The Game of Things, Losing a Job, and Working for the Kingdom Part 2
In Part 1 of this blog I shared my recent experience losing my job. It forced me into a place where my faith had to get bigger. I went from fear in not knowing how provision would come to rest in knowing the truth that, no matter what, God will provide what we need. It also forced me into a place where I had to start the invigorating hunt for a job *insert tones of sarcasm*. Searching for jobs, applying, interviewing, and eventually deciding on a job is certainly exhausting. But what I was learning from God about his faithfulness and complete provision kept leading and empowering me. Understanding and believing the truth that God sees us, knows exactly what we need, and freely provides it gives us freedom. When we rest in this promise, we are free to approach job searching, or whatever unknown you may find yourself in, with a different mindset, a mindset that is more concerned with God’s glory than our benefit. Because I know and believe that God has me and will take care of me, instead of asking where I can get the most pay and benefits or where is most convenient for me or where I have the most opportunity to climb the ladder, my focus can be shifted toward simply asking where I can best serve God’s Kingdom.
There are certain temptations that accompany looking for and deciding on a new job. Especially when money is tight and a paycheck is needed, it is tempting to go for the job that is most immediate. With five days remaining before the coffee shop closed, I’d had only one interview and seemingly no others lined up. The interview went well, and I was hired on the spot, but I asked for a few days to pray about it. After seeing that I had received no other emails or phone calls about all of the applications I had been submitting, I didn’t think there was much to pray about. This was what was on the table and even though I wasn’t remotely excited about it, I thought, “It’s a job; it’s an income; I should take what I can get.” My husband returned home a few hours later, asked how the interview went, and noticed my demeanor. What he said was so simple and so full of faith: “It doesn’t seem like you want the job, so don’t take it. Something else will come up.” Not for one second did he pressure me into taking something just because “it was a job.” Not for one second did he doubt that God would have something better in store and that God would continue to take care of us. That guy’s faith makes me better, and it again shifted my focus toward asking where I can best serve God’s kingdom instead of where the quickest paycheck is. The very next morning, I received three emails from companies asking to set up interviews. Three interviews later, there were three new, exciting job offers on the table.
Now I found myself facing a new set of temptations. A couple of the job offers came with benefits, a pay raise, and even a fancy title. It can be a little disheartening to tell your friends and family that after spending four years getting a college degree, you got a job as a barista. It has been a knock on my pride, which I’ve most definitely needed. But needless to say, I was excited about this prospective job. It was a “big girl” job. It had the pay and benefits to make our life a bit easier. It had a title I wouldn’t be ashamed to say at our family gatherings. It was a good gig. But as I was sharing all the details with a friend, I felt God’s Spirit leading me back to this question: “Is this where I can best serve God’s Kingdom?”
All of these things: a quick paycheck, a big paycheck, or a cool title, they mean nothing. They won’t last. They’re not inherently bad and it’s wise to consider them, but they can’t be the crux of my decision. Ultimately, my “job” is to serve God the best way I can and with everything in me. So, throughout applying, interviewing, and deciding on a job, I kept asking, “Where can I best serve your Kingdom, God?” Praying this drew me away from those temptations for the most money or the fancy title, and it turned me toward God, his Kingdom, and eternity. Paychecks, benefits, and titles don’t measure up when you compare them to the glorious image of Jesus. When our hearts are set on seeking God and his Kingdom, it seems outrageous to go after such small things like money and titles. We should be seeking the place where our job is much more than the paycheck; rather, it is a place where we can daily have an impact for the Kingdom of God and work for eternal things. Because I know and believe that God will take care of me and completely provide for my needs, the money doesn’t matter. Because I know and believe that my identity is wrapped up in being a daughter of the King, the job title doesn’t matter. What matters is seeking a place where I can be used for much bigger things, things that last.
This summer we’ve been learning about the greatest commandment: love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. I think loving God with everything in me is choosing to trust him, to trust what he says is true, and to trust his ways are better. Jesus says seek his Kingdom first and he will take care of our worries, needs, desires, and dreams. In fact, he will take much better care of those things than we ever could, and he’ll show us how to live life abundantly. So, I’m choosing to trust God with my job, my marriage, my needs, my dreams, and my desires. I give it all to the King because my heart is set solely on him, not on chasing after these things. I will seek his Kingdom first, trusting that is the way to live life to the absolute fullest and trusting that God can do much bigger and better things with my life (my relationships, jobs, hopes, needs, desires, all of it) than I ever could on my own.
If you’re wondering how the story ended, I did decide on a job. I am proud to say I will continue serving up your favorite caffeinated drink at Tillerman Coffee Co. I’ll be working with a small family that is opening a new coffee shop in the Corporate Research Center. Our open date is not set in stone and seems to be delayed a bit, but if this process has taught me anything, it’s that God has us and no worry or stress will change that. This family is passionate about cultivating community and investing in the people that we will serve, and I am totally on board with that! It seems like it is going to be a place where I can be working for the Kingdom in so many ways, and I am excited to begin.
Throughout this process, Christian and I have truly been blessed by so many people praying for us, encouraging us, and generously taking care of us. I cannot thank you enough for walking with us. The Lord has used you greatly.
Matthew 5:33 “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”