Help me to believe in my unbelief.
The words a friend of mine once suggested I pray at a time when my world was collapsing in front of me several years ago. At the time, I was hurt, frustrated and full of sadness to an extent that it blinded me from ever seeing God’s plan for me several years later. Unbeknownst to me at the time, He was setting the stage to teach me some valuable life lessons, draw me nearer to Him and use these things (including this blog) to help encourage and inspire others in their walk with God.
I find myself now in a similar situation with this endless job search that is driving me nuts.
Since October I have applied to over one hundred and twenty-five places and have only had two of them call me in for an in-person interview. I have revamped my resume and my cover letter countless times, polished up my LinkedIn profile and networked with virtually everybody in my industry in the entire tri-state area.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve built a great rapport with a hiring manager or recruiter (that initially sought me out) only to have them suddenly go ghost, never to hear back from again. An automated rejection email to a job I was beyond qualified for has now become a weekly occurrence. Events are taking place that literally make no sense or are so preposterous in some cases that I begin to wonder if there is an impostor out there deliberately sabotaging my efforts. (In fact, I recently did a Google search on my name just to be sure!)
So is this the hand of God working in the situation to make everybody go silent on me? If so, then what should I be doing in the meantime? What is He trying to teach me?
My friend Dylon of One Minute of Encouragement reached out to ask what he could be praying for me about. Honestly, I had no idea what to tell him since God hasn’t revealed to me at the moment the point of all this. I’m kind of just walking by faith not knowing where it’s all headed. Yet, one of the things I just can’t seem to shake from my thoughts is this concept of patience—specifically patience in His timing.
As a result, I’ve changed my prayer to not just “Lord, lead me to a better job” but rather, “Lord, grant me the strength to remain patient in Your faithfulness to those that serve you.”
Help me to believe in my unbelief.
There was one job with a fashion company that I interviewed with in January that I really thought I’d land. The position was perfect. The pay was ideal. And the opportunity to travel to tropical getaways on photo shoots. It was one of the most bright, cheery office environments that I had ever seen compared to being imprisoned behind these gray cube walls of a toxic environment for the last four years.
I aced the phone interview and both of the in-person interviews. All that remained in my way from receiving a formal offer was one meeting with the vice president of the department—who just happened to be in a meeting that day unfortunately.
“No problem, we’ll have her video conference in with you tomorrow,” the hiring manager said. Fantastic, I thought. I was looking forward to impressing one more on the list.
Well, the “next day” delayed into “the next couple days” which delayed into the “next week” which faded into the meeting never happening at all. Next thing I know, I receive an email from HR stating that speaking with the V.P. would now be reserved for candidates reaching the final stage of the interview process. This was not a good sign. (But, but I was already set to meet with her had she not been busy that day!!! What the heck, God??)
Three weeks later, after my repeated follow-ups went unanswered I received the dreaded automated rejection thus officially ending my candidacy in the position. I was devastated. I had no idea why I was brought so close and yet dropped so quickly. The interviews all went swimmingly and everybody I had met was thoroughly impressed by my skills and personality.
Why would God lead me to such a promising position only to take it away so quickly?
Several months later out of curiosity I decided to do a LinkedIn search to see who they might of hired in place of me. And to my amazement, it was an individual with much less credentials and much less experience. I felt the pain of defeat all over again. Some things are just better left unknown.
My brother said it sounded like they had hired somebody that the V.P. may have known personally. (And that sort of thing happens in business all the time. I know for a fact that took place last year on another role with a healthcare company in which the hiring manager informed me was out of her control—even though she really wanted to interview me for the management role at the time.)
But why would God allow something like this to happen after I had remained faithful to Him for so long? The resentment in my heart grew and grew as I picked up the phone to text my brother to show him the inadequate candidate the fashion company hired to share my anger and trick myself into feeling better.
And then I put the phone down. What was I doing? Is that what God had brought me to do? To fight unfairness with hate? I immediately went to a quiet room to pray…
“Lord, I am blinded by this situation and my frustration with it. Please help me to see clearly and keep my sights set on You. Even though I have no idea what the purpose of this pain is I know You have a plan for it. I am so hurt and angry right now that I need You to fill me with the Holy Spirit to resist the urge to give in to anger that the enemy is trying to engage me with. He knows I’m weak, but I know You’re stronger. Grant me the strength in remain faithful to You and Your timing in this job search. Because even though right now, I don’t feel like You’re doing anything in my situation, I know that You are working behind the scenes to set the stage for something amazing that will blow my mind soon enough. And I want to be ready for that moment and not blow it when you do deliver my blessing. I don’t want another mediocre job, Lord. I want a phenomenal job that I can fully give credit to You for granting me so that everyone can see that it wasn’t by my own hand, but by Your hand, Lord. That way, in my blessing I can serve as both an encouragement and an inspiration to others who may be in a similar situation to remain faithful to You, Lord, and not lose hope. All these things are possible only in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
When Job was placed in his predicament he had no idea what was going on behind the scenes that would eventually lead to prosperity beyond his wildest imaginations. When Joseph was stuck in the dungeon, he had no idea what was being set up above the surface to prepare him for the promotion of a lifetime. I know that God is faithful. I just have to remain patient and trust in His timing. It’s certainly not easy, but I know that following Him is worth it in the end. And I will never give up, even though it seems like He’s going silent in the meantime. I still know He’s there. And I know He’s still listening to me each time I call on Him.
Help me to believe in my unbelief.