Ten and a half months ago, I started looking for a new job.
I have been working for our church for the past two years. When I took the job, there were a few burning questions in my head – common for a first job, probably common for any new job. Chief among them was the schedule. Working for a church, I would be assuming lots of weekend and holiday responsibility. With Sean’s regular hours teaching high school English, our schedules would not be very complementary. Two years into the job, I still had the same unresolved question. Even though my ability to balance work and home improved considerably – I never had peace about my schedule. And so, with the blessing of my husband and my boss, I started looking for a new job.
A month or so into my search (and a handful of cover letters later), I was offered a series of interviews for a position that I considered ideal. This beginning part of my search had been full of questions, prayers for direction, and thoughtful analysis of the direction I wanted to go. This job felt like an answer.
At the time, I found myself praying, “Lord teach me to be strong in Your grace.”
I wrote down the following promises:
I am not confident in myself alone.
I am confident that God has a plan.
I am confident that He is good.
I am confident that He guides me.
I am confident that He can use me.
There was lots of waiting. Lots of self-doubt. And then I didn’t get the job.
For the next couple of months, it was hard to be hopeful. Things seemed like they were happening to me, at random. I was working really hard to build a network, I had sent out countless resumes, I was doing everything I could. And I wasn’t getting any further in my search. My confidence was shaken.
And all of a sudden, I started getting hit with some broken parts of my life – broken parts of my mind, really. Lies that I had been bearing the weight of for quite a while.
I have to do this myself.
I have to be good enough.
There isn’t a plan.
Almost unknowingly, I was repeating these things to myself, and I was living as if they were true. In fact, it was kind of hard to tell they were lies anymore. And so, after being prompted by a friend to do so, somewhere on our trip to Alaska, I started praying that I would see the lies for what they were, and hear the truth instead.
A week after we got back, I was driving in my car playing back my negative internal soundtrack, when I heard the truth break in. I had lots of thoughts, lots of bad things to say about myself, and all of a sudden I heard, “Megan, you aren’t the only one with thoughts about you.”
I realize that isn’t a profound spiritual truth. It’s probably not even a very well structured sentence. But it was instantly healing.
I realized that I hadn’t really been listening to the truth, in fact I had kind of closed off from it in favor of repeating the same false things over and over to myself. With those words, I suddenly had hope that there was a larger purpose for my current situation. And I know that it was His work in my life – because I had been trying to attain this peace through sheer willpower for months.
I can look back on this season of my life as a time of healing…And a time of pruning…A time that the Lord used to break into some of the broken parts of me and shine His truth and light…A time He used to take control of some of my habits and attitudes that were dead, that I might bear fruit…And a time used to make me stronger in His grace.
Having long ago taken on my sin, he is continually in the process of taking my heart and making all things new. Through this season, I have felt set free from guilt for things I have been carting around for years – the amazing truth is that God isn’t only concerned about ‘fixing’ this hard phase of my life and giving me a job – He’s concerned with redeeming every part of my life! In light of this, I can certainly look back and say, I am truly thankful that I didn’t get a job 8 months ago. I am deeply, deeply thankful.
If you are unemployed or just plain feeling stuck in the season of life that you are in – take heart! I don’t know why these things happen to us. But I do know now, more than ever, that the Lord is good. I know that He is concerned with the whole of us – not just our circumstances. And I know that He wants us to embrace Truth that we might be full of peace and joy – not from ourselves, but by His strength.
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me.” – John 15:2, 4
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” – 2 Corinthians 3:5
“The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency, at all times, in all things, you may be fully equipped for every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
“For indeed, He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God.” – 2 Corinthians 13:4
“Forever, O Lord, you Word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations.” – Psalm 119:89-90
“If your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” – Psalm 119:92