Saturday, August 30, 2014

Out on a Limb and Sorta' Lovin' It

I am in the process of looking for a job.

Looking for a job in a completely different area than my last sixteen years of work experience.

And I'm fifty years old.

In preparation for job interviews, I painted my fingernails what I think is a beautiful deep magenta. I was hoping it would trick potential employers into believing I'm way more competent than I feel.

My deceptive and uncharacteristic use of nail polish was the result of panic. I felt threatened by all the job ads saying things like, "quick, on-the-spot decision making," "fast-paced environment," and "competitive."

I'm a slow mover. I'm a slow thinker. The only thing I do quickly nowadays is speak. Pre-thought, always. So something goofy always plops out of my mouth and lays there like an egg yolk on linoleum, impossible to scoop back up.

No shade of nail polish, no matter how elegant, is going to dress up that trait!

So, really, I have no idea what is going to happen as far as my future employment but I do know what the future has in store - goodness and mercy.

Psalm 23:6 says, "Surely, your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."

I know that doesn't mean that I can count on obtaining my dream job or that any kind of job is going to just drop into my lap before things get scary or that I won't have to say goodbye to a bunch of luxuries (I'll miss you, Sonic.) It doesn't mean that I'm not going to feel rejected and far too old for this every time I get another email saying, "We've gone with a more qualified candidate."

It does mean I can be confident that God is with me.

I learned that truth more than ever during the past three years of really struggling as a teacher. I never felt super competent as a teacher but the last three years, things were really being stirred up in me, until one day I ended up collapsed on my kitchen floor bawling my head off because I couldn't bear the thought of going back to work the next day. It was two and a half more school years before I decided to resign. It was a dark time for me - a normally happy, cheerful person becoming an increasingly dissatisfied and frustrated grouch, scowling in rage each morning before my eyes even opened as the alarm clock started screeching.

My sister would probably like you to know that I confessed to once even flipping the bird at my alarm clock. I’m telling you, it was a dark time.

But....subsequently, I spent a lot of time during those three years talking to God. And trying so hard to listen. I didn't hear anything but, just by spending more time with Him, praying and reading, I started to love Him and trust Him more and more - until I became willing to do whatever it was He wanted me to do - whether that was resign from my job or stay another year...or ten. The act of submitting to His will, whatever it might be, seemed like a real breakthrough for me because shortly afterward, I finally experienced the peace I had been seeking as far as making a decision one way or the other. I was finally at peace with resigning.

Slow learner that I am, I've only recently started to notice this as a pattern in my life. Every time I go through a painful period, I come out of it appreciating God a little more or learning a lesson about Him - maybe something I learned in church and have always known in my head, but now understanding it in my heart through personal experience. 

It's like the labor of childbirth - when the pain is over, we have something new and beautiful that was totally worth it.

Yes, I'm going to keep tweaking the resume and practice answering the dreaded "Tell me about yourself" because, you know, I want what I want - a pleasant job in a comfy setting, a place of employment within a certain radius, and a certain amount of pay. However, more than all that, I want what God has planned for me. His lessons are far better than any perfect, lucrative job I can dream up and He just may accomplish His plans through some uncomfortable times.

My job search might be drawn out and discouraging.  The cardboard housing I joked about with coworkers may yet be in my future. Or maybe I'll find a job ad begging for a slow-movin' daydreamer with a knack for on-the-spot, snappy complaints! Either way, I can trust that God's goodness and mercy will follow me every step of the way, teaching me something new, drawing me ever closer to Him or reminding me how much He loves us.

I can't help but be excited. For anyone who's interested in my journey, I'll be updating you here at The Crooked Clothesline - on the good, the bad and the embarrassing.  Let's go!


  1. Dear Andrea,

    I'm so happy for you. You are so brave to make this big change. You can do this! You are smart, nice, funny and kind. I wish you well!


  2. Andrea, Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future". Keep trusting and He will never let you down.


Do be nice to everyone.