Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Out of My Control

Around last August, I started thinking about what my upcoming summer would look like. I prayed about it and found myself thinking about what the Lord could have in store for me. I had contacted a few of the leaders from my past summers serving with World Changers. I was told that I'd be perfect for a job with them. I knew it was a long interview process, but I was up for it. I prayed about that a lot, because I didn't want to apply based off of my excitement, I really wanted to feel led to apply; and I did. So I applied.

Later on in the month I reconnected with a friend from Jeff State, Michael Howard. We began talking about summer plans and he said I should apply to work for Student Life. I had only done it once as a 7th grader, but knew great things about it. I remember scrolling past it one day when I was on the computer looking up camps. I remember thinking, "It's probably too late." So I didn't think about it until he brought it up. After that phone call, it was very heavy on my heart. It was on my mind so much so I lost sleep over it. I got butterflies thinking about working for them. Weird reaction I know, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. So I said that after Passion, I'd apply if I felt led to. I ended up applying. I was kinda confused about why I was applying for both, but He knew what He was doing. 

I had my WC's and SL's interviews back to back. One on Monday and one on Tuesday in January. WC's was up first. It went very well and I informed them that I wasn't trying to hide anything, just trying to seek out the Lord's Will for me, so I informed them of my interest in Student Life. I asked them to please pray for discernment and if they didn't feel 100% about me, then to let me go. They appreciated my honesty. I appreciated the Lord giving me the peace I did about the situation. So then I had my Student Life interview. I went to their office in Hoover and sat in the waiting room. I became nervous and felt those dead gum butterflies in my stomach once again. Not cool. "Lindsey Tillman?" They called my name and I walked into a glass room. It paralleled my thinking about how they were about to see straight threw me. I thought, "I hope they like what they see." Satan was playing his usual game with me; throwing doubts about myself into my mind. I recognized it and shut him down real quick and said a prayer in my head. I asked for an honest spirit and a calmness to come over me. Almost instantly, I felt at home. 

I was interviewed by 2 Student Life staffers. I loved every question that they had for me. I was able to truly show them my passion for the Lord and ministry through living missionally. Some questions, I was very open about how something may not be my strength and how other things were. I hadn't had an interview like that really ever, but it was cool to see my true growth so apparent to me. Before, like when I was 18 or 19, I'd find myself exaggerating things to others. It be awesome in my mind but in order to convey that to them, I felt like I had to stretch it a little bit in order for them to get it, when really that was just, once again, Satan throwing those thoughts of "not being enough" into my mind. In my interview I stated to them that I had also applied for WC's. I also told them that if they didn't feel 100% right about me, to not hire me. I needed to have guidance from God through them. I was told I'd here something the first week of March. Dang. I'm not very good at waiting.....

As I walked out the door, I felt so confident. I knew that if I wasn't hired, then it was simply God directing me elsewhere, because I was as honest as possible and spoke in a way that was glorifying to Him. Then the waiting game started. With Student Life it's one interview, and then that interview get recorded and shown to the whole staff and prayers start going up for guidance. With World Changers, you go through many cuts. I was informed on my first interview that there were 136 applicants who were applying for my position. They only had 16 spot available. Gulp. Are you serious? Yeahhhh. Hello intimidation, how are you?

Well I made the first cut with World Changers and was contacted for another interview. I was so excited. I continued praying very hard for the outcome to be God's Will. My second interview went great, and ended with an offer. I was stunned. I said the same thing to them. If they were not 100% sure then don't. Well they said I had the week to think about it. That week I really prayed and thought on it a lot. I never felt like there was a "con", but a very tangible uncertainty. I had peace about it. I emailed WC's Sunday night and thanked them for the opportunity to work for them, but I need to back out. As I hit the send button, I felt kinda numb. Kinda like a "did I just turn down my dream job?" feeling. About 2 days later came that peace I'd been searching for. 

