Last month, I talked about the struggles associated with taking the leap. I had left a comfortable job to pursue my true passion in public health working on health disparities. Last month, I was very scared–on July 3rd, I had no job and was living on my savings.
I can honestly say I was quite negative. I would complain to anyone that would listen. I felt like a failure. Maybe I wasn’t doing what God had called me to do. But thankfully, I snapped out of it. I picked up my Bible and began to truly read and proclaim Gods word. Jeremiah 29:11 became my friend: ” I alone know the plans I have for you [Shanta], plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future that you hope for” (Good news translation and personalized for me…lol). I decided that although I may think negative thoughts and may still be afraid, I would only allow myself to say positive. I told myself, I will have a break through, my job is coming.
When friends or family would ask me about the job situation, I began to tell them I knew it would work out. Little, by little doors began to open. I ended up scoring a part-time job at the Baltimore City Health Department in the Office of Policy and Planning doing some health disparities policy implementation. I continued networking with people and applying for jobs.
Although I was able to score a part-time job, I was cognizant of the fact that I really needed full-time employment to support myself and to pay my bills. Every time I looked at my bank account, I felt myself paralyzed with fear: what if I couldn’t pay my rent? Where would I go if I ran out of money? How will I pay my loans? But I would force myself to push those thoughts out of my head and remember that I have a roof over my head at that moment and that I didn’t need to worry about those things today.
I continued to apply to jobs, with no success. I struggled with feeling that I wasn’t doing enough. I think I still felt that I needed to be constantly “doing” in order for God to work it out for me. I realized that I wasn’t truly trusting God. That I hadn’t surrendered to his perfect will. It was almost like I was telling God, I need a job, but I don’t trust you to get it for me.
Surrendering is a true art form. As a control freak, I found myself wrestling with this concept. One of my buds, Lady J, told me that I need to practice the art of “dying to myself” daily. What an interesting concept. However, I felt it was worth a try, so I began to have morning conversations with God where I told him, “not my will, but yours.” Gradually, I found myself not worrying about the job. I still was applying for jobs, but I began to proclaim to God that I knew he would bring my job in his perfect timing. I began to have peace about the situation and spoke more positively about the situation. I also took a lesson from Habbakkuk 2:2-3 and wrote my vision plainly. I wrote a note to Jehovah Jireh thanking him for the job that he was sending my way and for it being more than I could possibly imagine. I placed that note on my refrigerator and looked at it every morning. I was on my knees every day praying for God to strengthen my trust in him. I began to talk to him all of the time about my worries and concerns.
Not to say I didn’t have my days of negativity. I am not perfect–there were days when I just didn’t feel like God was working it out for me. I did doubt and I did question. However, last Sunday, everything turned around. One of my faculty advisers sent me a job description that he was given by another colleague. I looked at it and felt overwhelmed: it seemed like a cool job, but I felt that I wasn’t ready for it. However, I told myself let them tell me no. So I applied and that same day the Vice President got back to me and asked me for an interview. I had the interview on last Wednesday and on this Monday, I received the call to offer me the position.
I was so happy that I became overwhelmed. I started crying. I received more than I could have ever hoped or ask for in a first position in a new field. God opened the doors for me to become a Senior Medicare Disparities Analyst for a non-profit company in MD. I am really excited to start next month! I am well on my way to a successful health disparities policy career. Look out world.
When I reflect back on my job hunt struggle, it wasn’t easy. One of my friends asked me how many jobs I had applied to. This year, I had applied to over 68 jobs, written over 50 cover letters, and about 10 CVs. I have networked with over 30 people in the course of three months and have taken numerous trips down to DC. I have had meetings in the White House, had a meeting with a staff member of Senator Harry Reid and numerous alumni from my previous institutions.
But the job I ended up getting, I didn’t find myself. It was sent to me. I would have never seen the job because it wasn’t posted. All it took was one week. It happened so quickly. I can’t help but be so ever thankful to God for this moment.
Through it all, I learned that God will make a way for me. He knows what I need and will never forsake me. Although I cried a lot and it was difficult, I am so thankful because it increased my faith in God and helped me to begin to put my trust in him and him alone.
So for all of those that are waiting for their blessing, I hope you will learn from me and just keep speaking positive. Proclaim your desires out loud even though you may not be feeling that way on the inside. Guard your tongue–try hard not to speak negative. I have found that speaking positive does bring about positive.
But if God can do it for me, he can surely do it for you. You only need to trust him.
*Picture taken from: http://writerslane.blogspot.com/2013/05/excuse-me-while-i-snoopy-dance-in.html