The Best Author I Know

One thing I love about how God shapes our lives is His uncanny way of creating unforeseen twists and turns in the setting, the plot, and the cast of characters. I’m not talking about major surprises coming out of left field (though He does do that); I’m talking about subtle nuances written into one’s life that weave a story of God’s goodness, His glory, and His perfect plan for us.

The specifics of our story are expertly crafted to work together for God’s greater purpose and our greater good. { <—- Tweet this! }

God - Creator and Pulitzer Prize Winner

When we moved to Idaho in September, I hadn’t planned to work, at least for awhile. Though Tim would have supported me either way, we decided it would benefit our family most if I didn’t work straight away.

Turns out, I really needed that time to process the way our story had been written thus far. So much transition – new marriage, new location, new church community, and Tim’s new job – had been jammed into a few months. It almost felt like God had ended my story and started writing a brand new one.

Maybe in a way He did, but I like to think of it as just another volume in the set on Emily Catherine Gardner – this one entitled, The 9.0 Transition Earthquake.

I’m still processing, however, I’m finally allowing God to pen some joy back into my heart. I may prefer living closer to family and friends, but God has demonstrated time and time again that He’s a better writer than me and I should let Him shape my story. { <– Tweet this! } He’s certainly writing an interesting chapter right now, full of those subtle nuances I was talking about.

I got a job a month ago. The job simultaneously combines one of my favorite things and one of my least favorite things: traveling and talking to strangers. {I’ll let you work out which one is which.} I work for a marketing research company that does impact studies for a few major restaurant chains when they want to open a new location near an existing location. I travel to the site and survey customers.

When I got married, I thanked God that during my 24 years of single-hood I had the opportunity to travel extensively abroad for school and missions. He allowed me to explore the world while I had the freedom to do so. Though Tim is an adventurer like myself, the life of a youth pastor is not conducive to a ton of travel. I had my time of mourning for the end of my major traveling season and left it to God to help me be content in one place.

Not only has God provided a job that helps us along in our goal to be debt free {so close!}, I get to travel a lot! {Boston and Chicago last month and Orlando currently.} The travel bug bites and I no longer have to dose it in Benadryl cream.

{God’s plan – 1, Emily’s plan – 0}

author and creator

My only reluctance towards this job was the necessity of approaching countless strangers. I don’t have much initiative when it comes to talking and I generally avoid eye contact with surveyors in a restaurant or on the street. I figured this would just be the price I had to pay for traveling.

After walking up to almost 1,000 strangers {rejections included}, I have developed more confidence in my social presence. The “go say hi to people” time at church is less intimidating. Giving announcements and demonstrating absurd poses for a game at youth group {that one’s for you, Lindsay} aren’t butterfly inducing anymore.

As a pastor’s wife in a new church, I am so thankful for my new found ability to talk with strangers and be socially assertive. I’m no Chatty Kathy, mind you, and I still feel awkward at times, but I’ve made marked improvement. I’m not sure how else I could have developed that so quickly if it weren’t for this job.

{God’s plan – 2, Emily’s plan – 0}

The things that seem to just happen in life don’t just happen. They are written into the plot for a reason. Often, those reasons aren’t apparent at first. Sometimes they even appear distasteful, like talking to a bunch of people you don’t know. But God is the author and creator of our lives. He is a life-smith with a supernatural ability to write the perfect story for each of His precious kids. { <– Tweet this! }

9 thoughts on “The Best Author I Know

  1. I relate to this quite a bit. It’s great that God’s plan (unlike our plan) also prepares us for the future opportunities to serve Him (like the “go and say hello” part of church) and also keeps us open for Him to keep blessing us in unplanned ways. :)

  2. Emily, I relate to this in so many ways. I was not too excited when J and I moved to Philadelphia. We are away from family, we missed Christmas in MN & ID and we still haven’t gotten plugged into a church. It’s funny how the Lord writes our story. We have had many blessed experiences and seen God’s hand in our move since living in Philly. Thank you for sharing your heart. Take pictures for your travels!

    1. It’s amazing how many times I’ve been so unpleased with a circumstance only to have God change my perspective (most of the time against my best efforts against a changed mind) to see His good and perfect gifts. I continue to pray for community in Philly.

  3. I love this! God has amazing ways of equipping us for what He calls us to do, and He is so faithful. I love how you are seeing how He is working things all together for your good and for His glory!

  4. This is so great, Emily! I’m really glad you are enjoying and learning from the job! I definitely miss the travelling that job allowed, and the meeting new people- even if it meant taking the scary step of initiating conversations that only lasted for a few minutes. But you are right, the courage is a transferrable skill- I even talked to some new girls at youth group last night :)

    Also, my whole body was sore for a week after that crazy youth group game ;)

    1. Haha – I never knew a bunk bed could be so tricky :) Popeyes is a whole new learning experience…

  5. Regardless of what we think your plans are, it’s amazing how things always turn out the way they’re supposed to… and usually we learn a lot and appreciate the process upon reflection. Thanks for an inspiring post.

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