Waiting for a Job You Love?
I spent my twenties feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I wanted to use my gifts and talents for God in a career I loved, but I felt trapped. I lived in a city where software geeks were admired, and creative types were seen as undervalued nerds (that was me!)
Because few career opportunities existed to leverage my imagination, I worked as a receptionist in a software company, as a salesperson at a computer store, and I even spent a couple years scooping ice cream at the local Baskin Robbins.
On days when I was discouraged, I believed the lie that when God handed out gifts and talents in heaven, he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry. I ran out of the good gifts. You’ll have to be one of those creative types.” I felt cheated out of a fulfilling future. After all, what good was it if I could sing, paint, or write? No engineering firm would be calling me for an interview—which meant I would spend the rest of my life feeling miserable in jobs I wasn’t made for.
But something was driving me to keep dreaming about better days when I could serve God in a job I loved.
In his book Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael Mcmanus writes, “All of us long to be something more than we are. We are driven to achieve, moved to accomplish, fueled by ambition. It burns hotter in some than others, but it is within all of us. ”
Like Mcmanus says, I was desperate to be more than I was; I wanted to serve God in my sweet spot. I needed to know that my existence mattered.
Maybe this describes you. And perhaps like me you are frustrated with your career and you know in the deepest part of yourself that God has more for you. Maybe you are fresh out of college, or you are entering midlife and you sense that a transition is coming. No matter your age or stage, here are three things I learned while I was waiting for God to move me from scooping ice cream to using my gifts of communication.
1) God is shaping and preparing you. While you are moving forward to do all you can to find a job that fits, and you are also waiting on God to open doors, remember that there are often times of preparation in private before purpose becomes public. This is what happened to David and it’s what happened to Moses. We are often in a hurry; God is never in a hurry. He is more interested about who we are than what we do. While you are feeling like a square peg in a round hole, He is shaping you and purifying your love for Him.
2) God wants the glory. Sometimes the process that God takes us through so that we have greater reverence for him involves the stripping away of things we hold most dear for a period of time. This means that the career we are holding onto most tightly may not materialize when we want so that when it does happen, He gets the glory.
3) God will get you to your destiny. Sometimes the path you are on may seem useless. I couldn’t see how God could get me from doing office work to doing something I loved. In retrospect, I can see how He used every career move to move me where I am today. God doesn’t waste a thing and He is sovereign. Just as He did with Joseph, He will get you where you need to go to fulfill His plans for your life. I once had someone tell me, “It’s God’s responsibility to get you to your destiny.” What a great perspective! God is at work in you to “will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
In closing, remember to patiently wait on God. Most importantly, while you work and pray to serve Him using your gifts and talents in a job you love, make your relationship with Christ your greatest priority. You are His greatest desire.
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