A few nights ago I sent a message to a friend telling her how much I longed to hear from God.
Having just relocated from another state, I have to find a new job. It’s time to start over, but because of the multitude of times we’ve already started over, my resume is a mismatched mosaic. An elementary school, two pediatricians’ offices, a year with an orthopedic surgeon, a couple of restaurants, and a church. Who was I going to become this time?
Was this going to be a matter of reinventing myself again? Because honestly, I was just beginning to know myself over the last couple years. To reinvent myself again would feel a little false, and if there is one thing I desire it is to live in total authenticity with who am, the things I do, and how I love and serve others.
I told her I was wishing God would provide a red neon sign with the words: APPLY HERE
The next morning, I sat with my journal and I repeated my plea.
“You are the only one who knows me, and You are the only one I trust. I need you to speak to me in ways that I will hear and understand. Show me your will. Show me where you want me to invest my time.”
Later that day, I drove over to introduce myself to a potential employer. Walking up to the building I saw a couple laughing and enjoying the fall weather, I nearly bumped into an Instagram friend at the door–we spoke for a moment, and as people passed us by, I saw the hint of what could be my new normal. But I didn’t see a sign that read: APPLY HERE
Once inside, I didn’t see the sign either, rather, I saw the face of a woman who offered her hand and a smile. We chatted, and she decided to give me an interview on the spot.
During the interview we talked about books, writing, travel, being a diligent worker and what it means to be happy to serve someone else. At one point, she posed a question that no one has asked me in…well, forever. Looking up from her clipboard she inquired, “What are your personal goals for the next five years?”
In that moment, and without hesitation, the words fell not only from my mouth but from my heart, “I want to create a home that is safe and welcoming for my family and the people I love.”
The interviewer tilted her head to the right and made the slightest raise of an eyebrow. I read her expression: Confused, curious. I knew what was happening. It wasn’t the answer she had expected to hear from a woman who has three adult children. It wasn’t the answer she expected to hear from someone my age.
I smiled and continued, “I want to build a place where my adult children can gather. My children lost that for a while. Actually, we all did, and that’s what I want. I want to us to have a place we can call home, a place where my husband and I can thrive. Oh, and I want to write another book.”
Later, as I was driving home, I realized how incredibly thankful I was for that unexpected question. I surprised myself.
The thing I want most was the thing that came to my mind first. I don’t know how long it has been since my number one desire was to build that kind of a nest for my family. It’s been at least a decade. I remember many years when it did not matter to me. Proverbs 14 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish woman tears it down.” That verse replayed in this foolish woman’s head ten-thousand times after I watched my household come tumbling down. Losing a place where my children could gather was one of the hardest things to feel guilty about. It took a lot of prayer to give that back to the Lord. Yes, they are grown, but I don’t think children stop needing a nest simply because they fly around on their own. Knowing their parents’ nest is strong gives strength to their flight.
This is a thrilling discovery for someone my age. That mosaic resume, along with my soon-to-be-released book has taught me something about perseverance and the art of applying oneself. With the Lord, I have it in me to persevere until He transforms my weaknesses into His masterpieces. If I apply myself to building a home that is safe for my family and honoring to Him, then it will be done.
I have been frightened, consumed, and almost depressed at the thought of where I was supposed to apply, and through an unanticipated question God sent me an APPLY HERE sign that I could understand. He showed me exactly where He wants me to apply my gifts, and where He will give the greatest return.
(By the way, the interviewer…she really like me. I probably got the job. We’ll know on Monday.)