Using the phrase of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice, I haven’t been ‘completely, incandescently happy’ for a while now. You know, that bubbly feeling inside you that keeps a smile plastered on your face and puts a spring in your step? When everything seems to be falling into place, your career is progressing, and you know where your life is headed?
Well, I haven’t. For months now, I have felt secluded in the dark, with only brief, intermittent glimpses of light (see previous post, Facing the Unknown) That doesn’t mean I have stayed at home, eating ice cream and wallowing in self-pity while watching reality TV dramas for the past three months. But I have definitely been in a kind of fog, just putting one foot in front of the other but not really sure where I was headed. I have been walking a dark, lonely path that seems to go in circles, going somewhere but going nowhere at the same time.
Can some of you relate? I know what this period of life is called because it is nothing new. The author James in the Bible calls this dark period a TRIAL. A testing of my faith. Because when everything is seemingly going right, it’s easy to forget to thank the Creator and Sustainer for sovereignly creating and orchestrating our life. But when life seems to have stopped and we are walking in the dark, we have no choice but to lean on The Lord to guide us out of the valley and guide us into the light. Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. says it best:
At times, the only way God can prove his point in our lives is to remove some of the crutches we depend on, forcing us to see how helpless we are and making it necessary for us to lean completely on him.
I always dreamed of the day I would graduate college and my life would finally, truly begin. Or so I thought. Well…that day has come and gone. And I realize that that dream was just a dream, an unrealistic fantasy crafted in my mind by watching too many Hollywood movies or reading too many fictitious novels. Nothing magically happens when you finally hold that expensive piece of paper in your hands. It’s not the key to unlocking your future. A college education is important and definitely helps guide and shape the future, but it doesn’t come with a magical guarantee of an instantly successful career. There is no return policy that says, “If unable to find a job in 3 months, return and exchange it for another degree.”
For the past 3+months, I have been faithfully searching for a job that would kick start my career in the field of communications, a position that could finally be the catalyst I needed to expand my professional experience and begin climbing the career ladder. Aside from a few interviews, nothing panned out. Until now.
About a month and half ago, I was referred for and subsequently applied to a paid internship position at a company in Lynchburg (anonymous for the time being). Shortly after applying, they granted me a phone interview with an HR representative in Richmond. From my perspective, the interview went really well and I was promised to hear back in 2-3 weeks time if I advanced to the 2nd, on-site, round of interviews.
Week 2 came and went. Week 3 came and went. Week 4 came and went.
Finally, when week 5 came and went with still no response, I decided to email the HR rep I interviewed with to check up and let her know I was still very interested in the position. I finally got a reply and about a week later, another HR rep contacted me to set up my on-site interview which was this past Thursday (3/20). Finally, finally, I began to see the light! Thursday’s interview went fabulously and it assured me that I would love the opportunity to work for this company, with these awesome people. Walking out of that interview, I was, for the first time in a long while, H-A-P-P-Y. I couldn’t stop smiling all day. Never before have I walked out of an interview so pleased with how it went and so desiring a call back with a job offer. I won’t hear back for about another week as they finish the last round of interviews, but either way, my hope has been renewed. In the past couple weeks, doubt had gradually crept into my emotions and thoughts, wondering where The Lord was in all of this. I began to despair and my patience tank was on empty.
BUT THEN GOD…(my favorite phrase in Scripture)
But then God paved the way for this opportunity. Before every interview, the last words I pray are “Your will be done, Lord.” That simple phrase helps shape my perspective going into an interview, that no matter what happens, the Lord is in control.
Control…Growing up, my mom (author of thecheeriotrail blog) taught her children and other ladies on this idea of control. She calls it, “Relinquishing the Illusion of Control.”Think about it. Most of us like to think we are in control, especially Type A, OCD individuals like myself. We like to decide where things go, what’s going to happen next, how things are run, etc. I’m just like my mom in this respect, so through the years, I have sat in on her messages to ladies at our church and been personally mentored when a situation is taken out of my control, like my current one. I have had to relinquish my illusion of control, an illusion because the Lord is really the one in control. I have been lovingly, albeit constantly, reminded just how NOT in control l am.
I have had to relinquish my illusion of control. I have been lovingly, albeit constantly, reminded just how NOT in control l am.
There is NOTHING I can do to make my life progress forward like I want or make it move faster and pan out differently without stepping outside God’s will (and that’s definitely not a smart decision nor a desire of mine).
My crutches have been removed and I have been “forced” to pray over Scripture, rely on the Lord, and trust Him for the next step, often with my prayers mirroring that of Grant Taylor in Facing the Giants, “Lord give me somethin’, show me somethin.” And then just like in the movie, a Mr. Bridges-like friend or family member lovingly reminds me of this, “Until the Lord moves you, you’re to bloom right where you’re planted.”
With spring almost here to stay, it’s perfect planting season and I’m going to prepare my fields for the rain. The interview on Thursday hasn’t changed anything yet. My situation remains the same. But I have refocused my perspective and I know the rain is coming and I trust in my faithful Lord and will continue to use this time of waiting to do and accomplish that which I can’t when working full-time. And just as spring brings new life and fresh starts, I’m hoping this is the start of something new…