.

You’d think my words would be eloquent and divinely inspired.

You’d think they would be full of revelation and profound truth.

You’d think…

I’d say that, yeah, I have learned a lot in this time. Yeah, I do have great things to say. Sure, if I sat here long enough and proofread every word three times this blog would flow seamlessly. Certainly I’ve received words of comfort from God. But I don’t know if I’d term them revelationary. (Yeah. That’s a new word.)

My roommate suggested that I fast something until I get a job. I decided to fast pop/soda/coke/cola/soda pop. Truth is, I’d often find myself plotting ways to go out and buy pop. I’d plan my day around my cola intake. I’d say that’s a case of the flesh overtaking my self control. Time out for a mini-lesson. Your flesh is your sinful, lustful, selfish side. Your spirit (that is, if you’re a Christian) is the God-seeking, submissive, righteous, holy side.

Since last week, I’ve not had any pop. It hasn’t been that hard to abstain from drinking it.

However, I noticed that I started drinking sweet tea and eating more candy bars instead. Rather than totally overcoming the urge for sugar, I just transferred the method of sugar intake. Not exactly a successful fasting exercise.

Good news is that I realized this was happening and I’ve taken steps to properly align myself, God, the flesh and my desires.

Some of you may find it weird that I have to starve my flesh into submission. I don’t find it strange. I find it necessary. Contrary to the way America works, our flesh and self-fleshness (‘nother new word combo) are not in charge. The flesh shouldn’t rule all of our desires. We shouldn’t go about our lives driven by our latest lust.

If I’m not careful, I find myself scheming for the next thing that I want. Take now, for example. I want an iPod Touch. My flesh is convinced that I have every good reason to have one. Examine the truth and you’ll find that I already have an iPod Nano. The Nano works fine. I’m unemployed and frankly cannot and should not afford another iPod right now. The main reasons I want an iPod Touch are so I can have wireless connectivity and email wherever I am. I want to beef up my cool factor. I want to have another toy to play with.

I don’t need a new iPod. I just want one. For totally stupid reasons.

If I were still employed, I would’ve purchased that iPod around the time I got laid off. I thought I had enough money to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was planning a trip to New Mexico. I had a newly-deposited stimulus check from the government sitting in my bank account, waiting to be used. I was loving work. I was rolling in self competency.

And then all of that dreaminess and money freedom ended on a Tuesday morning when my boss came in and said my position had been eliminated.

I went from iPod dreams to an, “I’m unemployed,” reality.

Three weeks later, here I am with my third (perhaps fourth blog) about the fact that I’m unemployed. I still haven’t lost hope. I’m still expecting God to do great things.

Here’s what’s different:

1. I’m no longer controlled by my flesh (and ultimately Satan; since he drives all pursuits of the flesh).

2. I’m stewarding the money God has allowed me to temporarily use as my own to pay my bills, sow the seeds of His kingdom and give back to Him mainly in increments of 10%.

3 I’m a prisoner of hope. All I can do is hope. I cannot be negative because I find no moral, spiritual, physical, mental or sensical reason to be negative.

4. I enjoy my life everyday because I’m desperate for God, His provision, His work, His might, His comfort and His promises. I’ve learned the lesson that I need to be desperate for God all of the time. On the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the glad days. All days must be desperate days. Apart from God, I can do nothing. I was aware of that verse and concept but I just didn’t quite get it until I found myself in desperation.

I used to be ashamed of desperation. I have always been the put-together, proud person. I would only tell my life story experiences after they were wrapped up, taken care of and had a happy ending.

And now I am desperate…and I am celebrating it! I need God–more than I need a happy ending, more than I need a great job, more than I need a husband, more than I need food on the table.

In my current mental movie, I see the Nashville skyline on the left and God standing on the right. I hear Him say, “Do you choose to be alone with everything–your dream job, a good paycheck and friendly coworkers? Or do you choose Me alone, your everything? What do you want? Commuter? Or community? Do you want to be alone in your car on the way to work most of your life? Or do you want to work in the community where you live and build relationships with the neighbors around you?”

As I gaze upon the city skyline, I sigh. I see falsely glamorous, busy activity and aimless pursuits in circular, repetitive motion. When I fix my eyes upon Him, my Creator, I see true peace. I see a flowing river next to a stable, rooted, healthy tree.

Without vision, the people perish. Thankfully, you’ve just witnessed me receiving something revelationary.

I choose He alone, my everything.

Idol Dreams

here i recline
listening to unreleased music
not acquired for media purposes
but from the cause of service

i sit without employment
of the job kind
but with the engagement
of God

a relationship highly regarded by many
and bitterly criticized by others
but i’m content with it

i deal with distractions
of addition and subtraction
to the core of what’s enough

faced with an epic battle of wits and will
i choose desire of Him
not an idol pursuit of an empty, self-formulated dream