Now am Found
When God closes a door, sometimes he puts you in a room of windows and lets you choose.
My last post was on the tip of a rollercoaster plunge I didn’t even know was coming. Perhaps I could sense it, the way my mother’s hands cramp before a good summer storm. The pelting of self-doubt, the lightning crack of rejection, the ominous thunder of financial strain. All rumbling in the horizon of “lost.”
Yet here I am, writing about how I feel found.
What happened in those two months?
Well, a lot. First I lost my job.
Losing your job puts your whole world on hold. It makes you reassess your priorities. It makes you look deep into your finances and question your responsibility and feasibility. But worse, it makes you question yourself. Am I a good person? I was struggling with that in my last post, and nothing crushes your self-esteem more than being told you no longer bring value to a company you once loved.
I didn’t want to talk to my friends, because we Americans talk 75 % about work and 25% about recovering from work. (More on that later.) I felt the utter crush of failure. No matter how many people told me they knew my character and my professionalism, that they knew I would land something soon, for those 7 weeks I felt like a little blown up life raft tearing through wave upon wave of a tropical storm.
But I persevered. I became adept at interviewing. Slipping on those conservative sling-back heels and extending a confident smile and handshake became second nature . I learned a lot in those few weeks––about myself and about a lot of companies in town.
For example, I spent time at the library computer lab, surrounded by people in far worse conditions than my own. I realized, we are all one step away from losing everything we think is sure. I am no better than the wheezing unkempt forty-something next to me in need of laundered clothing playing video games all day. My approach to life may be different, my opportunities are certainly different. But this security in the little world I know, it’s just as fragile as his. I am him, a step away. Keeps us humble, no?
Second, I was breaking up with my roommate.
She was just moving across town, but the move out process always takes its toll on friendships. Happy memories dwindle down to whose pots and pans are whose. Fumbling downstairs one groggy morning to see chunks of your home pulled away, missing. And one day, the person you saw the most, your go-to party partner, the one who often saw you bushy-haired, bloated, and braless and didn’t blink an eye, also disappears.
Third, I was battling my own bout of bronchitis-like allergies.
How could I feel found in any of this?
Well, to tell you the truth, I didn’t feel it. But I believed it. I believed it through the 17 interviews I did in 7 weeks. I believed it when interviews I really wanted fell through. I believed it when I started getting job offers not 2 weeks after losing my job. I believed it when roommate recommendations started pouring in. I believed it when roommate recommendations didn’t work out. And in those two months (July and August, will you never be peaceful for me?) I relearned what it is to have faith. To believe in something you don’t see yet. To have confidence in your future, when there is no evidence but that confidence.
I have to admit, I have been really struggling to believe God is good and has good plans for me. I sometimes even wonder, are you even real? Then why do you let these things happen to me? (As if I had nothing to contribute to my problems, ha!) Gasp! What you mean, I’m allowed to question God’s existence and character?? I am and I did. I called Him out. And He answered.
Monday I will be starting a new job at a global healthcare company. It offers benefits, work-life-balance, some job security, and almost twice what I was making at my last job. My expectations are different this time. I am going in humble, knowing I have so much to learn. I am going in knowing that a job does not define me nor give me my worth. I am going in knowing that some people will simply not like me, and there is nothing I can do about it other than pray for them and do my job the best I possibly can. What a difference two months can make.
My new roommate moves in tomorrow. She was also an au pair in France. And I was just complaining to myself about how no one understands how much I miss France…. The love of God is embarrassing.
I feel today I have found my sense of joy again. Not because I have found a job or a roommate or a routine or any of those trivial passing things. It is because I am reminded ceaselessly that God cares for me and never leaves me, regardless of how horribly I behave.
In Him, I am found.