Smile wide, child, your dreams are about to come true.
Three years ago this weekend, that was my Facebook status.
Three years ago this summer, I was completely fed up with my job search. I had been looking for more than a year, was a strong candidate for many school districts, but rarely got so much as an interview. When I saw that post on Timehop, I remembered that it was about this time that I got so fed up, I quit trying. I put all my eggs into God’s basket and told him, “Fine. You’re going to have to do this because I’ve done everything I can and I’ve gotten nowhere.”
With zero jobs on the horizon at the end of July, we decided I would quit my job at the end of August and we would move to North Carolina. We would just pack up and go. Crazy? Maybe. But I was so sure God was going to do something, that we just went for it. I started packing the apartment, I put in my notice at work, I backed off on the job applications (not totally, but some). And I waited. I enjoyed a weekend in NYC with my parents and husband, aunt, uncle & cousin, and just rode it out… below is the blog post from the first week in September when my whole world changed. Today, I want to remember the kind of faith we had that summer. Abandoned to what God can do, completely taken over by His power and His grace, love, and mercy for His children:
I sit here, more than one year after I started the process of looking for a school counseling job. I knew a few things back then: one, I would search far and wide, across the world, to find the position that would jumpstart my career; two, I would need to fight hard, being a new graduate among a widely talented and largely competitive applicant pool; three, I did not want to stay in Ohio, but would if I had to in order to start my career; and four, this is my meant-to-be career, so of course I will find a position – my passion makes up for my lack of experience.
I sit here, more than one year after I started the process of looking for a school counseling job. I know a few things now: one, searching far and wide means leaving no stone unturned, but it also means (a lot) more rejections; two, fighting hard isn’t enough – fight harder; three, I do not want to stay in Ohio, but would if I had to in order to start my career; and four, God does not need me to help kids in school or change the world.
This last year has not been a romantically long-suffering time of holding on to faith every step of the way. It has kicked me to the curb, warped my heart, jaded my spirit, and made me angry. I call 2011 the Year of Rejection, truly. Check my Applications label in Gmail, you will see what I mean. This has been 14 months of having faith then losing it, having faith then losing it, learning why I don’t have faith, having faith then losing it. And repeat.
And you know what? I resigned myself – just last week – to another year of this. Another school year of kicking and whining my way through the job search process. More rejections, failures, frustrations. I have read many of the verses one might point me to on the way to finding my way out of this emotional mess, and they have certainly helped ease some of the pain, some of the disappointment and bitterness. But that’s part of the whole have-faith-and-lose-it routine.
You know what else happened along the way (besides the back-and-forth faith)? I grew so sick of myself. Greg and I talked and prayed and talked and prayed and talked and prayed about my finding a job until we were blue in the face. Every night at dinner, during my morning prayer time, throughout the day from time to time, during my job search online, or whenever finding a job crossed my mind (which, by the way, was about every 10th breath). I became incredibly self-absorbed: forgot birthdays and anniversaries, lagged in calling friends back for weeks, had little to say in catch-up conversations because I had nothing, cried my eyes out to a few friends who no doubt got tired of hearing the same old song. I got so sick of myself, that last week I actually stopped praying for me. In my morning prayer routine, I completely left out myself. I prayed only for marriages, pregnancies, other relationships. I thanked God for miracles I’ve seen come true (as long as they didn’t have to do with me). I thanked Him for the brand new day ahead and the sunshine (only a few more months of that in Cincinnati: Eternal Gray is about to hit).
So imagine my utter shock – completely and total surprise – when all of a sudden I have two job interviews. In one day. Two hours apart from one another. Imagine how blown away I am – once again – when I observe the fact that they are both in North Carolina, the state I have wanted to live in since I was 16 years old. That’s a dream 11 years in the making, in case you were wondering. Did I mention that one job is for high school counseling (my dream job) and the other is on a military base, a DoD school (my dream population)? Did I mention that one of the verses I focus on is Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. I tried holding on to those words, and it worked most of the time. But at no other time did I understand its power more than Friday, Sept. 2nd, when I found out I was selected for both positions.
Freakin’ A. I wait for more than a year for someone to finally take a chance on me, to see that just because I recently graduated doesn’t mean I won’t be a strong addition to a school counseling program. And all of a sudden, two schools see it at the same time? Two schools, both of which I would be honored to work for? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
We have been led baby-step by baby-step these last couple months. We knew I had to leave P&G on Sept. 2nd, though we weren’t sure why this was the right choice. We decided to extend our apartment lease to the end of September, knowing it was right but – again – not sure why it was right. We packed a few more boxes and put them in storage, we decided to aggressively go forward in trying to leave Cincinnati, and we felt an adventure right at our fingertips.
You couldn’t convince me that this was real on Friday. It was just another trick, wasn’t it? No way did I wait through months of nothing just to be overwhelmed by a life-changing decision. But I had to make one. WE had to make one. And so, starting Monday, Sept. 19th, I will be a school counselor for military children, and I’ll be loving it.
My (our) new adventure is about to start, and if you know me (us), you know that I’m (we’re) ready. I’ve (We’ve) been ready. And I (we) can’t wait to see what’s up ahead.