Thursday, September 13, 2012

When God's Purpose Prevails

Today's guest blogger, Tyisha Noise, shares her story with us as it relates to our chapter on Career. It's a powerful testimony. I know you will be challenged and encouraged! 

It’s an exciting stage, to feel like your whole life is ahead of you, that the world is your oyster and that all of your dreams are finally going to come true. Whether you have just finished high school, your GED, college or graduate school, making plans to go forward can be unbelievably exciting. And for others it may be daunting, overwhelming or anxiety provoking. But either way I would like for you to consider the following question:

If you were only given two choices about your future…

(1)  An unknown plan that may or may not include all of the things you currently believe that you want but you know it will be filled with peace, joy, growth, love, protection and prosperity.

(2)   You get exactly what you currently think you want in some of the ways that you planned it with no guarantee of peace, joy, growth, love, protection and prosperity.

The choice is YOURS!

Now most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, would choose B simply because we really just want what we want and we spend lots of our prayer time trying to convince God to give us what we want. Unfortunately many of us, even after walking with the Lord for some time, simply believe that we know what is best for us. And although we believe that God wants the best for us, most of us want “His best”, but we want it “our way” according to “our time schedule.” The area of our career is no exception.

When we think about what we want to do with our lives, many of us think about how much money we want to make or the glitz, glam, prestige or sometimes even the security of the position we desire; however we rarely think about how we can glorify God in/with the position we want so badly.
Throughout my many years of education (I have a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees) and career (nearly 15 years) I have learned that God can use anything. The Lord can take any type of education, knowledge, skill or talent and put us in places wherein we can touch the lives of others and bring glory to His name. I believe that each of us, as Christians, are called to live out the gospel even if we never have the occasion to preach it from behind a pulpit. I believe that a career, occupation or vocation is our personal pulpit and one of the greatest places from which we will ever share our faith. Each of us is on the planet with purpose and it is up to us to seek God and discover that purpose so that we can fulfill it and glorify God.

Now with that said, here are some things to consider:

(1)  God called Jeremiah for a specific purpose before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5)

(2)  God planned all of your days before you ever lived the first one (Psalm 139:16)

(3)  God gifts us according to what needs to be accomplished within our lifetime on the earth (Exodus 31:1-7, Exodus 35:30-35 and Exodus 36:1) *Bezalel and Oholiab   

When God created you, He did so with His desires for a generation in mind. Each of us brings a unique gift and talent to the world that is necessary if God is to accomplish what He pleases within our lifetime. Some of us will be like David, Joseph, Joshua, Deborah or Esther. Other of us may be like Ruth, Mary or Elizabeth. But each of us is born with purpose!

Now I know at this point many of you are saying, but I don’t know what my purpose is? I just want a job and I want to make money. But I must warn you out of my own wisdom. My original career path was completely focused on getting out of poverty and making a “good” living. I wanted to be WEALTHY! What I got, even as I moved through positions and was regularly promoted, was sheer MISERY! I was tired, irritable and frustrated. My relationships with people were pitiful and my devotion to God was “habitual” at best. Because I knew how to use my gifts and I had sharpened and honed my skills through many years of education, I was “generally successful.” I went into management at early age. I had lots of responsibilities. I bought my first house and my first car in my twenties. But none of it satisfied me. And the more I worked the more I came to realize one simple truth… I am only truly passionate about 3 things in life… God, Children/Youth and Education/Learning.

After years of God allowing me to chase what I thought I wanted, a certain degree, a certain position, even a certain salary; most of which I obtained within my twenties, He allowed it to all fall apart. I had my “dream” job but it felt like a nightmare. I had nearly my “dream salary” and it still wasn’t enough. I had a master’s degree by the time I was 27. But none of it held any joy. And I couldn’t figure out how to just walk away from it all because I had too many responsibilities. So in His infinite wisdom and love for me, He just let it all fall apart. I lost my “dream job” and along with it my almost “dream salary.” I had to move out of my “lil’ dream house” on Long Island with the white picket fence. The only thing I got to keep was my car.

While out of work for almost the next eight months God gave me time to think, pray and seek Him. It took four months before I got any clarity but I recall kneeling on the floor in a friend’s apartment and crying out to God and asking Him what He wanted. In an instant, I was transported back to 8 years earlier when God told me not to go to law school (by the way I had already been accepted) and He told me He wanted me to teach. I thought, “Seriously… we’re still talking about that?” So for the next 2 months or so I continued applying for jobs within my field and going on interviews. I must have gone on 30 interviews during that whole time off and finally I ran across an application for NYC Teaching Fellows. I thought… “Ok… why not?” But I took my time completing their application. 

About the same time I started working in the youth ministry at my church, so between youth services, regular services and Christian education classes I found myself in the presence of God quite often. I could feel Him changing my heart, telling me he wanted me to teach. I couldn’t understand it. “Teachers make no money!” I thought. But at that point I didn’t have any money, so no job would be a loss. As I continued to work in youth ministry I found myself falling in love. My kids and I began to bond. I started to see them grow and I had never been so filled with joy in my whole life. So one day during that summer, I said to God… “Ok, fine! Fine! You want me to teach… I’ll teach.” In less than 30 days from that moment I received two job offers to teach college classes, which was one of my dreams. (God is faithful even when we are not!) The Lord provided enough hours for me to get back on my feet. Then He opened the door at NYC Teaching Fellows. I got hired on my first interview. Today four years later, I have my second master’s which was a gift from the City of NY because I am a Teaching Fellow and just a few days ago I received an offer to teach – one that surpasses my dream salary and allows me to do what I was made to do every single day!

So let me ask you this:

(1)  What are you passionate about?
(2)  What gifts/talents/skills has God given you? What are you really good at? 
(3)  If you were independently wealthy and did not need to work for money what would you do for free?
(4)  What kind of education or training do you need to do it?

If these questions are difficult to answer, don’t feel bad. Ask your friends, family and leaders at church to help you figure it out. The Bible says this: But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you! (Matthew 6:33). Think about ways that you can give your gifts back to the world to glorify God. He will take care of the education, favor, promotion, position and prosperity and give you a life beyond what you have dreamed about. Just TRUST Him!

Tyisha Noise is a lover of Jesus, Generation Lit-Up youth leader, member of The Lighthouse Church, teacher, mentor, NYC Teaching Fellow and friend. Follow her on Twitter! 

What did you think of Tyisha's story? Can you relate to it in any way? Share with us in the comment section below! 
We want to hear from you!


Courtney W said...

Hey Jenn, I am so glad you had this guest blogger. I can relate a little bit because I spent my 20s climbing up the corporate ladder and was not happy at all. That's how I ended up at North Park with a salary so low I was considered low income!! I have come a long way since then, but, sometimes, get a little sad about what some of my friends who are still in corporate america can afford. But, this post reminds me that I am right where God wants me to be. Thanks Jenn! Courtney

Jennifer Roth said...

Courtney! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! It's always comforting to know we are right where God wants us. I'm grateful for that low income job @ NPU you (and I!) had cuz I got to meet you! :)

I pray you're doing well.

Lots of love!

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, I Love this.Thank you Jen and Ty for posting this.It made me trust God more about my future because I have no idea where I'm going or where he's taking me.Thanks:)

Jennifer Roth said...


Thank you for sharing! Praise God for His faithfulness. He sees you and has a special plan for you.

Here's a verse I am constantly clinging to...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Be blessed!