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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV
Shortly after my husband left, I started sending out resumes. I was not ready to go back to work quite yet, but I knew it would take some time to get a job and I wanted to get started on my new life. I had also been out of the workforce for a while, so I figured I would have to start back at the beginning and pay my dues…again.
Although I had dreamed of being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I really felt God leading me to shut down my daily blog, work full-time, pay off the rest of my student loans, and put us in the best possible spot financially. That way, we would be ready for whatever God had for us down the road.
But even getting to that point happened in stages. At the very beginning, I could not bear the thought of going back to work full-time and leaving my son in daycare. I had gone to school part-time for the past two years, and the little time my son had to spend in daycare while I was in class was miserable for him and for me. Some days, he would cry as I dropped him off, and he was still crying when I picked him up – that horrible kind of sobbing that makes your whole body shake and leaves you gasping.
But gradually, I started becoming accustomed to the idea of working full-time and felt a drive to get the debt paid off as soon as possible. At the same time, my son watched a Curious George episode about going to kindergarten, and he couldn’t wait to be big enough to go to school. He thought it would be super cool.
So I started looking for a Christian preschool instead of a daycare. Phrasing makes all the difference, it seems.
My pastor helped arrange a few meetings with people in the church who might know of a suitable position for me. Through those connections, I eventually made it to Nancy. Nancy is the staffing specialist at a nearby temporary agency, and we clicked right away.
She told me she had a month-long temporary position in mind for me. I still wasn’t quite ready to work, but I knew I could handle one month, and the paycheck would be nice. Before I could interview, though, the company decided they weren’t going to hire anyone. So I kept looking.
I interviewed at another company. They offered me the job, but I knew it wasn’t for me. I felt crazy for turning down a job. The economy wasn’t great, and I knew I would have to support myself at some point. I didn’t want to mooch off my parents forever. But I trusted that God knew what He was doing. My friends and family confirmed that I shouldn’t accept a job just to have a job. I needed to bide my time and wait for the right job for me and my son.
The next Saturday, I was sitting on the back porch enjoying the sunshine. My son was playing in the grass, and it suddenly struck me. “He’s okay,” I thought. Something about him just seemed more settled.
I felt more settled, too.
On Sunday after church, my son’s Bible fellowship teacher, Stephanie, told me the change in my son was like night and day. He seemed comfortable and happy with life, and he fit right in.
“That does a mama’s heart good,” I told her.
On Monday, Nancy called me and said the first company decided they did want to hire someone for the temporary position after all. I interviewed that same day with Edna, the human resources manager, and I got the job!
As I was standing up to leave at the end of the interview, Edna asked me what I wanted to be paid. I had worked out a few budget scenarios and had a specific number in mind. I had prayed God would make it happen. However, all the temporary jobs I had worked in the past paid the same rate, and it really wasn’t negotiable. Nancy had already told me what this job paid, so I was a little dumbstruck that Edna would even ask.
But she did ask, so I told her the number I had in mind. I didn’t apologize for it. I just told her flat out. And do you know what she said?
That shouldn’t be a problem.
And then I kicked myself for not having asked for more.
God provided at just the right time. I started work the next day.
We are in a new stage of life, Father. Show me where You want us to be. Surround Bradley with friends and teachers who can encourage and uplift him, and allow him to do the same. Thank You for providing for us financially and giving us exactly what we need. Help us to be faithful with what we’ve been given.
ACT: This is a good time to explore your dreams. Ask yourself what you really want and identify your talents. You may as well take advantage of this unexpected “do-over” and try to surround yourself with things you love. Also, don’t sell yourself short. Your confidence may not be at an all-time high right now, but figure out what you need, and ask for it. You may be surprised that you actually get it!
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*Photo credit: col&tasha (Creative Commons)