Career Guidance

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Following after God’s dream – Experiencing God’s provision (continued)

By Robertha Reid

The deadline arrived and still there was no sign of a sponsorship cheque from the agency. Reluctantly, I called the airlines and asked for an extension. Grateful that they consented to my request, I kept the dream alive. I now had one more week to garner my finances.

The next Friday came sooner than I wanted and still not a red cent came in for the trip to Ghana. Again I dialed the airline and tried to keep my hopes high. Again I asked for an extension. This time, the lady on the other end was a bit hesitant but eventually she offered me a final extension of one more week. I graciously accepted her offer and thanked her profusely. God had been faithful to me up to this point.

It was now Wednesday and anxiety was beginning to well up within. I wondered if God was really testing my faith or whether I had been terribly mistaken. Seeing my worried expression, a close friend reminded me that Friday had not yet come and God could work a miracle in those two days. I smiled but wasn’t quite sure if I could believe that. It was easy for her to say. She wasn’t the one who would look silly in front of family and friends if God didn’t provide USD $2400 within the next 48 hours.

Thursday morning, I had begun to lose hope. I crawled through the day at work trying to keep my mind focused on the job. Inside worry and anticipation were wreaking havoc.

“Had I taken too big a step this time?”  I tried to stabilize my wavering faith.

It was soon time to leave the office and I couldn’t wait to go home so that I could burst in to tears. I was so disappointed in God. Friday was less than 12 hours away. The clock on the wall in my office showed 2:30 p.m. Then the telephone rang.

“Ms. Alleyne. I am calling to inform you that your request for funding to Ghana has been processed and you will be granted USD $1250 towards your airfare.”

My jaws dropped and I was silent. When I regained the use of my vocal cords, I responded loudly, “Oh my God. Thank you” The lady on the other end laughed when she heard me. She was unaware that the airfare had to be paid the following day. I explained the situation and she told me that she would do everything to make sure that it was paid on time.

Before I could put down the phone, I began to cry. I cried out of relief. I cried out of joy and happiness that the dream was becoming a reality. I cried because I had doubted that the creator of the expansively vast universe could provide a meagre $2400!

The following day, my pastor, who had believed in the dream from the very first day, gave me enough money to cover the majority of the remaining balance. From my savings I paid a very miniscule part of my ticket.

Why did God choose to wait so long before He provided the money? Why didn’t He just do it the first time I was to make the payment, or maybe the second time?

God wants us to know that His dreams require a step of faith. The limitless God knows that we tend to trust in ourselves. He knows that we don’t want to do anything which is uncomfortable for us. He knows we want to live our lives in the zone of stability where we can manage our daily activities. Hence the moment we are faced with a situation that seems to be out of our control, we panic and fret because we simply do not know what to do. We don’t know what it truly means to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding.

I believe that God deliberately allows us to be in situations where our backs are against the wall because then the only option is for us to look up and call on Him. Then He can show us a greater manifestation of Himself. To always do what is within our scope is to tell God inadvertently, that we don’t have any faith in his Lordship of that area of our lives.

Troubles that we are faced with right now have the potential to teach us about the limitless God but only if we look at them through the eyes of faith. If we look at them through our natural eyes we will never be able to see what God sees. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. So I doubt that His eyes are like our eyes. When we hear the sound of strong winds we expect damage to be done. Similarly when we see big challenges, and by extension have big dreams that come from God, this should be our sign to step aside to see the glory of God. We should expect to find God at work in the situation, whether it be financial, relational or physical. When we truly understand who God is, then we can relax and let Him, “who is able to do exceedingly above all that we can ask or imagine,” step into the front while we follow.

God wants us to know that he is the God who makes all things possible. True faith does not mean that we will not get discouraged, it means that we will choose to believe God even when our situations tell us otherwise. True faith will hang on to the dream and not crush it under the weight of doubt and fear. A wise friend once said, “God’s provisions may not always be in hand but they are always at hand.”

God just keeps showing me that as long as I trust Him, all things are possible. What about you? Where is His unique dream hiding in your heart? Step out in faith and you will have a real experience of God’s amazing heart and vision.

Posted 24.05.13

Excerpt from the book “One of a kind” by Robertha Reid

For career guidance and ministry links Click here

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Following after God’s dream – Experiencing God’s provision

By Robertha Reid

Big dreams usually call for big money, right?

When I decided to go to Amsterdam, I knew I was being taken away from my comfort zone. On one hand I was giving up a financially secure position. I was walking away from my job with a guaranteed monthly salary and I was walking straight into a new kind of experience where I had to develop a new kind of trust in God for money.  I also knew that if I went to Washington I wouldn’t have financial concerns. I had to take a leap of faith when I chose to go to YWAM. You know what happened? God provided every single cent along the journey. The $7000 USD that I didn’t have upfront at the start of the journey was provided for once I had stepped out in faith. I left home not knowing how my fees would be covered but God taught me that I did not have to worry about such things as long as I was being obedient to Him. Trusting God can sometimes seem hard. I learnt this when I was preparing to go to Ghana.

