In 2007 my work-life changed. In a month’s time, I went from being the office manager of a business to being a member of a corporation where my particular position of “all-around, every aspect of the job” did not exist…and I became a customer service representative. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing disrespectful about being a csr; it requires a particular skill set if you intend to be good at your job. Honestly, I think I did okay in that position. There was just one problem… I hated it. Pure and simple. Hated. It. I won’t go into all the reasons I didn’t like this position, because that’s not the purpose of this note.
What I want to tell you is how my Father, the Lover of my soul, was at work. See, I prayed…a lot…. for God to get me out of there. I was never at work for very long on any day that my stress levels weren’t off the charts. I just could not see myself ending my career in that position, so I prayed every single day for God to get me out of there. For three years. The last few months of that three years my stomach burned all the time, and I had frequent headaches.
I looked for other jobs. But folks these days in this economy aren’t eager to hire someone my age, so nothing ever came from my search. At least, that was how I thought it was going down.
I’m not sure exactly what precipitated it. I became convicted, or something might have been said in a sermon; I really don’t know, and why it happened is not important. I just know that one morning it occurred to me that I was being faith-less and unfaithful. I was so busy complaining about how much I hated my job, that I forgot my responsibility to be a light to my “world.” So I repented. I told God that if I was to be there until the day I retired, with His help, I would do it unto Him. I still felt stressed, my stomach still burned, and I still hated it. But on the outside, I really did make the effort. I was cooperative and helped where needed, and I made sure I exhibited a good attitude.
One day I received a text from my husband that said a local ministry was looking for an administrative assistant. Resumes were due in four days, and he was bringing home the paperwork that evening. “You better look into this,” his text said. “Sounds perfect for you.” That evening, when I read the THREE-page description of the job, I went right to work, updating my resume and getting it in the mail. Dave was right–it just seemed perfect! I also continued praying a whole lot! I prayed as I kissed the envelope when I put it in the mailbox, and I prayed as I drove up to my job every day. I prayed every afternoon as I checked the mail.
Somewhere deep inside I felt like I already had the job. I know, that sounds weird, but it’s true. It was just a watch and wait time, coupled with–you got it–praying without ceasing.
The letter came in the mail. I got all excited. It said we got lots of resumes and we are working through them and you may hear from us in the near future to set up an interview date. I put the letter down and got up the next day and went back to my job, proper attitude intact. Waited some more.
Two weeks later, I got a phone call from Chaplain Rodney Stilwell, asking me to come in for an interview the next week.
It was the absolute worst interview I ever had.
I was nervous as a cat. I did not feel confident at all, and I couldn’t read the faces of the folks in the room. When I left that evening, I knew that whatever else happened, I had just completely lost any chance of ever getting that job. That was Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday evening, Chaplain Stilwell called me at home. Said he would like to have me come in for a second interview and what evening was best for me. We set a time for Monday evening. I hung up the phone, completely full of wonder–as in, “I wonder if this man is deaf and didn’t hear a single word I stumbled over last evening?” The chaplain suggested I check out their website and learn as much as I could about the ministry. He also suggested I pray. Hmmm, prayer…. If he only knew.
On Monday evening, we met and ended up talking for THREE hours, and I’m pretty sure it would have lasted longer, except my phone kept vibrating and when I finally looked at it, the message said, “Husband patrol heading out the door to find his wife if he doesn’t hear from her in the next five minutes.” We had a good laugh over that, and I went home.
The next time I saw Chaplain Stilwell, he met me for lunch and offered me the job as the Administrative Assistant to the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries. The next day I gave my letter of resignation to my job, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Here’s the thing. God let me wait for the job of my dreams until I accepted that I might not ever get it. Is that mean of God? No, it is not. It was important for me to remember that God is in control, and He still knows my name. No one can meet my needs but Him…not even the best job in the world. And I needed to know that before I moved anywhere, or if I never moved anywhere. I needed the reminder that it’s not about me, it’s about Him; and it’s about How I represent Him wherever I am.
My new job? I love it! It’s fast-paced, non-stop activity from the time I get in until the time I go home. Even so, my stomach doesn’t burn anymore, and as busy as it is, I don’t suffer from stress. It’s the absolute perfect job, combining my administrative skills with a ministry that affects the lives of other people for the better. And God gave it to me. Because my name is inscribed on His hand; because He is the Lover of my soul; because my Father wants to give His child the good and perfect gift.
Your name is written there, too. His great gifts are waiting for you. His love is never-ceasing. I pray you know this about Him.