Spring’s Bloom

I woke up before the sun today, leaving home before 6:00AM to travel to Memphis for a couple days of work (I find it hard to believe that anyone reading this hasn’t experienced me going on and on about my job, but if you have somehow evaded these conversations, I work as a university recruiter). First of all, hallelujah, I’m in Memphis. This city…God has such great plans for the people of this place. After five years of feeling led to this place, I’m in a season where my feet get to be on the ground with the assignment to talk with beloved, world changing students.

I arrive an hour early, find a Starbucks (praise Him) and drive around the community college I am scheduled to visit for a looooong time trying to figure out parking, where my building is, etc. Sometimes table visits at community colleges are very slow, producing little to no student conversations. My expectations for today are low, but my excitement is optimistically high!

I find my building, eventually find my table (in a lovely hallway made of windows that overlooks a courtyard, as an added bonus to my day), and get settled in. I’m giddy.  The familiarity of being surrounded by people with brown skin seeps into my soul, and I feel at home. My heart celebrates. Thank you, Jesus, for the precious presence of African Americans in this country, in this city, in this part of my day.

I sit at my table for an awkward 5-10 minutes as students walk by, ignoring me, which is very common. It is a bit awkward to just walk up to a stranger and start talking, especially about college, and I understand that. So, I sit at my laptop and glance up as people pass by. A young man walks through the hallway I’m seated it. He looks friendly, but doesn’t speak. He then turns around and comes back, and immediately begins to ask me about the university I’m representing. We talk for 20 minutes about the Tennessee Promise (I had been researching but needed help!), local universities, his dreams, his career goals and what his academic history has been like. He’d like to study Criminal Justice, which is one of my favorite programs, so we have fun discussing it. He calls me Ma’am, Miss, looks me in the eye, makes time for me to ask my questions and takes his time answering them. What a blessing this young gentleman is. After we’ve both had our questions satisfied, he shakes my hand. As he walks away he proclaims, “Welcome to Memphis!” I can’t help but respond with a squeal about how much I love this city.

As I bask in joy,  I accept the feeling that his welcome was actually a welcome from Jesus, using a precious one (one of his favorites, I’m sure) to bless me.

Be encouraged, the Lord created your dreams, desires, the things you’re drawn to. I never thought taking this job, in Illinois, would lead to the fulfillment of my heart’s desire to spend time (not a vacation, but a season) in Memphis. I have looked for jobs in this city over the years, applying and not hearing back, and I’ve wondered why I feel so drawn-where has my open door been? When will I arrive in the season that fulfills this hope? Then, as if from nowhere, my employer decides to expand recruitment into Memphis and I am the only volunteer. And so, I maintain my home in glorious Southern Illinois, my Eden, while beginning a wonderful adventure in Memphis.

God really loves our heart’s desires more than we do, and He really does love to surprise us. He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him, and is capable of (and happy to, I think)  fulfilling dreams that seem conflicting (live in So. IL/live in Memphis) in conjunction with one another. He weaves the most beautiful seasons together. More and more, I’m convinced that Papa loves the surprise elements.

Be blessed, your dreams are not forgotten. They’re going to be better in their fulfillment than you could have asked for or imagined and, in His perfect time, they will bloom beautifully.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gary Tillman
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 15:20:06

    He does love to surprise us! Enjoy your stay in Memphis. Love you!
    Papa Gary

    Reply

  2. Ralph M.
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 16:43:21

    I loved reading this sista and it is so very encouraging =)! God makes everything beautiful in its time. Love you dearly!!

    Reply

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