Yesterday morning, I woke up with 25 more days to find a job in Los Angeles county, no job, $18,500 to repay if I didn’t find a job by the deadline, no interviews to wait to hear back from, maybe a possible interview to set up for a position with a two hour commute (one way…with no traffic), and a “fool’s” hope.
Some days it’s worse. Some days I lose my grip on this “fool’s” hope and I’m flailing my arms, looking for any steady surface I can find to cling to, and yet nothing seems to provide the stability that I need and desire so desperately.
Now don’t get me wrong, hope in God is never foolish. But when everything you can see for as far as you are able to see is stacked against you, when there is no visible evidence that things will go as you hope, and when your last shred of visible hope vanishes before your eyes…well…that’s when it becomes a “fool’s” hope. Some might call it blind faith. (Which, if you think about it, is a redundant phrase, as according to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.”)
Last Wednesday, I got the call that I did not get the position that I had been waiting to hear back from.
My last and only visible hope left in meeting my fast-approaching deadline, vanished before my very eyes.
You see, I didn’t realize it, but subconsciously I had resolved in my heart that this would be the One. It had to be the One, there were no others. The Great Wait would come to its completion with just moments to spare. God would miraculously pull through as He always has.
Except this time, He didn’t. And for as far as I could see all around me, there was nothing else left. Just me, a fool’s shattered hope, and my suffocating anxieties.
“What’s going to happen now?” “How in the world are we supposed to pay back $18,500 when we are already living on a bare bones budget??” “How can I start paying off that second mortgage called my graduate school loans??” And the worst, “God, did we just hear wrong from You? And if we did, why didn’t You stop us from moving forward? Why didn’t You stop this from happening?”
And RJ and I found ourselves back in that familiar place of needing to remind ourselves of God’s leading in our journey, of His great faithfulness in our lives in the past, of how He has brought us to this seemingly constant place of waiting where we are dwelling now, and of the promises from His Word that have sustained us and given us the strength to move forward with nothing but a fool’s hope.
And so we took a deep breath, took God by the hand, and sighed, “Okay. You’ll do it. We know You will, even if we can’t see how.” And we pressed on.
Yesterday morning in my time alone with God, I journaled, “And now I’m at the point where I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You (2 Chronicles 20:12). That’s all I can do. I will say though, Lord, I would have loved working for [insert company name]. I saw a good fit and really enjoyed the people there, especially Dr. [insert name of clinic supervisor]. If that could somehow and miraculously work out, I would love that, unless You have something better.” Verbatim, straight from my journal.
Welcome to my heart.
And so I continued my daily job search routine, starting by following up with the human resources manager at this new agency that contacted me at the end of last week about possibly setting up an interview for a new open position, even though it would have meant a possible 4-5 hour daily commute. I want to believe that God, in His goodness, would have wanted something a little closer for me, but this late in the game, I have to pursue whatever open doors that are available to me. And this was my only open door at this point.
And then, I called the clinic supervisor for the two positions I interviewed for with the same company, first to thank her for the opportunity to interview twice with her, and second, to ask for some constructive feedback in how I could improve in interviewing with future potential employers, figuring that since she had interviewed and seen me in action twice, she probably had some valuable feedback to give.
She responded, “Before I give you some tips on how you can improve in future interviews, I just want to say that we were just really impressed with you in both interviews. You were one of the top candidates for both positions, and unfortunately for the last position we interviewed you for, you were second only to someone who had just a little bit more field experience than you. But for some reason, that candidate fell through, and so we’d like to offer you the position.”
…………………………….ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
LIT’RALLY (maybe I’ve been watching some Downton Abbey, what’s it to you??) a couple hours after I unabashedly and a little jokingly (but not really) asked God if there was some miraculous way He could work it so that I could work for this agency. When only a couple hours earlier my current situation was looking very bleak and very barren.
I had wondered a couple of times in this whole process whether God was going to “pull a Lazarus,” like in John 11 (my phrase, not His). To summarize, Lazarus falls deathly ill, Jesus is told of Lazarus’ illness, He comes too late, Lazarus dies and is buried, Jesus arrives as the family is in mourning, He weeps, and after all hope of healing has been destroyed, Jesus brings Lazarus back to life.
This has happened in a couple of other instances in my life, where given a bleak situation, there were instances where I thought would be the perfect opportunity for God to intervene, and then circumstances accelerate to the point of a seemingly final “death,” without any shred of visible hope left for as far as I can see, and then God intervenes and shows His goodness, His sovereignty, His strength, and His power in mighty ways. And in the end, I feel like a chump for even doubting Him in the first place. And this indeed, has been the case in The Great Wait.
Now I don’t think that God is some evil puppet master that relishes in making His people suffer, nor an abusive father who withholds blessing “just to teach His children a lesson.” On the contrary, you see the tenderness of God as Jesus weeps at the death of Lazarus and as He is moved at the heartbreak of the two sisters He loves, who mourn their brother’s death.
No. He doesn’t derive any pleasure from our pain. But I do think that He allows us to go through trials and pain out of His great goodness.
Back in October, I had the privilege of giving a message at our large group on my favorite attribute of God: His goodness. And in preparing for the message, I came to a shockingly simple conclusion about the goodness of God. The goodness of God is not in financial security. The goodness of God is not in things. The goodness of God is not in God giving us everything that our hearts desire.
The goodness of God is to draw us near to Him (Psalm 65:4; 73:28). That is, to be near to God is for our best good and for our fullest satisfaction. And He will stop at nothing to bring us into His goodness.
Would RJ and I have come to the same deep appreciation of the goodness, faithfulness, and sovereignty of God if I had found a job right away? Absolutely not. In waiting and in times of seemingly great hopelessness, we have had to choose to rely on God deeply, to feel stupid in doing so without a shred of physical evidence that things will turn out alright, to pray constantly, to hope in Him, to rely on what we know about His character.
And friends, once again, God has proven true. And not a moment too late. But certainly not right away either, hahaha. That Rascal sure does take His time sometimes!
And this journey is added to the growing list of the many stories of God’s great faithfulness in our lives that we can look back on and remind ourselves of when we walk through uncertainty again.
If you are walking through your own uncertainty, with hopelessness abounding and not a single thing around you that you can lean on or control, draw near to God. Lean on Him. Rely on Him. Find strength in Him. Trust in His understanding and not your own. I have no doubt that you will find that He is good, that He is faithful, that He is sovereign, and that He is loving. Because He is. He has never failed to come through. Sometimes, it’s not how we expect Him to come through, but always, it’s better in the end.
Yesterday, I woke up with 25 more days to find a job in Los Angeles county, no job, $18,500 to repay if I didn’t find a job by the deadline, no interviews to wait to hear back from, maybe a possible interview to set up for a position with a two hour commute (one way…with no traffic), and a “fool’s” hope. And yesterday, I went to bed with a job.
Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed with me and for me in the past nine months, thanks to all of you who have been such great encouragers to me and for cheering me on along the way, and thank you for walking through this difficult journey with me as I’ve opened up my heart to you.
God is faithful and good, and He is the same yesterday (even yesterday morning!), today, and forever!