It has been over a month since Connor and I returned to Colorado Springs after 7 months abroad doing a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission (see previous posts to read more about that). With no jobs and no apartment, we moved into my old room at my parent’s house – a challenging scenario for this independent, strong-willed introvert. In one month I’ve applied for 4 jobs, interviewed for 2 of them, and been turned down for all of them. It has been a little disheartening and at times I struggle with feelings of inadequacy, despair, frustration, and mistrust toward God. It’s in these moments of doubt that I have to take a step back and remember the goodness of God’s character, what He has done for me, and what He has promised to do in and through me.
I remind myself of the rainy day in early January while we were on outreach in Australia. We were praying about the New Year and asking God what His plan was for the year. He said that 2016 for me personally was to be a “Year of Jubilee” – a time to trust Him like never before and not to worry. If you’re not familiar with the Biblical Year of Jubilee, it began with God’s commandment to the Israelites that every 50th year be a celebratory year in which they were to let the land rest, forgive debts, and set prisoners and slaves free. During this year God promised to bless the crops and the people were to rest from their work. In short, the year was firstly to remind the Israelites that God created everything – the land and everything in it – and gave it to them, that they were not the only owners. More importantly, it was a year to trust and focus on God instead of work and daily problems. It was a time of restoration, peace, and liberty.
Now I don’t think God is telling me to take this year to park myself on the couch and watch Netflix everyday. Instead, I feel He is simply asking me to trust Him more than I ever have before – to trust Him to provide me a job that aligns with His purposes for me, an apartment, a plan and vision all in His timing. When I remember this, I can’t help but honor God by seeking and trusting His best for me. I pray constantly that God will give me the faith and courage not to settle for a job that isn’t His best for me because I’m being motivated by fear and impatience. Each time I’ve had an interview, I’ve prayed that if the job wasn’t God’s very best for me that I wouldn’t get it (even though I’ve really wanted some of them). This is a scary prayer to make, but I can’t stand the thought of missing out on God’s most exciting path for me because I sought the instant gratification that His 2nd, 3rd, or 10th best plan offered.
Asking and trusting for God’s best for me also requires that I give my best and not sit on my hands. That means striving for excellence in all that I do, including being intentional with writing resumes and cover letters. I spend days tweaking resumes and cover letters for each job I apply to because I want to be confident that if I don’t get the job, it means it wasn’t God’s best for me. This has been so liberating and helps safeguard my heart against the inevitable feelings of rejection and inadequacy that being denied a position can stir up. Giving my best also means using the downtime during unemployment wisely (something I am continually trying to improve on). On my 25th birthday this year I felt God telling me I needed to make some goals, so I wrote down “25 Goals for my 25th Year”. Now I know why He wanted me to do that, because I have a lot of time to work on accomplishing those 25 things! Lately I’ve been focusing on trail running more, less time spent looking at my phone, and not skipping meals – all goals that suffered when I was employed full-time.
I’ll continue striving to honor God in the midst of this season of unemployment by trusting that He is good and He has good things planned for me. His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, so He knows what is ultimately best for me. I want a job soon and I believe God wants to provide me with the right one at the right time, but if not, He is still good. My faith in Him is not results-oriented. My faith in Him is rooted in the simple fact that He is God and I am not.