I was sixteen, and I wanted a job.
At the top of my potential jobs list was Chick-fil-A. It’s a Christian-based company, it’s off on Sundays, it’s a really great place, and I thought I would really enjoy it.
So I started filling out an application.
But then another opportunity opened up. A few months before, Child Evangelism Fellowship had been looking for young people to join their team as summer missionaries. By the time I got around to considering it, I found out the deadline had passed. But now, unexpectedly, they had decided to extend the deadline.
So now I found myself torn. Should I apply to Chick-fil-A? Or apply to work as a summer missionary with CEF?
Now, around that time I was also working on memorizing the book of John, thanks to inspiration from my Bible Bee days. And as I prayed about my decision, I kept thinking of John 12:26, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also…” And since at the time I was under the impression I wouldn’t be paid as a CEF missionary, my debate was over whether I should earn some money or do some volunteer work.
Also leading up to that time, I had begun to desire a ministry I could participate in. Everything I had thought of didn’t end up working out for some reason or another. Now here was an opportunity reaching out to me.
In the end, I kept thinking of John 12:26. Where would Jesus be? Surely He would be with Child Evangelism Fellowship. And so that’s what I decided to do.
As I result, I was blessed with the opportunity to share the Gospel with many different children. I grew in so many ways: spiritually, mentally. And I got paid more than twice the amount I would have made at Chick-fil-A, which was a nice bonus, too!
And it opened up doors for future opportunities. I found out our new church used CEF curriculum for outreach ministry. So I got involved with Calvary’s after-school Bible Club program, leading to my getting to know more people at this new church, leading to a feeling of belonging. From there I went on to help start a brand new after-school Club at another school, and watched God work there in the kids’ lives. I mentioned that club in a previous post.
About six months after I finished my time as a summer missionary, I decided to try to get a job again. With college taking up so much of my time, I knew I couldn’t commit to CEF again, but I could probably handle a small part-time job.
Once again, Chick-fil-A was at the top of my list. I applied twice, and didn’t get anywhere. I tried other places. Still nothing.
So I focused on school for the summer.
Last fall I was getting ready to enter Liberty University as a senior when I started my job search again. I found out that Chick-fil-A had created an online application. So I decided to give it one more go, leaving the result in God’s hands.
And this time, I got the job! I was so thrilled! It was just as wonderful as I had anticipated!
Except I wasn’t getting quite as many hours as I had wanted. In frustration, but with great hesitancy, I started applying for other jobs in January. After so many times of not getting positive results, I really didn’t expect anything to happen.
But within a week or two, I got a call from Staples and was hired for their Copy & Print Center. It was another position that had been near the top of my list.
So followed three-and-a-half months of holding down both jobs and juggling school as well. My paychecks were steady, my hours more predictable. But Staples totally stressed me out. They were understaffed, and I felt I was in charge of way too much by myself. It seemed impossible to keep everyone happy.
As I would drive to work, I would muse on the fact that my two workplaces were on opposite sides of the same road – like two different worlds.
So eventually I quit Staples. Chick-fil-A started giving me the hours I wanted, and the more I work there and the more I learn to do, the more I enjoy it. Part of me wishes I could stay there forever, but I know that’s not practical.
In May I will be graduating, at the age of 19, with my bachelor’s degree in Business Management Information Systems. Before then, I hope to find an internship of some sort, and then a job in my field. My desire is to work in a Christian environment, whether in an actual organization or on my own. Maybe with Compassion International. Or Chick-fil-A’s corporate headquarters. Or something smaller.
As I look back over my past job-search journey and see how the different pieces all fit together, I know God is in control.
He fulfilled my long-held desire to be involved in ministry by bringing me to CEF, and through it helped me to become a part of my new church family.
He gave me the desire of my heart by finally opening a door for me at Chick-fil-A.
He showed me what a blessing I had in that job, by allowing me to experience another job completely unlike it.
And when the time is right, I feel confident that He will open up new doors for me.
Another verse I memorized in John that has stood out to me is John 3:27, “…A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”
When the time is right, God will give me a job. And I will know that it is a gift from Him.
I would appreciate your prayers for this stage of my life – that He will open doors for me, and I will recognize those doors as the pathway He has chosen for me.