I have been job hunting for four years. That is not me hyperbolizing or embellishing for dramatic effect. It has been four long years of writing cover letters and sending applications off into the void. Four years of wondering why no one is interested in working with me, and if there is something wrong with me. Four years of reading online articles full of bleak statistics about how under-employed most university graduates are to make myself feel better (it never worked). Four years of contracts and temping and filing and scheduling pest control (gross) and answering phones. Four years of tear-filled and frustrated conversations with my nearest and dearest people.
I know that in the grand scheme of pain and suffering, this is small potatoes. And I know that it’s a common story. There were a lot of good things in those four years too; I don’t want to make it sound like life was completely awful. But there were a lot of days when it felt enormous, and like I was the only one who ever had to walk through something like this. Sometimes I would look around at my friends with successful, well-paying jobs who are good at everything and feel like a total misfit loser. I am sad to say that there were times when I doubted God’s goodness.
Looking back it’s easy to see where God was in everything. But when you are in the middle of it, it takes faith and trust and I didn’t always have it. Some days it came easy and some days it felt like climbing a mountain with an elephant strapped to my back. But I learned and I kept walking forward and He established my steps.
There are so many things I had always abstractly believed to be true about God that I know are true now. I know that He knows my every need and will provide for them all. I know that I can cast my anxieties on Him because he cares for me. I know that he really is near to the brokenhearted. I know that I can hold fast to Him because he is faithful and fulfills his promises. I also learned that when I don’t have faith, I can ask for it and he will help me in my unbelief. I learned what it means to receive grace upon grace (upon grace, upon grace). I learned that God doesn’t work in everyone in the same way, and I can’t compare my life with others—because what is that to me? And I learned that a job is just a job. It doesn’t define who I am or what my life is all about. My life is hid with Christ on high.
This week is my last week of admin work. I got hired by a wonderful organization where I can write and communicate and do things I am good at—a place where I can invest in my work. I am so excited and happy and thankful and I don’t even know what to do with myself. Maybe I’ll go run around the block or shout from the rooftops or something. But I don’t want to forget the four years in the wilderness. There will be more times in my life where I have to go through hard things, or walk through hard seasons with people I care about. I may even have to learn some of these same lessons over (and over) again. I’m thankful that God will always be the same through everything: sovereign, faithful, steadfast, loving and good. And I wouldn’t trade knowing Him for a thousand dream jobs.