Check out my other blog: Arugula Addict! I'll be writing about my journey to becoming a healthier person.

Friday, April 28, 2017

I Am Willing

Someone asked me today, Did you lose your job in the job axing? I looked at the email in disbelief, shocked that someone I considered a good friend would ask me that question. I tried to attribute it to their concern for my well-being but failed to convince myself. It felt more like an implication that I wasn't able to perform well enough therefore my position had been eliminated.

There have been some cuts that were recently announced but they were primarily due to financial reasons as the institution where I work is struggling with enrollment being down, which leads to reduced tuition income. It's not surprising, considering enrollment is down nationwide by 20% and even the larger universities that are well established are feeling the financial pinch. The responsibilities will be distributed among the current employees and I too will be adding to my work load. I worry sometimes whether I will be able to handle it all, as my days are already full and sometimes it feels like I am just treading to catch a breath of air, but I prefer to be busy than bored and I have confidence that God will help me to handle it.

A new employee to the campus looked at me the other day, when they were visiting a mutual friend whose house I was at also, and evaluated me as conservative and highly sensitive. I laughed, as they had arrived at a precise description of who I was--and without knowing me that well either. I've been sensitive since I was a child, often being reprimanded by a parent for being too sensitive and bursting into tears at perceived slights. Perhaps this sensitivity is what I carry into innocuous questions such as the one that was asked.

I've been officially in the workplace for a little over 11 years now though I began working as a student 18 years ago, so I bring a number of years of experience. During this time, I was never let go. As a student, I quickly became a highly valued worker who could choose where to work, running the library by myself in the summer when the head librarian was on holiday, and receiving certificates of achievement in the workplace that also included cash awards.

When I began to work as a full-time employee, I was diligent and conscientious. Only once did I face the threat of losing my job, when an incoming new supervisor re-interviewed me for my position. While none of the other continuing employees were re-interviewed, I realized that I was due to a clash of personalities. It led to me later resigning from that position, being the first but not the last as a new face filled that position every year for the next 5 years. God kept me in that position when I needed it for my visa's sake and then He found me another position at the right time.

Arriving here, I began by volunteering in a department doing a job that, had my college professor known about, would have made her laugh as I had gotten a C in my Journalism class and now I was reporting on events. Several months later, though, I transitioned into a role that allowed me to keep writing on the side but better suited my abilities, background, and academic training. I began to see a long-term future and asked if there was employment available.

Once again, God worked out the logistics, as the approval for full-time employment upon completion of my volunteer contract was given four months prior to the contract ending. This came three months before there was a hiring freeze. Then my application for some legal paperwork to facilitate staying as a missionary long-term was approved in 3 months instead of 6--yet another clear indicator that God had a serious plan for me here.

This is what I return to when I face uncertainty and insecurities of whether I made the right decision to stay. I know in my heart I did, but there have been several weeks of questioning my purpose and goals in life. I have a difficult time living in the US, as the culture evades me, but I keep returning to the question of whether I should be working there in a high-salaried job so I can earn money for a house to stabilize my future. Then the idea comes of moving back to Europe where I was rooted through citizenship, though I do not speak the language and haven't adopted the cultural traditions.

My mother used to tell me, I'll move on from here when God clearly shows me that it's time to move. She's been working for the same company for 18+ years now so God hasn't show her yet that it is time to move. Each time I shifted position within the institution I worked at for 17 years, I knew without a doubt that God was taking me there. Coming here, once again I felt that peace of certainty that I was in God's will.

So why the restlessness? Why the worry that if this person was asking such a question, there could possibly be some basis to it? How do I ground my feet so they don't pick up and go without me? Perhaps I'm coming to the crucial stage that every TCK fears when they move somewhere. Perhaps this is the rooting time. Perhaps now those roots are beginning to ground themselves firmly in the soil of everyday life, the mundane, while simultaneously spreading into others' hearts so we become interconnected.

This thing, this rootedness, is what will change me and I need to be ready for that reality. And I need to do so in the knowledge that regardless of what other people may assume, I am exactly where God wants me to be and doing what He has asked me to do. This is my life and this will be my reality until He clearly shows me otherwise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share a thought or two. . .