Musings of a Christian job seeker
"The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
I have been growing in faith ever since I was 11-years-old, before I even began to know the real cost of being faithful.
I have received countless blessings, including my prayerful friends from the leafy Surrey suburbs, who have had more cause than normal to pray for me recently.
I have been working for, and am currently still a part of, an international Christian organisation in central London, where I am daily liaising with people from all over the world and surrounded by a prayerful network of colleagues.
Now, more than ever, I need to lean on that faith. For during the last two of those four years of gainful employment, I've also had many interviews in search of work that will stretch me in new ways.
I've been looking for administrative type work in another Christian organisation, with a leaning towards the editorial front. But although I've applied to a lot of charities and churches, so far I have had countless rejections, and it looks like I am now probably going to have to go down the job agency route.
I am just another troubled job seeker, finally about to be made redundant (if I'm lucky.)
It's easy to press the self-pity button but I am at least grateful for the comfort that God has sent me in the way of having at least five or six friends to pray for who are in my situation, or worse, without a job at all.
I don't find interviews very easy, certainly, and it doesn't help that I have a diagnosis of high-functioning Asperger Syndrome, meaning that I'm often not at my best when confronted with a lot of new situations. A grilling from a whole panel of suited and booted professionals is particularly stressful.
But my track record has proven that I'm definitely not unemployable - God hasn't created me for nothing!
Indeed, my diagnosis has given me certain strengths, such as attention to detail, accuracy, a relish of routine activities, a predilection for organisation, a love of literature – I loved doing my Classics & English degree at Exeter University – and I really enjoyed the work I did at a publishing firm.
With the lack of fruit in my search for other work, I'm just learning that God is still there, even though the storm clouds over my head seem ever-present.
But what next?! Well, God wants me to trust Him with the 'what next' - that's the whole point! Worrying is the opposite of trusting God. Worrying accomplishes nothing, worrying is not good for us, and wallowing in self-pity is definitely not what God created us for.
Faith is mentioned over three hundred times in the Bible because that is the number of times that God wants to reassure us of His plan for our lives.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that faith is all about God carrying you through those storm clouds - he created them after all.
Jesus didn't only ride his storm; he actually slept through it, and I feel ashamed when I think of all the sleepless nights I've had, when Jesus could be at the foot of my bed, if I'd only let him in.
"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" (Psalm 42:5).