© Copyright 2019 by 
Carolyn M. Soto Jackson and Carolyn Marie Photography

Houston, TX

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Boundaries

October 1, 2019

"Are you finding what you're looking for?" She asked.

 

"No ma'am, but I'm just browsing." I responded.

 

I searched for her Barnes and Noble name tag when she added, "Yeah, me neither ... they're looking in the back though."

Gabby was her name and she was patiently scouring for her book. She was petite with equally short black hair, falling onto her cute white cardigan. Instantly I knew she was one of us and it took all of about three minutes until we became friends.

 

Low and behold, Gabby recently moved from Austin and came from one of their local churches, Austin Stone. As of late, she found herself worshiping at Hope City; all three in which I adore. 

 

Giggling, I shared the funny story about how Jen Hatmaker was actually one of my favorite authors and how her husband was affiliated with Austin Stone. We joked about C.S. Lewis and his intrinsic way of making our brows raise when he used words like, "thy" and "shalt". Surprisingly, and with much convincing, she agreed to start The Chronicles of Narnia. After a big bear hug and a business card later, we parted ways.

 

Something stuck a chord for me though, she didn't find her book, nor did I find mine.

You may have noticed I failed to mention two things. 

 

1. What book she was looking for.

2. The true reason for being at Barnes & Noble.

 

I'll begin with the latter, just to keep you on your toes. 

The true reason of my Barnes & Noble sighting was because the day before I was offered a position at a local church. Though it was an extraordinary position, I only applied because my soon-to-be former employers would be retiring over the next few months. This left me in an alarming nostalgic disarray because it meant after a 15 year career in photography, a new career would be on the horizon. So, Barnes & Noble seemed like the perfect place to pick up the book by Brene Brown called, Rising Strong.

 

This is when I ran into Gabby. 

 

As noted earlier, neither of our books were in stock. Don't get me wrong, this is not unheard of, but two?

 

Either way, I knew sooner rather than later I would be taking on this new position. I also knew good and well I didn't actually want it.

 

Why? Because I would be leaving my beloved job, not because I wanted to. 

The first week was exactly what I thought it would be -- a HUGE learning curve but do you know what book I saw laying on my Music Minister's desk Monday morning? 

 

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. The exact book Ms. Gabby was looking for a couple of weeks ago. 

 

Now, I get it, it can be a total coincidence.

 

But is it?

 

Personally, I don't believe in coincidences but I do wholeheartedly believe in divine appointments and confirmations. 

 

I went into my new position, dragging my feet because it was such a drastic transition from photography. My position includes sitting in a cubicle, making deposits and copies of worship music and to be honest, I still don't know what the future holds but I do know that Ms. Gabby, along with her inquisitive nature confirmed this is exactly where God wants me. 

 

Most importantly, God knew how unsure I was about this new role. Still, my loving, generous Father went out of His way to give me numerous confirmations. Not confirmations for Him but for ME! 

 

At the end of the day, it also leaves me with two choices. One, I can stay in my sweet, little comfort zone until I'm forced out by the closing doors of the studio or I can be stretched by God in which He's made wildly clear where I'm supposed to be.

 

For those of you who are on the fence about "Divine Appointments", I fully understand. I have been there and coined it coincidences for many years. Please know, this is not wrong but I would like to send you off with a little encouragement.

 

This week, ask God to open your eyes to the divine appointments He has for you. If this is your first time and you need a little reassurance, ask God to point them out at the coffee shop or HEB. This week, be stretched beyond your boundaries -- it's where the good is found! 

 

 

Hugs,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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