When I first started college, I happily charted out four years’ worth of classes. I was excited about what life would bring. Sure, I had to tweak my plans every semester or so, but I always had a plan, and things always worked out.
Then I graduated, and suddenly, I had no plan. Studying history was a wonderful experience, but the fact remains that there isn’t much of a market for history majors who do not want to teach. Week after week, I sent out job applications to organizations which had little to do with my field of study. And week after week, I received letters politely informing me that another candidate had been found. It was a tiring process.
After receiving one too many polite rejection letters, I finally realized that finding a job was simply beyond my ability. If it was not in line with God’s will, all my qualifications and charismatic personality (or so I would like to think) were not going to do the trick. As James 4:15 advises, “you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (NIV). Ultimately, I realized, God is in control, and He works for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Some days, it was hard to hold on to this promise. After all, I didn’t have a plan, and it wasn’t easy to rely fully on God. “If only I could get a job,” I thought, “then life would surely be settled!”
As the days turned into weeks and then months, however, I realized that I was putting life on hold until I got a job. Of course, I needed to keep sending out the applications, but I also had to recognize that there was more to life than waiting for the replies. I had this time in between school and job which I could learn to make use of. I needed to learn to live—now. After all, life does not start with a job.
I gradually learned to see every day as a gift from God (Psalm 118:24). I needed to trust that God had the best in store for me, job or no job. And in the meantime, I would learn to make full use of each day He blesses me with. To wake up each morning and draw my first breath, is a testimony to God’s goodness.
I have slowly woken up to the fact that I now have time to sit down and read, write, or just delve into the Bible. It is a luxury few people can afford. I have no classes to rush to. No job to be late for. No children demanding my attention. I am in a unique position of being able to lead life with few distractions. It is a gift that I have finally learned to recognize.
Perhaps it will be another six months before I land a job, or perhaps it will be a mere six days. I don’t know. What I do know is that I am alive today, and can experience the laughter or tears this day might bring. It is God’s gift to me, for which I am thankful.