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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another Moment of Surrender

I love my job!!! (all-knowing friends nod wisely in background)

Okay, so it took me a while to reach the point that I was ready to do this full-time, but as things progressed and my friend took another job that she felt called to where she is now loving what she is doing, I very calmly went in to my boss's office and said, "I'd like to apply for the job." It was kind of ironic, because I knew I was on the short list. I'd actually helped put the program together and had thoroughly enjoyed myself doing that. Then I'd spent the next several months typing out tedious powerpoint slides. The information I was putting on each slide was interesting, but the footnoting wasn't fun. Every single footnote had to be looked up in the back of a rather large blue tome and it took forever just to complete one slide.

My friend kept trying to convince me that this was the job for me, doing what she was doing as registrar, but I wasn't interested. I'd just finished working in a high-stress environment and needed some time to reevaluate where I was going with my life. I was asking God where He wanted me, but He remained strangely silent. All I knew was that I was supposed to wait.

Then my friend was leaving and the job was opening up and all of a sudden I had to think seriously about whether this was something I wanted to pursue or not. See, I'm a logical sort of person. I can't live my life based on feelings, though I often do, because being an emotional sort of person I can easily get swayed in one direction or the other just based on whether someone said Hi to me that day or not. So when I'm trying to plan my future, I tend to make lists, talk to people, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate.

As I evaluated, I began to realize several things.

1. My skills and abilities lie in administrative work, particularly organization. I strongly believe that God gifts us with abilities so we can use those in a powerful way for His work, and while we do need to continually stretch and grow, perhaps we can stretch and grow in areas related to the ones we already enjoy, rather than being forced to do things so far out of our comfort zone that we get discouraged and give up.

2. God has always given me jobs in the past where I was waiting patiently in the right place at the right time. When I worked as registrar the first time, I was finishing up my college education and was ready for a job, just as the current registrar was stepping down to have a baby. When I went to overseas to teach English, I had just graduated with a degree that would allow the government to accept me. When I worked as a receptionist at a clinic, I was not qualified but I was available and they needed someone right away.

3. God has used the skills I already have to match me perfectly to my job. For my first official registrar position, I had over five years of experience right in that very office as registrar's assistant, so I was comfortable taking over. In the mission field I could use my love of cultures and people. In the clinic I came with strong organizational skills and a calm caring manner that helped people feel at ease. And now I come to work in a job that requires knowledge of academics, different cultures, health, and of course being organized is a great bonus.

4. When I am doing what God wants me to do, I am happiest. I still haven't resolved the whole, "stuck in one place" issue I'm working through, but that aside, I love my job! I have the privilege of interacting with really interesting people every day. I speak to people on the phone who want to improve their health, and I am excited to share how we can help them. I coordinate students and staff, try to keep up with my boss, and do a million and one different things. I get to be creative and get paid for it!

After I told my boss I was interested in the job, I waited patiently for him to let me know I had it. I made a decision that if I received the job, I would wholeheartedly enter into the program I would be working with, making it my own, determined to have a good experience instead of a difficult one as I'd had in years past in other jobs. After all, life was going to happen anyhow, so it was up to me to choose how I related to it.

Life as a Christian can be quite uncertain at times. While we may make our plans, we know full well that if we want to follow God's will, we may suddenly find ourselves in a completely different place in our lives. Regardless of the uncertainty, though, one thing is sure. I know that God has my best interests at heart and I am learning to trust Him to reveal His plans in His time. 

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