Amanda & Jason: Third Time Around

Two Paths: How to decide…not always easy

hop over to these guys 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. KJV

I recently was talking with friends and family about challenges in life. The road that you think for sure is the one you are supposed to go down, often turns out to be an entirely different road and journey. Growing up I had two ideas of what I wanted to do as a grown up. The first one was being a History teacher (high school level) because of my passion for history. I also felt the desire to teach others. After a few years of thinking this was what I should do, I realized that my passion for history was more for myself. To this day I still enjoy historical sites, reading about historical events, and watching shows about all types of history.

My second idea of a career was awoken in me by my Uncle Walter Lenoir and my brother David Zaharis who both worked in law enforcement. Both had long careers with Tulsa PD and Houston PD respectively and had their share of political problems during their careers. Growing up and seeing the two of them serve the public and helping people in need always impressed me. When others would run from the danger these two ran towards it. Every day they would put on the uniform, kiss their families, and head out the door not knowing if they would come back home.  I also realized that it took a special kind of person, one who could communicate well with people, have compassion for others, and a strong yet calm demeanor, to be able to do this type of work. In my high school year book I said that I would do law enforcement. The interesting twist along my road towards law enforcement was a conversation I had with my cousin Rex “Barney” Pierson who was a sergeant (at the time) with the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections.

After doing a short time in college and going through Paramedic school I was working as a cashier at Target. My cousin talked to me about working as an officer in the state prison system. Not ever wanting or thinking about working in prison, I decided that I would give it a try. At 24 years old (looking more like an 18 old) I was hired at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center, a medium security state prison in Lexington, Oklahoma. What an incredible eye opener to how life is for so many people convicted of various crimes, and how this effects so many people who are not convicted of any crimes. After a couple years and realizing that I actually enjoyed this type of law enforcement, I decided to make an upgrade (and career change) to the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons. This provided me with better pay, career advancement opportunities, and a federal government retirement.

Along this road in life, many more roadblocks and decisions of go left or right (along this road) had to be made by me. I moved to five different states, worked at three medium prisons, a detention center, medical center, penitentiary, and dealt with male and female inmates. I advanced my rank from an officer to my current rank of Lieutenant. All of these decisions had positive and negative impacts on my life. As I have discussed in other posts I have also been married twice, divorced twice, and have dealt with these issues in good and bad ways. However, recently I have learned about “Freedom” and how to move on from these past issues.

This brings me to my main point of this blog post. Many times we have in our minds that we are supposed to do a certain job, or live in a certain place. We thought it completely through and were 100% sure that the road we are on is set in stone for what we are to do or be. What we fail to realize (myself included), is that God has already planned out our lives. As I was recently made aware of “we need to take our hands off the steering wheel and let God drive.” Things don’t always go in a straight line from point A to B. Many times God needs us to go through controversy, crooked roads, and take steps backwards in life, and many other “life events” that make zero since to us. However, having true and full faith in Him will make these times easier to deal with.

I recently decided that everything I have seen in my life, with my career in law enforcement, the places I have lived, and all the road blocks in life, have to have been for a bigger reason. I was not just to experience these things or work in prisons only for income. So, asking God what was all of this for, I was shown that I was supposed to serve Him in a greater role. After more thought and prayer I figured out that Pastoral work was my long term life mission. Amanda and I are not aware of His full plan for us in regards to exactly what we are to do (Pastor, mission work, director in some capacity), but we know that it has already been decided by God.

imp source Deuteronomy 29:9 published here Therefore, keep the terms of this covenant, carrying them out so that you'll be wise in everything you do."

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