“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
If patience is a virtue, I have the patience of a sinner. Thankfully, there have been times when I’ve been blessed to know that I am exactly where they Lord wants me to be. In fact, the Lord tends to be abundantly clear when I choose to listen, and I hopefully have learned to patiently await his guidance during His silences.
I would have never dreamed that I would someday work at the Smithsonian. To me, it was a revered place of worldly knowledge and art that one could visit. Several years ago, I was extremely unhappy with my job and desperately searching for something that would allow me to have a balanced life—one that would not conflict with my spiritual desires and would permit me the time needed to invest in my personal relationships.
I prayed earnestly, and grew impatient with God’s timing. I declined several offers which I knew were not right for me, or I was the runner up for positions I thought were perfect. One such lost opportunity turned out to be a blessing. Not long after another candidate was awarded the position, it was terminated as a result of budget cuts. Even so, I felt exhausted and stuck in a holding pattern—eventually I decided to take a break from my search.
Turns out that God had better plans for me. One particularly character-building day, I was suddenly bombarded with emails from three different people about a job opportunity at the Smithsonian. When the first email came, I decided not to set myself up for failure once again and ignored it. Then two more emails came, and my curiosity was piqued. Upon further review, the position seemed perfect for me but the deadline to apply was that evening. The Lord in His wisdom knew that if I had time to think about it, I would become discouraged and not apply. The adrenaline rush kicked in, and I spent the next seven hours submitting my resume, cover letter, and marketing samples as well as going through the grueling questionnaire required for all government positions. I submitted my completed application a mere five minutes to midnight.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Not expecting a response anytime soon, I returned to life as usual. The next week, I received an email asking if I would be willing to come down for an interview. I said yes, and one was scheduled for later that same week.
On the day of my interview, the security guard struck up a conversation with me as I nervously waited. Upon realizing the reason for my visit, the security guard sprung into a sermonite about trusting the will of God and obediently claiming that which was laid before me. Only later did I realize that he did this at considerable personal risk given that he was violating strict federal rules against evangelizing at work. He personally escorted me down to my interview and blessed me. Stunned, I knew the Lord was leading me and that I already had this job. He had spoken to me through his servant and given me the necessary confidence to impress. Less than a week later, I was negotiating the terms of my contract.
I was hired in less than two weeks from the day I applied for the position, and my background check cleared in a week (during the Easter holiday), which, as anyone who works for the government knows, is an impossibly short time frame.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
While there are many more details I could share to convince you of God’s leading, I think His hand in this life-changing moment is clear. I realize now that God’s plan far exceeded my expectations. I could not ask for a better situation than what I have now. That doesn’t mean I won’t have trials, but it does mean I need to trust in the Lord in order to navigate those trials.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more, He picked me up and told me it was time to move on to something better. It’s wonderful knowing that I am exactly where I need to be at this time. There is always free-will. I could have decided to ignore the promptings of the spirit, but I would have forsaken the blessing and the purpose He had for me. It is in these moments that my faith is affirmed, so that when the next storm comes, I’ll remember the time that God reached down and personally directed my path.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)