As we’ve discussed, I’ve never been much of a career driven kid.
I’m also a kid who’s had my ups and downs with church involvement. I grew up in an über involved family, my Marches and Decembers spent with homework and coloring books in the church library until I was old enough to rehearse, direct, and decorate for holiday’s myself. I love the rhythm of that life – loved the familiarity of the pews under my napping body, the way the empty sanctuary looked with the lights out, the countless fast food dinners on the choir room floor. I loved feeling at home in that church building.
The choices of my early twenties did a number on my sense of security within the walls of that church. Sure of God, but unsure of my place, I spent the next several years looking for the community I knew I needed but couldn’t define. I read books that painted a picture of a bigger story for me, but guilt, shame, and that stubborn residual pride kept me from allowing myself to commit to a family, a body, a new home. I was a nomad. I drifted into Christmas Eve services, feeling a bit like an impostor but recognizing the need to heal, to recover, to be quiet and listen and learn.
But those crazy seasons of my childhood were always present in my memory. Christmas always felt a little lacking without the creativity and hard work of participating in the creation of an act of worship. I missed the feeling of allowing the piece of me that drives my soul be the primary shareholder of my time and energy. I longed for the joy that is using my particular gifts for my God. God is good, and He gave me lots of outlets and blessings and periods of joy, but I missed that first life. Grateful for lessons learned, I mourned what I’d lost.
I also did a great job of not being able to identify a career path for myself. Instead, I did a little bit of everything – administrative, creative, customer service, social networking, kid’s parties, event planning, guerilla marketing, guest reception – each job a piece of my particular gifting, no one of them ever something I “loved.” I’ve spent the last six months basically unemployed and searching for some unknown something to fill the space between now and the future. I think I’d decided that I would never really find a job I wanted and resigned myself to settle for one that would pay the bills.
Have I mentioned that God is good? A few weeks ago I was invited to interview for a job I didn’t know existed. My new boss sat across a table from me in a coffee shop and handed me a job description, and I did a pretty convincing job of not crying as I read the list of tasks and felt my heart whisper “Oh. Yes. This is what you want to do.” Funny, isn’t it? I didn’t have a dream job until someone defined it for me, handed it to me. I’ve never in my life felt so sure in an interview, so excited to begin, so absolutely thrilled because I know I’ve been training for this job since, well, ever. I know it without having worked a day yet. I know this is where I’m going to fit.
I’m romanticizing, in my usual way, but it’s a pretty big deal for me. I want to do this job with all my heart, and that’s pretty new around here. I have big shoes to fill – I’ll be taking the place of an incredible gal who is off to be a full time mommy, who has done this job exceptionally well and will be a tough act to follow. But me? I can’t wait. I can’t wait for the long hours in the months before Christmas, for the early, early mornings of the Easter season, for the endless to do lists and the incredibly blessing of getting to work with my whole heart.
Today is my first day training as the Worship, Arts, & Refuge Assistant (or something like that… I don’t really have a title yet) at Imago Dei, a community I love with my whole heart and am so very, very grateful to be a part of. I’m still trying to shake off the “Who, me?” disbelief, and I’m incredibly excited. After a decade of job after job after job, I’m itching to dive into this place. I can’t wait to give it my very best go.
If I have one hope for you, it’s that this post will remind you that all things are possible. We serve a God of dramatic redemption, of poetic timing and holy humor. Don’t sell Him short. When you least expect it, that thing you don’t think will happen can happen. Have hope.