When I was laid off, I had a long talk with myself. It was a talk that took months to have. What’s next? What do I want? What do I need? What does my family need? In those months I compiled a mental list of answers to those questions and combined it with what other people were saying, and what I discerned God saying to me.
It went something like this: Write, speak, teach, benefits, pension, groups, people, Masters. Folks often followed this up with a heartfelt, “I can’t wait to see what God has for you!!!”
Writing, speaking and teaching made sense. Groups of people/communication are what I’m passionate about. Benefits and a pension are a bonus. I’m 45 and can’t work forever. There was financial confirmation of the Masters. And then there was that most encouraging of statements. “I can’t wait to see what God has for you!”
Those are beautiful words. I held onto them in my darkest days. But they were words that I interpreted to mean my next position was going to be so fantastic, the disappointment of my job loss will make complete sense, in fact, I will REJOICE that I no longer have that profession.
If any of you are ever in my situation please don’t interpret those words like I did. It could set you up for more pain.
Last week was the crucial week for me. I knew that by Friday, the next part of my journey would be decided. I had two interviews for jobs that I was qualified for. I had a work offer that was ok, but not what I was really looking for. I was optimistic and confident.
The interviews were great. I felt positive. They liked me, they really liked me. Cue Celebration by Kool and the Gang.
Then Thursday happened. In the matter of a few short hours: our hamster died, I was not chosen for job #1, I took my class 4 drivers knowledge test and failed, (I needed it for a potential position) and then was promptly passed over for job #2 – the one I really wanted – it would have been that rejoice – look what God had for you kind of job.
And accepted the prior job offer that I had.
The next three days I was an emotional mess. I couldn’t reason with myself. I felt like I had let everyone down who said to me, “I can’t wait to see what God has for you!” I was a failure, plain and simple.
I didn’t see any light until Sunday. Then I saw something. I saw that my new position gives me opportunity to write, speak and teach. Had I gotten one of those two other posts I would have become comfortable in myself again, and not pursued these three things. I have benefits. I may even have a pension. It is a large organization and there is room for me to grow. I’m working with groups of people. I feel direction regarding my Masters degree.
I experienced the gift of perspective.
In less than 48 hours my new job starts. It was not what I expected. I was not what I thought God would give me. I don’t even know that it’s a step “up” in my career. But I will learn things I did not know I needed to know. Any maybe, just maybe, what God has in store for me won’t be so bad after all.