Saturday, June 28, 2008

Paycheck From God?

I have been unemployed or underemployed for one full year now. I have been rejected so many times in the past 12 months that I could begin to take it personally. Most interviews or applications have been for office work and have all ended without getting a job. This used to be so easy. Then I turned 40.

God is so patient. What has taken me a year to figure out is maybe He doesn't want me sitting behind a desk anymore. He has gifted me in other areas like writing, compassion for people and activism. I have largely ignored these gifts because to act on them involves risk. What if I'm no good? What if I work with people and someone gets hurt? I'm shy (or used to be) - what if I stammer over my words, turn beet red and in general make a fool of myself? Better to sit at a computer all day and have contact with no one. Oh, me of little faith!

The past several weeks have brought several opportunities to get out of my comfort zone. I say these things not to show how wonderful I am, but how wonderful God is. I have taught at Vacation Bible School, driven a prisoner's child to our church camp, delivered meals to the elderly and disabled, provided transportation to an elderly member of our church and have publicly shared my weight-loss journey to lose more than 100 pounds, brought about only by God's grace.

I have also had the opportunity to work one on one with my very special 5-year-old nephew. In five short years, he has overcome and continues to deal with more health problems that most people would face in a 100-year lifespan. He's a bundle of energy who needs constant supervision and has a very limited vocabulary, though in the past few months, he has really started to imitate words. Working with him has been exhausting in a way that a day at the office never was, but immeasurably more rewarding.

I may finally be getting the message. When I look at job postings for the same old same old, I am filled with resignation that it is what I have always done and all I can do in the future. When I look at social service job postings, my heart is filled with joy and I think "I can do that." I no longer feel the fear that has held me back all of my adult life. I have faith that if God is leading me in a certain direction, and I am sure that He is, He will give me the courage and confidence to do the job. "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."

I see the wisdom now in my $8 checking account balance and this long period of drought. Like many areas of my life, it is only when it reaches a near crisis and I am in panic mode that I stop relying only on myself and turn it over to God. Though I have proven to myself over and over that I do a thoroughly good job in messing things up of my own accord, I still keep trying.

I know the right job will be here soon and it will be one that not only provides for my family's needs, but one that serves others and uses my gifts. In other words, it will be the job God has intended for me all along.

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