I call them “gummy bears.” I have no idea where I got the application of the term in this situation, it just came to me one day when I was talking with my husband about my latest journey of faith. After finally giving my future to God, I have asked him to help me make decisions about the future of my job and career.
I have to be honest. He is taking what I consider to be an extremely long time in providing concrete and Jennifer-acceptable clear answers.
He hasn’t been completely silent. There have been signs along the way... signs I call gummy bears. Almost every day or so, I get some indication from God that lets me know that he is ahead of me, dropping little pieces of promise and provision on the path. I follow them, Hansel and Gretel style, knowing that they are going to lead me Home and to His Will.
The funny thing about these gummy bears, is that I don’t seek them out in my usual type-A, full on, hard charging get-things-done mode. They always show up in random ways. And they always show up with clear indication that they are connected to the journey.
For example, I will get a phone call to set up a phone interview that I didn’t think was coming. I will get an email, or a recruiter will reach out to me to talk about opportunities.
Sometimes, they show up as guideposts in what I would consider to be a negative way – a roadblock at work, or a decline for an interview. In one case, I was ready to take a job that I thought was a lock, but my soul was very unsettled as I went through the interview process. I was turned down. It was God giving me a sign... a gummy bear... that my instincts were good and he had this under control.
The gummy bears even became a part of my physical world. At a motorcycle race with my husband and a friend recently, I found myself at a frustrated and lonely point, needing a little reassurance. I looked down to see a dirty one lie on the cement staircase staring up at me.
No, I did not pick it up, but that dirty gummy bear meant everything to me. It was a gooey sign of God’s physical presence in the world. Oh do I pray for the day when I can see his beautiful face – but it isn’t my time, and so I get to see these little visible signs to keep the faith.
For the record, not a fan of real gummy bears. They are too chewy and they usually come in mixed flavors. I don’t like mixing up flavors. I separate my Skittles, I even separate my M&M’s and Reese’s pieces by color before I eat them.
As with all things from our Father, there is a reason Gummy bears were chosen. Their stickiness, fierce fight against the molars and ability to survive a nasty staircase and still look up smiling make them a great symbol of persistence.
They are my version of the little pieces of faith and light God sends us when we are on our own journeys. I’ve heard similar powerful stories about pennies, butterflies or other things mysteriously appearing during times of decision or crisis that gave great comfort to friends. God decided to make mine gummy bears.
These symbols are all God’s personal gift of promise. The promise is that the work, the daily lessons, the ups and downs are there to show you that God is in control and he has the perfect plan for you – which means you may or may not get what you want in that moment, but there is a perfect path and something to guide you along it.
So, whether it’s a new job, a new romantic relationship, a move or other life changing decision, and you feel the answers are slow in coming remember you are in God’s timing and keep an eye, ear and open heart and mind out for his beautiful signs of promise.
There is an incredible update to this story. I decided to keep the original post in place so that you can experience this as I did. I wrote this story several weeks ago, with conviction and commitment God was leading me and that commitment showed itself in the mighty ways only our Lord can create.
Weeks after writing this blog, I was at an interview at a company and during a break in interviews, they brought me water and a snack. Sisters, they brought me gummy bears. A package of gummy bears.
I am glad it was during a break because my composure was at great risk as God had just let his light, will and way into the room. I could barely breathe, yet my lungs filled with the truth – our God is real as real as the organic gummy bear packet that sat in my hands.
I ended up with 4 job offers within a week. There was some human doubt, but God had overcome it, and I accepted the offer from the “gummy bear” company yesterday and will start the new position next month. I do so with such comfort and peace because God selected this position for me. With perseverance, hard work, and begging on my knees for a clear sign, God worked His faith and patience in me, and led me in clear direction.
Sitting in my kitchen is that tiny bag full of uneaten smiling bears and the promise of John 16:23 (NASB) – In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
If you find yourself questioning God’s perfect plan and direction, look for God’s version of your gummy bears – those sweet small steps will guide you away from the questioning and into the faith and confidence of living a God-directed life.