Encouragement for the journey

How would you expect God to reach out to you? Through passages in the Bible? Through Mass or reconciliation? Perhaps even through a family member or a friend? All those seem like logical sources for God’s wisdom. Perhaps He tried to get through to me using one of these methods and I missed the message. But of all things, I certainly didn’t expect God to speak to me through a cozy murder mystery story.

I have been following Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year podcast and I have learned so much in the four months I’ve been listening. However, recently I wanted to pick up a book to read purely for entertainment, something that didn’t require too much thinking to read. With a love for Scotland, knitting, and mysteries, I loaded my e-reader with Murder in a Scottish Shire by Traci Hall. The heroine of the story is a single mom who owns a yarn stop and she’s dealing with many changes in her life. She may even need to relocate her shop. As she struggles to come to terms with the changes, she’s often reminded of positive things about change that her grandmother shared. These sayings certainly seemed to apply to what was going on in my life as well.

I officially gave notice to my company and am preparing to begin a new job, however, I’ve been plagued by doubts about this huge change. While the platform I’ll be working on is the same, it is a newer version. Add that to almost 20 years at the same company, and it’s not surprising that I’m feeling all sorts of fear and anxiety. 

“‘Change is opportunity, and only a fool fears it!’ Gran’s voice shouted in her head.” That line stopped me in my tracks. It was then that I realized all the negative thoughts I’ve been having about switching jobs were fear of the unknown. The new job is an excellent opportunity and I really am thrilled to embark on this new path in my career. This line from the book was like the voice of God reassuring me that I made the right decision. As I paused and reflected on this line, I felt nothing but comfort and peace. And then I started chuckling, realizing God certainly has a sense of humor and only He could speak so eloquently through another’s writing. 

I should not have been surprised. As the author of life, God can speak to us through all of what’s around us: people, animals, plants, music, or any other vehicle He chooses. I don’t believe in coincidences. I was not actively looking for a job, yet one was practically wrapped up with a bow and presented to me. I hadn’t been reading fiction for months and to pick out the one novel that I not only found enjoyable, but that conveyed the very encouragement I needed  cannot be chalked up as a fluke. It is the very hand of God waving hello to me, letting me know He’s here on the journey with me. He knows best how to communicate with me. What an awesome God He is!

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