The idea of going to Ghana came in February 2004 from a dream I had one night where I saw myself exploring old slave forts and walking through the capital city of Accra. I knew that for some reason, God was asking me to go there, although I wasn’t quite sure why. If this was God’s path, then it was up to me to follow. So I booked my trip for July that same year.

I was very excited when I first started to plan for the trip but soon it hit me. Where was I going to get the money to go? Why was it so expensive just to get on an airplane? USD $4000 was way above the cost I had anticipated. With a deep sigh, I quickly folded the paper on which I had written the cost and slipped it into my purse. I was a little worried. How on earth would I be able to take this trip I had so boldly told my family about?

Many of us have extremely big dreams and aspirations but very little knowledge of where we will get the finances, help and time to bring them into reality. The reason many of us never move past the starting line is because the journey looks daunting. We sit in limbo contemplating the upcoming moves and whether we possess the resources to overcome them. The mental gymnastics of trying to be proactive to solve problems of a financial nature often tire us even before we make the first step.

Our decisions reflect how we think. If we only attempt tasks which are within our capacities to undertake, then we limit God and have yet to know him as Jehovah Jireh; the God who provides. Living within our own resources stops us from experiencing God’s provision in new ways.

Going to Ghana was an experience that made me aware of the limitations that I had placed on God. To know the cost of the ticket and still believe that I was going was a challenge. I simply did not have the USD $4000 the airline was asking for and what made matters worse was that I couldn’t see how God could come up with a way for me to get there. Needless to say, I became discouraged and disillusioned as I reduced the God whom I serve to the status of a man, since I doubted His power and the resources that He was willing and able to make available to me.

It was now April and two months had passed, since I had first begun to make preparations for the trip to Ghana. Meanwhile, I had kept my decision a secret among a few trusted friends.

It was ten in the morning and I sat in the office waiting on my client to arrive for a meeting. He was late and as I got agitated I replayed my Ghana dream in my mind.

“How could I be sure that God wanted me to go to Ghana?” The telephone rang, bringing me back to reality and alerting me that my client had arrived.

He was clad in a shirt with African prints. “What a coincidence!” I thought as I greeted the gentleman and offered him a seat. After discussing his business proposal, I took the opportunity to share with this stranger my desire to go to Ghana. Not sure how he would respond and even more uncertain why I chose to share with him, I began to explain my desire to go to Ghana as a volunteer teacher.

Immediately his eyes lit up. With excitement in his voice, he exclaimed, “I was there two years ago and it was an amazing experience!”

He continued to explain how he got there through the sponsorship of a local agency concerned with African affairs. On leaving, he encouraged me to apply for financial support, which I did the very next day.

Meanwhile I had written to the airlines asking for a reduction in the airfare. I was successful in obtaining a huge reduction. I was now responsible for paying only USD $2400 by the first Friday in June. I was hoping that the African agency would sponsor me since I still did not have the resources to cover this expense.

Unfortunately, when the agency received my request for sponsorship, they didn’t sound very positive since applications could take up to two months to process and even then there was no guarantee that they would grant my request. This was a disappointment but God had already reduced the expense from USD $4000 to USD $2400. God had begun to work but I would have to trust Him completely. The deadline to pay for this ticket was nearly three weeks away and I felt a little anxious. I asked my close friends to pray for me as I really wanted my faith to stay strong. I had never had to trust God for such a large sum of money before in such a short space of time.

Read the exciting continuation of my story in next week’s post! You may have dreams for a career, your family or a ministry. Be encouraged to trust God completely for your dreams.  Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Posted 03.05.13

Excerpt from the book “One of a kind” by Robertha Reid

For career guidance and ministry links Click here

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Following after God’s dream. Part 2

By Robertha Reid

God, the loving father, the ultimate dream giver wants to be in touch with His creation. His desire is for us to get close to His heart so that he can share with us His dreams which in turn become the visions and dreams of our lives. Is your heart connected to His? Or is there an evident disconnection? We often don’t pray enough or wait long enough in God’s presence to know his dreams for our lives. It could also be that we don’t recognise God’s dreams because they do not fit into what everyone else is doing. No wonder many young people get lost in the matrix of life, uncertain as to the reality of who they are. Some of us may run from school to university in order to achieve more. We look at ways to advance in life and these become the basis on which we establish our lives. We look at each other and try to keep on par with decisions everyone else is making. But we fail to really grasp God’s dreams for our lives. Then when we lack fulfilment and true meaning, we suffer silently and wonder why.

God has made each one of us unique and special. We carry a part of His being in us and share in His creative expression of this world. Do you know God’s dreams for your life? Are you living and embracing those dreams? You are not to ignore your gifts and abilities because these provide an answer to what God’s purpose for your life could be.

One of the reasons why people like Walt Disney and Bill Gates shaped the course of history was the vision they had for their lives. Both men, being visionaries acknowledged where their passions and gifts lay and used them to create a legacy. They found their purpose in life and chose to pursue it.

God understands the journey of your life. That’s why He is such a great partner to have as we live on earth. Maybe you are longing to know what God’s dreams are for you. I would like to offer a few suggestions from my experience.

