By Amy Ingram
Hey y’all! Miss me? It seems like I’ve been away from writing for a while now, but really I think it was only a month? Or maybe two? I don’t even know.
So where did I leave you last? A layoff? My sweet mom? Turns out, when the Lord moves, he moves swiftly and victoriously. I had a call early April from an advertising agency in Birmingham, and within four days, and three rounds of interviews, I was offered a job. The day after I accepted, four other companies called. Needless to say, God didn’t mess up, he was perfect in His time, and I knew I had to trust Him and walk in it.
So two weeks later, I moved and started my new job. I’ve been in Birmingham for about seven weeks now and am really starting to enjoy it. My job is challenging—and more work than I have ever known—but it is giving me great opportunities to step up and lead. It’s caused me to really evaluate myself, what drives me, what I long for, and ultimately why I am in Birmingham.
You see the Lord didn’t bring me to a job just so that I could succeed. There are people he wants me to reach. To love. To serve. To show His truth. There are days when I’ve failed at this—honestly, because of the intensity of it—but as each day passes, I’m more and more aware of HIS purpose for me here.
I came home last week and was reading the Bible, praying for a spirit and heart of peace, and this is what He showed me in his Word:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
That sends out its roots by the stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes,
For its leaves remain green,
And is not anxious in the year of drought,
For it does not cease to bear fruit. “ — Jeremiah 17:7-8
Y’all! This hit me square between the eyes. The heat comes, but it does not cease to bear fruit. Is this you? Are you challenged in a situation where you lose sight of the fruit? Of loving others in the truth of Jesus? I’m so challenged by this. I printed it out and pinned it to my wall above my computer, so I would be reminded that fruit far exceeds success. For if you are bearing fruit, you are experiencing the ultimate success. If this is you, and you find yourself stressed, hurting, frustrated, etc., step back from the situation and look for the person near you hurting, or the person who needs a friend. Reach out to those that are hard to love. As I am writing this, the Lord is making those in my office so clear to me.
This life is His. Not ours. Success is of this world. Loving others is of the next.
This next little bit is changing gears a bit, but I didn’t get to write a sweet article about my dad in the last magazine and wanted to pay tribute to him.
My sweet papa, as I’ve started to call him later in life—he’s known as many things: G, Dad, Creed, and Stud (my mom’s nickname)—well, he’s one of the greatest men I know. He loves me, protects me, and ultimately provides guidance in the gentlest and wisest way of anyone around me. There is a peace about my father that draws others near; and he’s known to all in the community as a man who loves and serves Jesus. He came to know Jesus halfway through my childhood, and it’s been the best miracle I’ve known. I would feel completely honored and so very blessed if I marry a man like him one day.
To all you men that read this: fight to be a man that serves Jesus. Love and treat your future bride with strength, dignity, kindness, and gentleness.
Amy Ingram is a Senior Account Executive at a branding and marketing firm in Birmingham, Alabama, where she lives with her dog, Mabel. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.