I’m looking for a new job.

I used to tell people I loved my job despite the low wages, constant verbal harassment from court-ordered clients, overwhelming workload and glass ceiling I hit when I was just a temporary employee. But when my best-work-buddy announced her departure from our office, I realized all I need to be happy in a job is a friend. I don’t need a flashy benefits package or even respect—just a buddy. No buddy, no happy.

This whole “looking for a job” thing is a little odd to me. My work history wouldn’t lead anyone to believe that climbing up the career ladder is particularly important to me. I’ve worked as a loan processor, an editor, a housekeeper and a cashier in a pet shop, to name a few. Every one of those jobs fell into my lap, and what I did during the day didn’t matter to me as long as there was a paycheck with my name on it at the end of the week.

So, I shined up my resume and ventured back out into the world of Internet job hunting. I patched together a decent job history and believable skill set, but there is one glaring hole on my resume. It falls under the “education” category. My only entry there reads: High School Diploma, Sand Creek High School, 1999. That’s it. No college degree.

I uploaded my resume and started praying for phone call. I did have one interview, and it went smashingly well. The woman I interviewed with at a large ophthalmology clinic saw my potential and understood my awesomeness. She knew that I was the kind of employee she was looking for. She said so herself. She ascertained all of that in under 30 minutes, while I jabbered on about which three words my closest friends would use to describe me, and how I’ve dealt with an unruly co-worker in the past. After I dazzled her with my silver tongue, she offered me the job.

With much thanksgiving, I accepted her offer, and hope started to well up within my soul. There was just one issue—she needed to speak to the human resources department about what kind of financial offer she could make, and the fact that I didn’t have a degree would probably affect the decision in an unfavorable manner. When she said that, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a shiny new glass ceiling.

As a safety net, I’d requested my starting salary at a significantly higher rate than what I was making, so I figured everything would work itself out. When I left the interview, we agreed to talk the following day with the assumption that I would start within two weeks.

The next day, I felt something light and tingly floating around my insides. It was hope. And excitement. I had the adventure of a new job to look forward to and the knowledge that for the first time in my life, I’d advanced my career. I earned that job of my own merit, with my own abilities.

Even though this feeling was wonderful, I was scared to embrace my emotion. It was like that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie and his grandpa are in that weird room, all alone, tempted by magical soda. They knew they shouldn’t try it, but wanted so desperately to experience all that it had to offer.

By midday I’d swallowed a couple chugs of my own “hope soda” and was feeling pretty good. I was planning how to phrase my two-week notice, and outlining my responsibilities for the person who would take my position when I started my new job.

She called on my lunch break, just like she promised. The news she delivered was not what I’d planned. Her HR department would only allow her to make an offer that was 75 cents less than my current wage. Seventy five cents less, because I don’t have a degree.

Like Charlie and his grandpa, I’d floated so high on hope that I didn’t even see the glass ceiling before I smashed into it, face-first.

Disgruntled, I hung up the phone. I’d prayed for a new job and committed myself to God’s will and His plan. Everything about this job seemed so great that I was sure from God. In my heart, I was confident that the course of my life I was planted directly in the will of God, but this job wasn’t.

God’s will is my ever-elusive goal. I’m a logical person, and I like it when things fit together. This situation didn’t seem to fit together for me. Even though I didn’t win the prize, I don’t think I was acting outside of God’s will. When I’m searching to figure out what God wants me to do, there are two truths to which I cling: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3, TNIV), and “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, TNIV). These are promises from my Father. I know that He will not deny of me the deepest desires of my heart when they match up with His will.

The ultimate desire of my heart is to everyday have a deeper relationship with God and to be used by Him to bring others into relationship with Him. Maybe God still has a plan for me where I am, and He may be working in the hearts of my co-workers in ways of which I have no knowledge. The desire of my heart is not to have a perfect job if it means missing an opportunity to be used by God. What I do know is that God is in control and not me, and in order to accomplish anything that will effect eternity, I must follow His lead, even if it means being buddy-less for a while.

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