Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NIV) reminds us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … a time to plant and a time to uproot.”
I remember being 24 and feeling a desire to relocate to a new area. I applied for three jobs in a month. I had three job interviews. I was offered all three jobs. I took the one that paid the most, doubling my $18,000 a year salary to $36,000.
I felt on top of the world. I was excited to uproot my life and start a new career.
I remember being 39 and feeling in my heart I needed a career change. I applied for 32 jobs over a 10 month period, had four interviews, and received one job offer. I took a substantial pay cut.
Boy had times changed in a 15 year span. I had more experience to pull from. I taught the interview process to others. I rewrote resumes for people and helped them get jobs. I lead recruitment at the time for the company I was with, but I couldn’t figure out how to get another company to recruit me.
I remember feeling dejected and rejected each time the stock rejection email came without an opportunity to interview, or worse yet, each time a company ghosted me after an interview. I remember three interviews where I knew I loved the job description and salary, but I didn’t feel a peace with the team I had interviewed with. Nonetheless, I felt I aced each interview. I was wrong.
Then I remember the interview where I cried through at least half of it. An interview where I was just me. An interview where I told parts of my story I usually hide. An interview that didn’t follow the rules of the textbook for usual answers. An interview with at least 10 other faces around a table all staring at me, with compassion and understanding. I landed the job.
It didn’t have a fancy salary or benefits. But it was different. It was the only job I applied for that from the moment I learned about it, I felt God had placed it in my lap. In short, I landed the job where God knew He needed me.
It wouldn’t have mattered how many other jobs I felt I was qualified for or the best candidate for, they weren’t where God needed me. He knew what was best for not just my life at the time, but also for the lives of the people I would come in contact with in the place He was moving me to.
Right now I have several friends walking through similar seasons in life. Some who desperately need a new job to support their family but the doors won’t open. Others who have been praying God will release them from this season and provide a new path. Others who felt a calling to a new position where God called someone else instead.
Luke 22:42 (NIV) reminds us, “…yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Trusting God’s will is easy when it aligns with the desires of our heart. It’s not so easy when we are ready to uproot and start a new season, and He tells us “No”.
I have learned that “No” means He has a better plan. I have learned to trust His “No” means:
1. He is protecting me from something I don’t know about down the road.
2. I still have lessons to learn, people to reach, or projects to complete for Him where I am planted before I can uproot.
3. He is protecting someone else from harm that would be caused if I left in my own timing.
4. He is delaying my opportunity to make a change because He has a better change in store for me down the road.
This summer I watched the story of Esther at the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson, MO.
Her story is one that highlights trusting in God’s timing. It is a reminder that it’s not by chance that you are where you are today at this time and this place.
Esther 4:14 reminds us, “…you have come to your royal position for SUCH A TIME AS THIS?”
Esther’s story is a reminder that God sees a picture much bigger than anything we can see. He knows why we are going through trials and the lessons we must learn ourselves and the lessons we must teach others. He knows where to plant us and when to uproot us.
If you’re one of the people struggling through a season in life wondering when God will release you, open a new door, or give you the chance you feel you deserve, let go of wanting things to happen your way and trust in Him.