I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (Common English Bible)
Looking for employment is not an easy endeavor. In fact it can be soul-crushing. But then, so can having a job. Or losing a job.
As some of you who follow this blog may know, I have a part-time call at a church in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. The reason I could do this part-time call was because I had a pretty good fulltime job. That is until two days before Christmas 2014 where I was let go from my position.
Let’s just say Christmas was hell that year.
I was hoping that I would find another good job soon. After all, I had experience and I was able to learn how to be sociable and keep my Asperger quirks to a minimum. But nearly two years later, I still haven’t found anything. I am thankful that I have found some part time jobs and have been able to stitch together a living, but it’s not even close to what I was making before.
Since early this year, there have been a few opportunities that presented themselves. I thought I did my best on the interviews sent some of my best examples…and the job went to someone else. I could say race was a factor, and there is some truth to that, but I can’t just rest and make excuses. I have to keep getting out there, but it gets hard to pick yourself up and try again, especially when you think you have the skills needed to do the job.
One of the things I’m learning is that all the job hunting trips people tell you to try to get a job don’t seem to work…at least not for me. I haven’t found that “hidden job market.” All the people I know haven’t really led me to a job. I’ve tried meeting with a few people just to get ideas and a number of them never bothered to respond.
All the while I remain somewhat jealous at my husband, Daniel. He doesn’t have a background in communications that I have, but he has been able to get two jobs as managers. I have some more skills than he does. He gets noticed and I don’t. (That could be that he’s white and I’m black.)
Maybe I have to considered that I’m not going to have a job where I can use my communication skills. It just seems that I’m not wanted, no matter how much I’ve improved my skills, no matter what I do to add value to an organization. For whatever reason, I’m not what people want in a prospective employee.
I started this post with a familiar, at least to me, passage. Too often, Jeremiah 29:11 is seen as a route to success. But I don’t think this is what this verse is about, especially since what I’ve learned about Jeremiah is that his life wasn’t that awesome.
I tend to think that it means that no matter how bad life gets for people, no matter how things don’t go according to plan, God is there to give us hope, to give us peace, to give us a future. It may not be the future we wanted, but it is a future with God, and I’d rather have that than nothing at all.
I will continue working with the jobs I have now and being a pastor to the little flock God has left me with. And I will try to keep looking for work. I have hope, not that things will work the way I want it to be, but that wherever I land, I will have God’s hope. It’s all I got.