As the days went on, Student Life was seeming out of reach. As if I'd never hear back from them. I really doubted I'd get an offer. Like a "you're a great girl, but...." email. I knew it was coming. I was sick of waiting, so I took matters into my own hands. I picked up my phone and Brad Gowing came to mind. He is the Recreation Minister at the church I grew up at. We'd become very close over the past year that he's been working there. I thought he was my guy. I just needed to lay everything out on the table and talk it out. So that's what I did. I went over to his office and had what I like to call, a "word vomit" session. Not the best choice of words, but hey it's my story. Anyways..... He and I started talking. He asked me why had I wanted World Changers in the first place. I told him that I had finally hit an age where I wanted people over me to expect much of me. I wanted responsibility and to have authority. Then he asked the same thing about Student Life. I went on to talk about the great opportunity to continue my discipleship there while also being able to be on a team of lots of people, and getting to pour into the students. Right as I was talking, I had an idea. I asked him if he could see me in a higher position for Day Camp. DC is a camp run by my home church in the summers. I grew up going and have been a counselor since I was a freshman in high school. I feel like I know the ins and outs of DC, like most students my age who grew up the same way. He said he could and he thought I'd fill that spot wonderfully. As we talked he said he'd have to figure out what that would look like, but that I had a spot. I was thrilled! I felt true peace as I left that building. That night, I sat down and email Student Life telling them to not consider me anymore for the job. I went on to say that I wasn't really sure how this home town thing popped up, but it looked promising, so I said I'd pray for them and thanked them for such a great interview.

Oh hey midterms week! They were here. I felt as if I studied for 2 weeks straight! AH! At the same time I was able to balance a good quiet and prayer time within my busy days. Thursday, February 28th, I took my last midterm. It was my hardest one yet. After taking it, I felt so proud. I knew I did well, and was so glad I made studying a major priority this time around! Getting back to my dorm, went to go check my email. What was looking me dead in the face? An email titled STUDENT LIFE STAFFER. Eh? I opened it and there it was. In big bold letters. They wanted me. Even after my email telling them no. I was prayerfully considered for months, and I was ranked as a 1 on their priority list. I was blown away. I knew they had made a mistake so I emailed right back telling them thank you but no thank you. Right as I sent it, that numb feeling wasn't there. I was now questioning myself. I went down the hall to talk to one of my sisters, Mechay, who has worked for SL for now going on 3 years. She rooms with Anna Beth who just applied for her first time as well. We talked and I told her what was going on. 

She asked me why I wanted to turn them down in the first place. I said that I wanted to spend time with my family this summer, and not be gone the whole time. I wanted to enjoy going through all the fun and crazy recruitment workshops with my awesome Phi Mu sisters, and I didn't want to miss my family reunion. Mechay asked to look at the email. As she read it she said I needed to call the lady who emailed me. I called and I found myself in tears. Through lots of prayer, they felt led to put me in the one month team and didn't know why. Meaning I'd only be gone from May 20th- June 26th. I would get to spend time with my family, go to my family reunion, and do the workshops. Are you serious? It all came together and made sense. I cried as I told my parents that the Lord had literally rolled out the red carpet for me. Then it hit me. I was trusting him. I, LINDSEY MARIE TILLMAN, WAS TRUSTING GOD! Finally! I looked back and saw a theme. All I wanted was His peace. I wanted His Will. I wanted to please Him. Looking back, I was stunned by my growth. 

I talked to my parents and they both said things that were very affirming and they wanted me to go for it! I text Brad and he had the same reaction. They were all thrilled for me. I told Blair to disregard the email I had sent her, and put a YES by my name. I was soooo thrilled. More so than any other time through this journey. I was told that even though I said no to them, they still wanted me. I was what they needed. I was their girl. It felt so amazing to know that such an amazing group of people chose me. Everything was always out of my control, but the Lord was testing my trust in him. And looking back and seeing how much you have changed, is the best feeling in the world. I serve a God who has my future in his hand. Who orchestrates the best outcome for me if I just trust him. So glad to be at the end of this journey and on the verge of starting a new one. Thank you Jesus! 

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