I grew up in a Christian household with parents who placed God in the center of our family and I accepted Christ at a young age. While I was fortunate to have daily examples of what it meant to walk with Christ throughout my childhood, it wasn’t until recently that I began to learn what it means to have a personal relationship with God and to be committed to him.
In 2016, I was 3 years into a new career and feeling completely burned out. While I loved my chosen profession, I was feeling frustrated and needed a change. I had worked very hard in my job. I became fully licensed as a professional counselor and completed training in helping children with trauma and behavioral problems. I decided to move out of the Midwest to Maryland to be closer to my family and to advance in my career. I moved with modest savings and with optimism that I would quickly land on my feet with an awesome job. I arrived in Baltimore in late October 2016 excited for my brand new start, however my confidence and excitement slowly began to fade.
I was applying for jobs and interviewing for different companies almost weekly and was turned down. I knew I was qualified for the jobs and did my best in my interviews but I was not getting anywhere. Weeks of joblessness turned into months. My savings dwindled down to close to nothing. By January 2017, I was completely heartbroken. With every rejection, I felt more and more hopeless and lost. I did not understand why this was happening to me. For the first time in my adult life, my parents were helping me financially. My sister was also covering both of our living expenses. I was deeply embarrassed and ashamed. I began to question my decision to move. I also began to question whether I was good enough as a professional counselor. I cried every day, feeling scared that I would never find my place in Maryland.
To cope, I prayed everyday, attended church and served monthly. I even got baptized all while trying to maintain my faith in God. I sought encouragement from my family, especially my mother.
In March 2017, I finally landed a job but it was not a job was I excited about. It was a job I applied to out of desperation and was rejected from back in December 2016. They called me back in February 2017 and I decided to take the job as I was exhausted from job hunting and it was my only option. A part of me was relieved that I was finally going to be working again but a part of me was really disappointed. I couldn’t imagine that this was the best God had for me.
I had a horrible interview with this company and from the beginning felt deeply undervalued and misunderstood. Working at this company felt like a huge step back in my career. I was not working with kids and felt all of my previous training was going to waste. I had a hard time accepting that this was where God wanted me. It’s sad to say, but I honestly did not put much effort into my job in the beginning. I had one foot in the door and the other foot out. I heard the saying that sometimes it’s easier to get a job when you already have one. I just knew that I would be getting a call from my dream job soon and would not have to stay at my current company for very long.
After a couple months, I decided to settle in at my job and give my best. I remember my mom encouraging me with Romans 8:28,
“and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.”
Another verse I held firmly to was Jeremiah 29:11,
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. “
I believed anything that God allowed in my life is for a purpose and will work out for the best. I can rest knowing that God’s plan will always be good and he has a bright future for me. I chose to trust God in this. I started giving my best to my clients, participating in meetings and even wrote a blog for the company. I was grateful to have a job with good benefits and to be able to support myself again. I continued to look for jobs but my search was not out of desperation for something better.
I continued to pray that God’s plan would prevail in my life. A huge benefit with my job was the large number of paid holidays we were allowed. I used those days off to work with a local job center to get help with my resume, learn interviewing techniques and job search strategies. In October 2017, I found a job posting for a company that I saw a while back but couldn’t pursue as it was too far away from where I was living in Baltimore. My lease was ending soon in Baltimore and my sister and I had plans to move to an area that was closer to this particular job. I decided to apply and got an interview. I had two interviews with this company and both were amazing. I felt this particular company was trying to convince me to work for them rather than the other way around. The people I spoke to at this company were so gracious and caring.
My interview process with this company was nothing like anything I’d ever experience. The job I was applying to was awesome as well. It closely aligned with my passion for children and would allow me to grow in my professional goals. At the same time, I also applied and interviewed with a large academic institution for a clinical counseling position with children who have had traumatic experiences. It was very similar to my previous work in the midwest. My interview with this institution was very intimidating. I was in a room with clinical nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. I did my best in the interview and waited several weeks to hear back. In my waiting, I really felt drawn to the first company. I had interviewed with. I wanted to work for a company were I would be valued and challenged to grow. They offered me the job and I said “yes!”. I moved to a new place and started a new job in November 2017 and I have been there every since.
I have never felt so at peace about where I am in my career. God truly answered my prayers. It was really a matter of timing and learning the lesson of trusting in God with the small and super important things. I learned that he really cannot fail me. As a bonus, after I accepted my dream job, I learned that the academic institution wanted to offer me a job as well. While I had already accepted the other position, I really feel God used that situation to show me that I am good enough and that my hard work and clinical training is valuable, even to experts in child psychology. I thank God for that experience and restoring confidence in the gifts he has given me.
My relationship with God continues to be a journey. There are still areas of my life that I feel a twinge of hopefulness and am waiting on God to see what he will do. I am thankful that I can look back on the last year and a half on what God has done and find hope for the future. I would encourage anyone who finds themselves believing God for something whether big or small with Galatians 6:9,
“let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I know it’s hard but don’t give up. You have to keep going. God will help you while you wait. Look for the ways in which God is there with you and hold on to that. At the right time, you will be where he wants you to be.