Ask God to give you His dreams. Ask Him to crucify your dreams and show you those which are from Him, and those which are not. I firmly believe that once you begin to seek you will find. It is a biblical principle.

Wait on God to direct your steps. Once you ask the creator you must begin to listen. Be still and know that He is God. Spend time alone, away from the every day occurrences of life to listen to what God is speaking to you through your thoughts and through His word. How is God speaking? What new things is He showing you about your personality and gifts? What is unique about you that you have never really valued? Has God been asking you to do something that you are afraid of accepting? Be totally honest about what you don’t like and what you do like, but most importantly listen to what God’s dream for you may be. That’s exactly what I did. I followed my heart and what I believed to be God’s desire for me at the time. I gave up the scholarship and went to Amsterdam.

Looking back I have no regrets about giving up the scholarship. For the first time, I felt a level of fulfilment in life that I had always searched for. And though at the beginning I questioned God, I now realize that he had my best interest at heart. That’s why I can honestly say that God’s dreams are always great to have. I am glad that I chose to follow what God had placed in my heart and no amount of money can buy the peace of knowing that you are living the dream of God. As a result of this experience, I no longer look at my dreams but I look for his. His dreams are the type that you will enjoy pursuing because you were created with the same DNA that is found in his heart. His dreams are the type that will advance mankind. His dreams are the type that will use your natural gifts, talents and personality. His dreams are also the kind that might cause you to step out of the norm! Are you willing to go against the grain to follow God’s dreams? When all life is over, you will find that His dreams were the only ones worth pursuing.

Posted 29.03.13

Excerpt from the book “One of a kind” by Robertha Reid

For career guidance and ministry links Click here

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Following after God’s dream. Part 1

By Robertha Reid

The light glistened on the windscreen and burnt my face covered in tears. The sun’s brilliance blindly contrasted with the darkness I felt within. As I sat in the car park outside my office, I allowed my tears to flow freely down my cheeks.

“What do you want me to do with my life God?” I cried with a mixture of desperation and anger. “You need to speak to me today. I need to know that you are hearing me, but why can’t I hear from you?” God knew what I was talking about, why did I have to beg him to answer me?

My mind flashed to the scholarship offer I had from George Washington University to study for a two year Masters in International Affairs. This would be an opportunity of a lifetime. Tuition fees of over $20,000 would be covered, not to mention all kinds of living expenses and travel costs to and from my home country in Barbados to Washington DC. I had waited so long for this, but why didn’t I feel happy and satisfied? Could an opportunity so appealing be far from what God had in store for my life?

At the other end of my heart and pulling for my attention was a course being offered in Amsterdam by Youth With A Mission better known as YWAM. This offer was a little less attractive than the first; Christian service without pay for six months? Yet somehow I felt that this was what God wanted me to do.The only problem was where would I get the $7000 I needed? Why did I feel so compelled to do this school to the point that I was considering declining the scholarship? Could this idea that seemed so crazy really be God’s dream for me?

What really was God’s dream for me? It was a question that I had so often asked and one to which I wasn’t sure I would ever find an answer. Could this be the time that I needed to follow God ‘blindly’ and go with what I felt he was asking me to do, no matter how illogical it seemed? Or should I listen to my own reasoning and that of society that placed such a high value on education? I felt confused. I didn’t know how to swim upstream and do something that others would label as ridiculous.

“God!” I cried in exasperation. “Please talk to me today. I am not leaving this car until you speak to me!” A bit demanding, I suppose.

Then there was silence. I waited. I glanced at my watch. It was almost midday and I wondered if my workmates had noticed that I had disappeared from my workstation. I waited some more in the silence and the hot midday sun.

As I began to dry my eyes, I heard a voice deep within saying Isaiah 30. Not sure if this was the answer I was anticipating, I grabbed my bible in determination not to miss the voice of God. Maybe God had gotten the drift that I needed to hear him. I shuffled through the chapter searching for some divine message. As I approached the nineteenth verse, tears swelled up in my eyes again.

“You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, He will answer you. And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of
affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes will see your teachers. Your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way walk in it.” Whenever you turn to the right hand or when ever you turn to the left.” NKJV

There you go. God always speaks when we are ready to listen. God was clear. His intention was to guide me. I felt as if the decision was a complicated one but God was aware of it and He had the answer. He wanted to inform me but I had to trust in his willingness to direct my paths. I had to trust that His dream, even though it seemed illogical would end up being the best dream to have.

The paths of life are often difficult to comprehend not to mention the dreams of God! Don’t be surprised if God asks you to do something that is so different from what everyone else is doing. You are one of a kind and God has a unique life for you.

Posted 22.03.13

Excerpt from the book “One of a kind” by Robertha Reid

For career guidance and ministry links Click here

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Career Guidance

  1. I feel like God is speaking to my heart. The way is not yet clear, but I know he want me to trust him for the journey. Jer.29:11

    Like

    • Yvette, you have got it right. God simply asks us to trust Him and in doing so, to trust His timing and His methods. He is faithful and once you wait on Him, He will guide you. Continue to walk in strength.

      Like

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