Lessons Learned While Waiting

Waiting sucks. It sucked when I was five years old, and it sucks now. Except, now, I’m not waiting five minutes for my mom to get done with grocery shopping so I can go home and color. I’m waiting for God to give me a good full-time job, a spouse, and the next step in his plan for me. This is a little more important than finding the right purple crayon to color Barney with.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It’s also passive, which is probably why it’s so hard. I like control. A lot of control. I like being proactive and making sure everything is perfect. I like routine, structure, and organization. I like to know that I have a set schedule for next week and a good idea of where I’ll be in a year.

For the first three years of adulthood, I knew where I was going to be for the foreseeable future: at the same school I had wanted to attend since I was sixteen. I had my class schedule planned out years in advance. I had it together. I knew what was going on.

Then junior year ended.

I was a little too preoccupied with my summer internship to worry about where I was going to be in a year, but when it did end, the idea of uncertainty crashed over me like a tidal wave:

“Where am I gonna be in a year? Will I have a job? Will I like my job? What jobs should I start applying for? Do I need to rethink my life? Did I pick the right major? Did I just waste the last four years of my life?”

I gave it to God last August. I trusted that he would provide a job for me. I’d probably get this awesome job straight out of college. Just to be safe, I met with career counselors and talked with all my professors about job opportunities and the next phase of my life. I had a great resume. Great references. Superb cover letter writing skills. I was sure I would be offered a full-time gig (one that I actually wanted) by graduation.

Well, graduation came and went, with all its pomp and circumstance. Still, no job. I wasn’t too discouraged. Just anxious to find a job and get started building my career. Moving back in with my folks wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Most people do that after college anyway, right? Still, it’s not where I pictured myself.

Well, three months and dozens of fruitless job applications later, still no prospects.

I’ve asked what’s wrong with me more than once. I’ve looked over my resume a hundred times. I’ve spent hours crafting cover letters. I’ve sent email after email expressing my interest in this job and that job. I’ve been rejected with each pointless phone call. As I write this, I’m worried that I missed something in each application, each cover letter, and each following correspondence. “I made that typo in the email. That’s why they won’t hire me.”

But life goes on. I continue to work a part-time job I can barely stand. I pick up extra work whenever I can. With all this unwanted free time, I work out, write on this blog, practice piano, read, work on my novel, and try to keep myself from going insane.

I guess God is trying to teach me patience in all this. I’m a very impatient person. (You should see me in traffic.) Also, I guess I’ve never really had to trust God with my future like this before. I’ve always been provided for. My parents always figured out everything for me before I grew up. I never had to worry about much, and what I did worry about, I got done. Like I said, I knew where I wanted to go to college since age sixteen. It was easy. Maybe that wasn’t a bad thing then, but it’s probably not what I need now.

Maybe I need to struggle. Figure this out with blood, sweat and tears. Maybe if God had given me a job right at graduation, I wouldn’t have had my patience and trust tested so much. Maybe that’s what I need for my next job: patience and trust.

I wish I’d go ahead and learn those lessons so God can get on with it. That’s probably not how it works though. It’s all in his timing. His perfect timing. It’s so different from mine, but I know that it’s much better.

So I’ll continue this process of applying for jobs, emailing, calling, begging on my hands and knees. Something will come along. I just gotta keep from looking up every day and asking why God isn’t doing what I want. Giving this to God isn’t a one time thing. It’s daily. And it’s not easy. But it’s worth it. God and his plans are so worth it.

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