“I’m so sorry,” I said, stoically, “but as much as I WANT to accept the position, I’m going to have to turn it down.” There was hesitation on the other end of the line. Perhaps even disappointment, matching mine.
The chairman had expressed the overwhelming support of the elder board when he offered me the position. The board included well-respected Godly men I’d known for years. I was ecstatic to be offered my dream job – Office Administrator for a newly-established, non-denominational church which showed great promise. Only one thing was standing in the way – the cost of health insurance.
As a staff member at a local Christian college, I had great benefits but would have none with the church. Insurance through the small business where my husband worked would be significantly higher, and after crunching numbers I had to say no.
The pastor and elders asked me to reconsider – to think and pray about it and give them my final answer the next day by 5 p.m.
What did God want us to do?
We were a family of four, soon to be empty nesters. Our son had a job with benefits, but our daughter – a recent graduate – was interviewing as a first-year teacher.
Delaying the answer a day only extended the pain of saying no when I wanted to say yes, because even after more prayerful consideration, my answer remained the same. We just couldn’t afford the family premium.
The next morning, I reached for the phone to make that inevitable call, but God stopped me in my tracks. “Be patient, my child,” He seemed to whisper. “Remember, I’ve got until 5 o’clock!”
I put the receiver back on the hook and started my busy day.
The hours flew by until a 3 o’clock phone call startled me. My daughter’s voice oozed with excitement. She had just been offered a contract, and was in tears! Then I was in tears! (Strange how that happens to us – it must be a mother-daughter thing!)
The week before she’d been asked to schedule an interview for a position in our local district for which she hadn’t applied. She told the caller that there must be some mistake, as she wasn’t certified for early childhood. But when she told me later, I said, “You know, Shawna, this COULD be a God thing. Are you WILLING to teach preschool?”
She was, so she called back to say that if they could provide provisional certification she’d love to be considered. The rest was history, and we were praising God for answered prayers.
“Do you know what this means?” I asked, “I can now accept the job because you’ve got insurance.” I hadn’t told her why I was turning down my offer as it would have just added to her stress, but now, she needed to know.
She was in tears again, and so was I. “Well, Mom,” she said emphatically, “hang up and make that call!” So, I did!
Just two hours before my deadline, God answered our prayers, simultaneously.
My daughter is beginning her 14th year of teaching and I’ve long since retired and moved away after being on staff at our church for nearly a decade, serving as we grew from a congregation of 40 to 500+, and moved from rented store-front offices and auditoriums to a multi-million dollar worship center.
It was challenging and sometimes intense, as ministry often is, but lives were changed and God blessed our church and those who served there. He’s still doing so today.
And, what did I learn? Patience is essential. And, God’s timing is always perfect.
Great is Thy Faithfulness!