Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a difference a year can make...

I have found a tendency in myself to take inventory of my life based on what was going on at this time last year. I have found myself doing that a lot recently, mostly because last Advent was extremely stressful, and this year I am just in a different spot.

Last year at this time I had been offered a job in Boston and had no idea what to do. At that point, I have been job searching for about 18 months with only temporary jobs to show for the search. I had many versions of my resume, many interviews, and lots more rejections. By December of last year, I can say that I became decent at interviewing.

The day before I had to tell the church in Boston if I was going to accept their offer, my sweet friend Laura called to tell me about a local opportunity, working with a mentoring program at a non profit. What mad matters worse is that I had done research while at Asbury and had become excited about starting youth programs (with an emphasis on mentoring) for kids in need. As I continued to hear about this job, I realized this was EXACTLY what I wanted to do. The job in Boston was not exactly what I wanted to do, but would have been a good step into a vocational direction. Also, as someone who gets a thrill out of new experiences and places, I will admit that I was pretty pumped about living in Boston. So I was posed with a dilemma... do I take the job that is for sure, and risk a new city, new friends, and potential misery, OR do i take of leap with this new potential opportunity, not knowing if I will even get an interview? Additionally, I was not banking on getting the job, because my interview history did not guarantee me getting this job. a STRESSFUL situation indeed.

I talked to everyone I knew and trusted about what I should do. I received lots of different pieces of advice, which didn't help. Finally, I was sitting at my friend Jeana's house one night and we talked this to death. I realized that i just was not excited about this job, and it would probably only be transitional at best. I had already been in transition for a long time and was ready for something I could really sink my heart and soul in to.

I interviewed for the job with Amachi (the mentoring program) and hands down, the best interview I'd EVER had. I came out of that interview floating, knowing where I was supposed to be. However, I interviewed just prior to Christmas. I didn't hear anything about the interview for a couple of weeks, unsure if I was going to get a second interview. I was still working at my job at the time which had gone from bad to really bad to downright miserable. I waited and cried and tried my best to be patient, but was not great at that.

Finally, a week or so into the new year, I found myself sitting in a second interview. It was not long, but again...I felt confident. I didn't feel confident in an arrogant way (I had been very humbled by MANY rejections), but in a "this is where I am supposed to be" kind of way.

I then experienced a very few long days. One of those days found my weeping and sobbing because I was SO miserable at the current job, and getting blamed for things that were not my fault. I knew I was at a point that would involve me quitting that job whether I got the new one or not.

The next afternoon, I received a call from the CEO of the non profit. All his message said was, "This is ____. Give me a call when you can." At that point, I wasn't sure what to expect. I got home from work, ate dinner with Amy and Jeana, and practically had my cell phone stapled to my hand. We were talking and waiting for the phone to ring, when it finally did. I went downstairs and waited for the words I had been longing to hear for a LONG time: "Maggie, we would like to offer you a job on the Amachi team." It took all of my strength and self-discipline to not scream right then and there, but somehow managed to make it through the phone call with some assemblance of professionalism. I ran upstairs and Amy, Jeana and I screamed, hugged and made a ton of texts and phone calls.

I've been there since February 8th, 2010, and I still love it. I know that I am where I am supposed to be, and that God prepared me for this role. In addition, I feel that I continually have the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve in a safe place. I work with and for people who believe in me, and I have had the opportunity to make this my own and to put my whole self into this. I still have moments, probably about once every two weeks, where I find myself thinking, "I can't believe this is my job and that I *get* to work here." I think that's a good sign...

The past year has reminded me of God's faithfulness, kindness and promises. There are many times when I wonder..."where is God?" But then I remember. He's here. Sometimes He is found in the silence, and sometimes He is found in the obvious declaration of His glory.

In the past year I have begun to find a voice and have felt permission to use it. I have found more pieces of myself. I have found more confidence by being able to own what I have been called to do. I have found brokenness in the lives of those I enter in to. I have found hope through the inspiration of the volunteers I work with.

There are still goals and desires and things that I wish for. And this just makes me wonder what I will be able to say at this time next year.