WRITTEN BY GUEST CONTRIBUTOR, Jon Vaughan
“How did I miss it? How could I have been so wrong? I had prayed through this, been diligent, placed it at the altar…and still had such a bad result.”
Have you ever been there?
I have — time and time again.
The memory that I come back to is a bad hire I made. I run a family business, and we hired a high-level leader in our organization. This hire was a big deal for us. We were building a leadership team and this leader was to take us to the next level in our growth and development. We went through a strenuous hiring process, prayed through it, all agreed on the candidate that we preferred, and made the hire.
Twelve months later, the questions I started this post with filled my head. What unfolded over the next four months brought me right back to a statement I play in my head over and over, especially in this time in our world — God prepared me for this. This is not what I expected He was preparing me for, but now I understand. The next hire we made for that position was one of the best hires we have ever made.
Twelve months earlier, during the first search, this ideal hire was unavailable. Furthermore, I would not have been ready to hire him. But through the storm we navigated with the original hire. Indeed, because of that storm, God prepared me and my company for what He ultimately would provide for us.
This season isn’t what any of us expected. It isn’t what any of us asked for and certainly isn’t what we would ask for. But God has been preparing us for this.
I know I see it at Lighthouse Family Retreat.
We have committed staff with years of experience, generous donors, structure to care for our families, networks of partners, incredible communication and logistics processes, and wise decisions. We thought these things were setting us up for a year with our most retreats ever and most families served ever. But instead, what He was preparing us for was the ability to pivot in a year of change and uncertainty that we could have not endured otherwise.
His preparation was perfect.
It can seem trite in the midst of our circumstances, but James really placed the burden of perspective on us as believers when he says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3) He is not suggesting we sit back and enjoy trials despite the hurt, but rather trust that God has prepared you for it. He is leaning in and hurting with you. He is crying alongside you silently. He is wounded as you feel the pain of the trial. But as you walk through it with Him, your faith creates endurance and perseverance — something the forces of this world cannot take away from you. It creates union with our Savior, something far greater than worldly comfort.
Can you make it through this season of pandemic? This season of childhood cancer? This season of isolation? This season of financial strain? This season of anxiety and stress? This season of civil unrest?
I am confident in the answer. Alone, you cannot.
But God has prepared you for this.
Jon Vaughan is a native Atlantan who currently lives in East Cobb with his wife, Molly, and three children, Nate (10), Hollis (8), and Walker (4). He is the current Board Chair for Lighthouse Family Retreat and has attended 5 retreats. Jon is the President and third generation owner of Brand Vaughan Lumber, who provides building products and installed services to professional home builders and contractors.