Updated: May 5
Today I am reminded that everything we do, we do for God's glory.
Growing up, I was not your typical little girl. Sure I played with barbies, had an obsession with horses, and loved doing my hair, but there was one thing I never did much of- playing house. I did not obsess over what my wedding would be like, what I would name my first child, or what food I would cook for my future husband. I've never been a natural homemaker. Instead, I was dreaming about going to college, getting a career, and becoming a boss lady. I have been working some sort of job since I was 14 years old. In college, at one point I was working 3 jobs all at the same time. I am by nature a workaholic. Sometimes I would rather be working than doing anything else. That being said... I have a confession:
It has been almost six months since I held my last full-time job. Six. Whole. Months.
This might not seem like much to you, but for me, it feels like an eternity. I have always loved to work. I enjoy the comradery of co-workers, the ability to work on a goal or project, and the rewarding feeling you experience when you get your paycheck each month. I love knowing that I earned something. It is one of the best feelings in the world in my opinion. When I am at home without any pressing deadlines or responsibilities I don't know what to do with myself. I can "Netflix and chill" for about three days and then I can't stand it anymore. I have to do something productive!
I took a personal break from my professional career this year. My degree is in teaching and God richly blessed me for nearly two years as I served as an educator. The problem was, I wasn't taking care of myself. I was allowing work to take up my entire life. This was tolerable for a while as a single girl, but once I got married it was pretty clear that something had to give. After a lot of thought and prayer, my husband and I knew it was best for me to quit my job.
When I quit my job, I fully intended on returning in the 2020-2021 school year. I never wanted my break to be permanent and I am already antsy to get back into the workforce. I've been trying to distract myself with a ton of other hobbies and side jobs. I've worked for a non-profit, wrote a book, created a marketing program for schools, worked as a nanny, tutored, and worked as a professional children's entertainer. I've been taking yoga classes at the gym and training my dog in my free time. Anyone who thinks I just sit at home doing nothing doesn't know me well. Yet as the months pass by I can't help but feel myself grow worried. What job will I take in the new year?
I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew what jobs in my area might open up and what I might be able to do. I have seen job opportunities and felt like they were a good fit for me. Yet after I pray about it, God tells me it isn't the right one. The more time goes by, the more I realize that I have no idea what my future holds. I am realizing that I created my own timeline for how I wanted things to go, but I didn't consider that maybe God has other plans. There is a very real possibility that the 2020-21 school year will come around and I will still be unemployed. This is incredibly frustrating.
Can anyone relate to this? Maybe you are looking for a job as well and nothing is turning up. Maybe you are an aspiring singer waiting to be discovered. Maybe you are a young man looking for his soulmate. Whatever it is that you want from your life, it can be so hard to make plans and then have them fail. It can be even harder when the plans are failing because God is saying that isn't what I want for you, you have to wait.
I read the first chapter of the book of Samuel this morning. In it, we see Hannah's struggle with being unable to have a child. Not only is she unable to get pregnant, but people are tormenting her over it! The Bible says that for years people made fun of her. Isn't that terrible? Yet in her moment of insecurity and confusion, she cried out to God... and God heard her. Not only did he give her a son, but He made the child one of the most influential prophets of all time. What is even more interesting though, is the fact that she only had a son after she surrendered her plans to God.
Sometimes God is waiting for us to give our plans over to Him. He knows our wants, our needs, and our talents. Even as I write this He knows what the best career move for me is. But He hasn't told me about it yet and I think it is because he wants me to dedicate my service to Him. You see it doesn't really matter if I am working or if I am unemployed... what matters is that I am doing everything I can to share Jesus with the world.
Occupations, fame, fortune, friendships, and even marriages are all secondary to our ultimate purpose of serving God. This has been hard for me to accept but at the same time, it has brought relief. As much as I want a great job and the ability to live "the American Dream" I am so thankful that my value is a heart issue rather than a materialistic one. Even if I end up homeless and alone someday I can still be a witness for God. When my focus shifts from my own capabilities and returns to Jesus, I am reminded that I am enough. God is going to take care of me. If God wants me to find a job, I have faith that eventually I will find one. He will provide for my needs.
It is scary to look to the future and not know what it holds. It is stressful to look at the bills and not know how you are going to pay them. It is discouraging to see your friends get married and still be single. But I think that in these times of trial we can allow our faith to be strengthened. The reality is, worrying doesn't actually help anything. No amount of fretting can change the situation. Instead, we must simply do our best and trust that God will do the rest. I know that is a cliche phrase, but I believe in it.