I remember when I wanted to quit my retail job three years ago.
Let’s just say, my calling was definitely not folding clothes and handling money all day. I had a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate and a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies under my belt, and I was itching to travel, teaching English and writing for God’s glory. If I could do the exact opposite of that, I felt like it would have been something similar to folding clothes and handling money!
Eventually, my time at the mall came to a close, and I was on to bigger and better things. I started working at a bookstore, and then at my current job as an Administrative Assistant. Despite my disgust at the minimum wage jobs that I had in the past (except for my job as a Consultant at the Writing Center!) I thank God that He used each of those transitional jobs to bring me one step closer to the person that He has called me to be.
I feel like we are trained to always wait for the next best thing. From an early age, we go from preschool to kindergarten, then prepare for elementary school in kindergarten, then prepare for middle school in elementary school, then prepare for high school in middle school, then prepare for college in high school, then prepare for grad school in your undergrad, and then prepare for your full-time career in college. We’re always preparing, but what are we preparing for?
The point of the article I wrote a few years ago was that no matter what season we are in, we should always give our best. If you have senioritis and just want to graduate, take a deep breath and pause. You only get to be a high school/college senior once; live it up! If you are single and just want to find someone, take a deep breath and pause. Once you are married, you have a long life ahead of you with that person; learn to take advantage of your free time and wholehearted devotion to God. If you are in an in-between job and just want to quit, take a deep breath and pause. God has given you a unique opportunity right where you are, and He is training you through it!
So, how can we give our best in the season we are in, even if we don’t feel our best?
Be thankful. God is sovereign and God is faithful. He has allowed you to have this job/relationship status/apartment/time at school for a reason. Think about what blessings can come out of the situation.
Be honest. It may be difficult for you to praise God for this season. Let Him know that! He loves you. He would rather have an honestly angry person than a fake happy person. Plus, sharing your struggles with God brings you closer to Him. Continue to stay connected with God, even when you don’t understand where He’s leading you.
Be surrounded. As a woman in my mid-20s, I know I’m not alone in my struggle to find contentment. People my age are all in different stages of life. Some are single, while others are married with kids. Some are stuck in part-time jobs, while others are well into their careers. Some can travel, while others are trying to budget. When I surround myself with Christian women who are fighting the same fight as me, it encourages me not to give up.
Be joyful. Even in the midst of trials, we are called to be joyful. Joy, I’ve learned, is meant to be shared. If you’re at a job that isn’t exactly your calling, it might be a challenge to always have a smile on your face. However, joy changes the atmosphere. As God changes your perspective, others will notice, and they will be encouraged to find joy as well.
All of these points focus on becoming. Through trials and transitions, we become more thankful, we become more honest, we become more encouraged, and we become more joyful. God is more focused on changing our hearts than changing our circumstances. Let Him grow you through these uncomfortable times.