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Holy Spirit picks my nail color.

I was recently reminded of this, when for my sister’s birthday, we did joint spa mani-pedis. I woke up with a vision of my nails in pale lilac and as I walked into the nail salon later that day, I flash backed to that color. Now I’m not someone who thinks about shades of nail polish or the newest color palette, which is how I know this wasn’t my thought. Last year, Holy Spirit was sending me to the salon so much that I ended up asking Him to help me choose nail polish colors because there are just too many choices.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Have you ever had a hard decision to make that took you months to make because you weren’t sure what the right choice was? Are there certain areas in your life that are so important to you, you fear taking the wrong step and dashing it all on the rocks? That’s me with decisions that pertain to my career because I worry about missing out on my destiny.

For He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. Psalm 91:11-12 (NLT)

Going on sabbatical in 2015 was a decision that took me about 5 months to make and this is why:

Before I went back to a position I had already held 5 years before, as Director of Public Affairs for a TV station, I really thought the decision through. I prayed going back was the right decision. I wanted to make sure it was where I would make the most impact with my talents and ability and I wanted a place to stay at long term. The station manager had made a great case for why I should take the position, promising a comfortable environment, great office, less work and opportunities to network with her outside of the office. The title was nice, the salary decent and I got to work in a field I love and excel in, with full time stability.

Well, you know all those success books that say if you get to work early, leave late, work beyond your job responsibilities, take on more work, make your boss’ life easier and give 110% at the office that you will succeed and get promoted? NOT THIS TIME!

So after pulling out my faith arsenal of prayer, patience, praise, turning the other cheek, blessing my boss in prayer, praying over my work space, enlisting prayer help, refusing to give up, spiritual warfare, more praise and worship, surrendering it to God, partnering with God to do my part, trying my hardest not to complain or gossip or become bitter, not saying anything negative, humbling myself, standing up for myself in my identity but with respect, trying to endure and wait it out, memorizing scripture for the occasion and situation, I finally gave up and decided to walk away.

Even though I decided to walk away, I still gave  110% at work because I wanted it to be perfectly clear that what was happening was in no way my fault. I trained my replacements, simplified work processes, de-cluttered my office and all the forgotten spaces of the TV station/building. I doubled up on work so that when I left there would be taped programs and completed reports that would extend several months into the new year. Deep down I hoped that somehow my situation would turn around and I wouldn’t have to give notice but it didn’t, so I found myself on a Friday in October 2015 cutting into a Best Wishes cake, saying goodbye over pizza to the production crew members who had come in for a taping that day.

I didn’t even tell friends and family I was going to quit  or had quit because I kept thinking, “No one is going to believe that this is not my fault.”

Now, I had just finished the book, “Dreaming with God: Secrets to Redesigning your World through God’s Creative Flow” by Bill Johnson so I was excited about this time off where I would figure out what my next steps would look like and I was telling myself, “This is good, Raquel. You were made for more. That place was stifling! Go where you are celebrated and appreciated!” But I was carrying shame about giving up and fear of how I was going to tell my family I let the boss beat me and I left work without unemployment benefits. I was also worried and trying not to be anxious about whether I had made the right choice.

I didn’t have long to worry. That first Monday morning of my sabbatical as I set out on an itinerary of cultural activities that included signing up for museum passes, finding a foreign language meetup, a cafe to sit and journal at, my first weekday care-free lunch, signing up for a NYC Parks free exercise class, etc and all the other activities I had built a weekly sabbatical schedule of so that I could convince myself this sabbatical was just what I needed…Holy Spirit stepped in with a request.

He said, “Go and get your nails done.”  I was like..”What???  I don’t have that in my budget right now! I’m about to step into 3 months of NO salary. I can take a break and all but my activities can’t be luxury activities. I have nail polish at home and getting my nails done is not relaxing to me! It’s a waste of my time and money. I’m not that type of girl-this is going to stress me out!”

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ Isaiah 45:9 (NLT)

I was wrong. I went in and for the first time in my life getting my nails done actually relaxed me. It felt like REST. Holy Spirit began to speak words of Love and Restoration over me. I heard God tell me He would care for me during this time and He would supply financial provision. I heard Him tell me not to fear and not to feel shame or guilt. I heard Him tell me to trust Him. I heard Him tell me He liked that I was taking the time to care for myself and that He loved pampering me. I heard Him tell me that I was getting my nails done because during this time I would rest and not labor. He would work while I would rest and trust Him.

If you think about it that totally makes sense that He would tie that message of rest to getting a manicure because every woman who has paid for a non-gel manicure knows that if you want that manicure to last out the week you can’t do a single thing because you can literally chip a nail with a strong breeze.

“The LORD will complete what His purpose is for me. LORD, your gracious love is eternal; do not abandon your personal work in me.” Psalm 138:8 (ISV)

From October 2015 through January 2016, right before my Europe trip, every time I stressed out about wasting time or feared making the wrong decision He sent me to the nail salon and we met by the nail polish wall where He assured me that if I could trust Him to make the time to help me choose a nail polish color, I could trust Him to help me make every other decision I needed to make.

Kairos Moment: Holy Spirit reaching out to remind me He has a personal work in me and for me. God can be trusted to complete His purpose in me and guide my steps.  I don’t have to worry about missing out if I take the time to listen to Him and respond to Him. 
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