God amazes me as He continues to open doors in my life. This new door He flew open despite all my attempts to become an astronaut. Yes, an astronaut.
About one month after my heart was shattered, I was distraught and without a plan. Mind you, I am a planner extraordinaire! I not only always have a plan, I have ten back-ups to that plan! Needless to say, my plan of being married to my best friend, teaching and living happily ever after was suddenly demolished. Being single with no job and no where to go had never crossed my plan radar.
This particular day I was having a very difficult time. Wise counsel of others advised me to not begin teaching quite yet. They suggested that I take a year to get my emotions and life back in order. I had no earthly clue what I was going to do. That's when it hit me - DUH!!! I AM GOING TO BECOME AN ASTRONAUT!
Those of you who know me well are aware that I have a tendency to be dramatic, especially when I am in my "pit of despair!" But, in my mind, this was a brilliant plan. Quite literally I was looking at the NASA website when my best friend, Chelsea, called me. I answered quite excitedly! "CHELS! I have decided to become an astronaut!!!" "Oh dear… I'm coming over," she replied.
By the time she arrived I was lying in a ball on the floor with tears streaming down my face as I realized that NASA wasn't quite an option and that my world had just really fallen apart.
Chelsea is very honest and is one of the few people on this planet who can get through my thick skull. She sat on the floor speaking God's promises over me and stroked my hair until my tears had dried. "Chels, what am I going to do?" I pleaded with her. Matter-of-factly, she said "Why don't you apply for an internship somewhere?" She continued to explain that it would be temporary and I would have the opportunity to minister to others and ultimately that would contribute to my broken heart's healing. Together we Googled Christian woman internships. Dannah Gresh's Pure Freedom internship was the first search result.
I was so excited! Dannah is the author of one of my favorite books, And The Bride Wore White. (I highly recommend this book for all young girls!) When I was a freshman in high school, I had read the book and participated in a Pure Freedom Bible study led by one of my Giants in the Faith, Shelly Coll. Being a part of that experience is what helped me solidify my decision to remain pure until my wedding night.
Dannah essentially helped me save that part of my life as she obeyed the voice of the Father and wrote. To me, she is famous - the thought of working for her team overwhelmed me.
Chelsea and I researched a bit more and discovered the website we were looking at was outdated by two years… they were looking for interns for 2010. My heart sunk. Prodding a bit more, Chelsea encouraged me to send an email anyway. "You really have nothing else to lose, Heth!" Reluctantly I did and fully expected to hear nothing.
In April, I was surprised to receive an email back. They were looking for interns and asked me to send my resume and application to them! Overwhelmed, I tried to contain my hope and excitement. But, another month passed and I heard nothing. I graduated from Lubbock Christian University in May with no plan whatsoever following commencement.
Two weeks later, my phone finally rang… the number I did not recognize but I answered anyway. "Hi Heather, this is Eileen from Pure Freedom…" Bless her heart, I tried not to scream into the phone! Sitting in my bath robe on the floor of my bedroom, we conducted a 30 minute phone interview which ended with a beautiful prayer. "We will hopefully notify you of a decision by the first part of June." My hopes were higher than ever. "Please God…" I begged. "I have nothing else…"
I had prayed that the Lord would open some kind of door before what was to be my wedding day on June 2nd. "God, if I just had a glimpse of what you were doing it would make that day so much easier to get through…" But, the week of the wedding arrived and there was still no word.
My Dad had taken the family to Las Vegas for the week. He has business out there every summer but decided that we all needed to get out of town. Two days before my wedding day, I decided to go skydiving… I have the greatest Daddy in the world. He was not thrilled, but he went with me! It was the most amazing experience of my life!!!!
On cloud nine, we went and picked up the rest of the family for an afternoon of shopping. Walking through a mall, my phone rang - PA, USA. I froze hardly able to answer. "Hello?" "Heather, we would love for you to come work for us at Pure Freedom." Remember that I said I was dramatic? Well, it was warranted this time! I let out a squeal and began to cry. Skydiving and a job in the same day!!!
I can not doubt that God has opened this door and used my sweet and precious friend Chelsea to help scoop me off the floor. Moving to Pennsylvania is one of the last things I would ever do! But here I go!
About a year ago, I prayed that the Lord would help me with my fear; I knew I was consumed by it. I feared losing loved ones - I lost all of my grandparents within six months of one another. It hurt - but I was ok. I lived in fear of losing my fiancé. I lost him, and I am ok. I lived in fear of being alone. I have really been alone for about a year now, and guess what? I am ok. The last fear that I was clinging to was of change and moving far from home. Pennsylvania, here I come! And, I know I will be ok. God's perfect love casts out all fear - 1 John 4:18
God has allowed me to keep just a little bit of my astronaut dream. In my spirit for the last month I have been hearing, "Heather, are you ready to be launched?" "Ummmm, no Lord. Can we not just gently take off or ascend? Launching sounds scary." I was quite bothered by the theme of being launched. At a women's Bible study, I had another faith giant who is a prayer warrior state, "God is going to launch you…" Eeek!! The following week at church I had a loving couple tell me that they had a vision of me in a slingshot that was pulled back very tightly. Oh dear!
As I have begun to pack and prepare for my cross-country road trip, I have of course begun to battle fear. Being on my own in a new place scares me to pieces. I have had a few melt downs and shed many tears. But, God has continued to teach me about this launching process. In order to launch correctly and in order to lift straight up, I can not be holding on to anything that is meant to stay on the ground. Those things would become extra weight that would limit my altitude and could potentially cause me to launch crooked or drift off-course or even worse, crash and burn. I have to completely let go of the things I so desperately want to cling to; the love for my ex-fiancé, the comfort of my family, the familiarity of my friends, and the what-should-have-beens in order to fly.
I don't know where God is launching me, but I am confident that as long as He goes with me, His perfect will will be done. In Exodus 33 Moses inquires of God how he is supposed to carry out the daunting task ahead of him. In verse 14, the Lord states, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end." Praise God for that promise! That's what I am taking with me!
Revelation 3:8 talks about doors being opened and closed by God alone. This lesson has been hard for me to learn as well. The door that I thought was opening to me suddenly and without warning slammed shut almost pinching my fingers in the process. This new door has flown open but truth be told, I am terrified to go through it. Imagine a small child clinging to the door jam because they refuse to go - that's me! The Lord may have to drop-kick me through this one! Be careful: God says He opens doors and closes them. He does not just leave them cracked… if any door in your life requires force on your part to open or shut, I encourage you to check your heart. (I am speaking from painful experience here!) When you ask the Lord to clearly show you a door, I pray that your eyes will be opened and you will be obedient, even if you don't understand. There is nothing more stingingly painful than a pinky finger smashed in a door!
I am not the only one being launched. God wants to launch you as well. Whether that is as the leader of your household, through the doors of your workplace or from behind your desk in the classroom, or into outer space! Even if you don't know where you are going, what you're doing, or how in the blue blazes you are going to conquer the mountain that lies in front of you, know without a doubt that the Lord will go with you - He promised!
Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and support as I begin this new leg of my journey. Love you family and friends!