Like a superhero in reverse, I emerged from the bathroom stall wearing a green t-shirt, blue jeans and my favorite flip-flops. I folded up the brown dress pants and button down shirt I’d just shed like a white-collar reptile, tucked them under my arm and smiled at myself in the mirror.
Instead of sneaking out of the house wearing clothes my mother would never allow, I was sneaking back to my office in my normal Friday garb. I’d just completed an interview, and my job hunt needed to remain top secret. If I showed up to my office wearing anything but jeans on a Friday morning, the proverbial cat would be out of the proverbial bag.
Earlier that morning, I sat in the lobby of a Neurobehavioral homecare program building, waiting for Ted—the man who would interview me—to arrive. The appointment was set at 8:30. I’d arrived the customary 15 minutes early, which was clearly too early. Someday I’ll remember that no one in Utah is ever on time.
While waiting, I gawked around the office to figure out anything I could about the job. I peeked behind the front office desk, a U-shaped enclosure that jutted out into the lobby. No clues there. A stack of toys in the corner caught my eye, and I wondered if one of my job duties might be to disinfect those toys at the end of the day.
Ted walked in at just that moment. I’d exchanged voicemails with him for a week to schedule the interview, but had never spoken to him directly. He spoke quickly and with a muddled accent that sounded either British or Australian. When listening to his messages, I imagined he sat behind a large mahogany desk, leaning back in a plush leather chair, examining one of the volumes of books that lined the walls of the office from which he was calling me.
Of course I should have known better. He’s a social worker who lives in Utah. He had a five o’clock shadow, and his graying hair was slicked back from his forehead. He was a little more Phil Collins and a little less Oxford than I had in mind.
He wasn’t quite ready for me, so I waited in the lobby while other staff arrived. I tried to guess their jobs by their clothing and paid close attention to anyone who entered the front desk corral. Any of these people could be my new work buddy or even my new work nemesis. One of them might be the next person I share the gospel with or someone who will have a greater impact on my life than I could imagine.
Everything was so new that morning. Even driving to the interview, I paid careful attention to streets I’d driven 1,000 times before wondering if they would become the route of my new morning commute and what it would be like to wait in that traffic jam while I’m anxious to get home.
After a few minutes, Ted retrieved me from the lobby. He did not usher me into a book-lined office, but into Therapy Room 2, a sparsely furnished office overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. As we began the interview, Ted explained exactly what the Neurobehavioral program was—essentially an all-inclusive source of heath care for people dually diagnosed with a developmental disability as well as a mental health illness. I wasn’t quite expecting this. I’ve never held an aversion to disabled people, but I’ve never considered myself passionate about their care either. I immediately wondered how God was going to use this in my life.
The interview went well. I made a few fumbles here and there, but nothing I couldn’t recover from. I spoke with Ted and another woman for nearly an hour, and at the close of the interview I met the woman who would be my counterpart in the front office. She was a sweet, down-to-earth lady who actually reminded me quite a bit of a former roommate’s mother. We chatted for a few minutes, more small talk than interview-related conversation, which was nice. I felt comfortable with her. Finally, she escorted me to the door, and I waved goodbye to Ted.
After sneaking out of the public restroom on my way back to my un-new and overly familiar office, I wondered if my future was there in that brown brick building overlooking the valley. There was nothing in particular about the job that made my heart palpitate, either from pure joy and excitement or from fear and trepidation.
In the car before the interview, I committed myself wholly to Christ. My prayer was not for success, but instead to be completely submitted to Christ, allowing each of my actions and words to come from Him and not me. I felt that mission was accomplished. In my mistakes, those interviewing me could see my flaws and that I wasn’t terrified of their existence. I know that’s an unusual way to approach an interview, but Christ is truly all I have. I can do nothing without Him, not even answer phones and schedule appointments.
Whether or not I get this job, I trust that Christ will fulfill His promise to me. I trust that when I commit myself to Him and delight myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart. The desire of my heart now, in this interim, is to hear Him clearly and allow Him to show me by whatever means necessary whether or not this really is the job for me, and how He plans to use me.
So I will wait in the lobby and gather all the information I can to prepare myself for what God ultimately has for me, knowing that it is not by my hand, but His alone that I ultimately succeed.