Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When a "Yes" To God is Not Enough

The job description matched my skill set perfectly. So I applied. The job was prestigious, and I'd consider myself lucky if I even had my application acknowledged. I almost dropped my phone when I got an email saying the hiring manager was interested. Next was a paper assessment.

Fear. This was like the SAT. Only worse.

I filled it out to the best of my ability, prayed that God's grace covered my uncertainties, and mailed it back. I knew if I was supposed to have that job, He'd get me there. In the meantime, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Then it came, the email no one ever wants to receive. My score was good but not good enough.

What happens when your best isn't enough? Do you throw in the towel and explore career changes? Do you flee the country? Do you cry and type an angry email back to the company telling them their test is a poor representation of your spectacular skill set? Do you hide in your closet until some notices you're missing and cares enough to come find you?

Those all sound appealing. Instead I did what I do every other Wednesday evening: I went to church.

As if God planned it (because I'm sure He did), the song that was playing when I shoved the key into the ignition was, "That's What Family Does" by Peder Eide.

From the second time I heard the song, I found myself in the first verse:
There are times when life is tough.
When a yes to God is not enough.
The hill is steep and the summit high.
You wonder why.
You've lost your spark, your fight, your song.
Now wrong seems right and right seems wrong.
Yes to God not enough? Steep hill? Wonder why? Missing spark, fight, song?
Yup. That's me.

How easy it is to stay there in the first verse, to mull over what life used to be like when the smile on your face was real, when a glimpse at the top of the mountain was encouraging.

Since I've heard the song once or twice, I know it's not over after the first verse. Listen... er, read... the chorus.

Look around and see
the face of family
and lean into the love.
Lift each other up,
cheer each other on.
We do it all because
that's what family does.
I hate sending text messages, facebook messages, and emails saying I didn't get yet another job. But my family (we're not just talking blood relation) is great about encouraging me that God's got a plan. Some days I'm more open to this encouragement than others. But either way, it's there.

The table's set and the food is hot
reminding you what you've forgot:
the warmth of home and a fragrant grace
a holy place.
And all of us can hardly wait
to hold you close and celebrate.
When I first heard the song, I wasn't a big fan of the second verse. Maybe because I cooked dinner for myself and ate it alone. The house was quiet and drafty. Wednesday is the only day of the week when I always eat dinner with people.

But I've stopped taking it literally. Instead, I look around at all of the friends and family who will celebrate with me when I finally get a job.

I don't have one yet. But I do have some encouraging text messages and virtual hugs. I have a Twitter message asking for the use of my skills... the same ones that the company said weren't good enough. I have an email from a missionary I've never met who is willing to be interviewed for Jesus Worldwide. I had ten people come over tonight who were practically on their hands and knees begging for me to make cheese dip.

They say out there that no one cares
and you are all alone.
Seems they may be alone
but we claim you as our own.

Even if a company isn't willing to claim me, my family will. Job searching is not what I call fun but I know I'm not alone.

God isn't scared by the harsh words flying from my mouth in His direction. He isn't put off by the tears that outnumber the hairs on my head. When I said yes to God, I said yes to spending more money on groceries than I make. I said yes to more rejection letters. Yes to the unknown. Yes to this.

Yes to the church family who turned my fake smile into a real one. I didn't forget about the newest addition in my collection of rejection letters but I leaned into the love in the form of shouting, chocolates, and an extra chair pulled up to the table just for me.

I don't love limbo, but I love being loved by family as I journey through limbo.

I've got so many wonderful people singing my song back to me when I forget it.

Thank you,
<>< Katie

PS: If you've been following me on Twitter (@KatieAx3), you've seen me refer to work and a job. This is a freelance job that involves me going into the office most days. I am nothing but grateful for this amazing opportunity.

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