It’s not easy playing the waiting game, especially when it comes to waiting for something important or potentially life-changing. The wait can be unbearably difficult, and it can be very easy to give up.
About a year ago, I was the General Manager of a local entertainment facility. I was losing my job because the store was closing down, but that’s its own story. This one is about something that happened to me during the wait.
A Vacation in the Waiting
I decided to treat myself to a vacation towards the end of July 2019 and go with my fiance’s college ministry to the beach for a weekend. Now the stress had really been taking a toll because 1) I was about to lose my job, 2) I was beginning to lose employees, and 3) I did not have a new job fall back on. I looked forward to this vacation all month long, despite not knowing anybody in her college group and not always doing the best with trips away from home. I can sit at home for a week on “vacation” and be perfectly content.
The trip was nothing short of wonderful. The college group welcomed me in with open arms and treated me as if I was one of their own. Now, during this time I was in a Lord of the Rings phase, so I took 5 different books on this beach trip: 4 of which were all written by Tolkien and the other belonging to the property of Star Wars. I planned on knocking out at least one of the books and just relaxing.
Welp, for the most part, the plan worked out. I finished the Star Wars book but I spent a lot of time around the other college kids. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t just going to be a recluse on the trip, but I intended to enjoy some peace and quiet.
On the trip, we rode the waves, did an impromptu ice cream run (kudos to whoever had the idea), played crab roulette (again, it’s own story), and had quiet times along with worship. Believe me when I say that I did not fully intend on engrossing myself in the studies and the college group. Not to harp on the college group, they are a marvelous group of people, and boy do they know how to eat!
I knew it was a church group and that there would be a few worship sessions here and there, but it just wasn’t high on my priority list. That was something else that didn’t go according to the “plan”, I got fully engaged with everything that went on in the studies and truly felt like God was talking to me.
Coming away from that weekend, I truly believe that something changed in me. I feel like since then, I have been changed in some form or fashion. I’m currently unable to put my finger on it.
Ready to Roll
I came back ready to roll. I remember telling Alina that I was ready to go back to work and close the store. That sounds easy and self-explanatory; however, many of the employees and I had poured our hearts out for the store to succeed. Clearly that didn’t work out, but coming back to a store where some of us walked around like we had failed, even though none of what happened was personally our fault, was a little tough.
Several weeks passed and the store finally closed, but I had to remain for a few days after we closed to clean out the building and get it ready for the next tenants. Thankfully, I had several employees volunteer to give me a hand and on the last day the owner came down to collect the stuff to take back to his store. Then it was over.
It was tough walking through a building that had been completely cleared out and empty of everything that we had. I stood in several of the rooms playing the footage of old memories in my head, enjoying them in their proper environment one last time.
I walked away not relieved, not ready to relax (despite what I had said), and certainly not like I had done a good job. I sat in the parking lot after everyone left for a few minutes and just looked around and soaked in the last few moments of having a job.
Something I left out for the sake of consistency: a few days before we officially closed the store to the public I received a phone call from one of the businesses I had submitted my resume to asking me for an interview at another store than the one I had previously interviewed at. I did the stupidest thing I probably could’ve done, I asked them if I could get through the next few days and give them a callback. Thankfully, they obliged and I promised they would hear back from me by the end of the week.
I ended up calling them back the day after the store had closed, and we scheduled an interview. From the moment that I found out the store was closing, my family, my fiance, and I had constantly prayed, not just for a job, but that I would be where God wanted me and that He would make that apparent. Throughout that time, I had interviewed for some pretty nice and prestigious (at least I think) jobs, but clearly, and unfortunately, that just wasn’t where God wanted me.
The interview went as well as it could have gone. I received an offer that was better than anything I had before and immediately took it because I truly felt that was where God wanted me. We prayed constantly that whatever job God wanted me at was the clear choice. Today, the job feels amazing and it’s great to be a worker bee again instead of a manager; I love leaving work and truly being done with work for the day.
Patience, Faith, Perseverance
All of this goes to say, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The night is always darkest before the dawn. The light beats the dark. Yada yada blah blah. You’ve heard it all before, but let me attest that it’s true! Now, it probably won’t happen in accordance with your timing, but it will happen eventually. The wait can be grueling and everything happening beating down on you, but all things come to an end including the bad. It’s rough, believe me, I know, but it won’t last forever.
The key isn’t just buckling down and pushing through everything but it’s the people surrounding you. I owe so much to my fiance Alina, my family, and the people who were praying for me and encouraging me all along the way. I owe a ton, also, to my employees for sticking with it and working their hearts out to make sure we all had a job for as long as we could. There’s a lot more that I could write but it’s probably time I wrap things up.
God really did open doors and He made it possible for everything that happened. Cast your worries on Him, pray for guidance, have faith, and keep pushing. Your “plan” will usually never occur in the way you hope or think, if you’re about my age, you should know that already. We all wanted to be rich, married, and working an awesome job right? Things don’t always work out the way we wish, but we can definitely wish to be where God wants us, and usually, you will be.
A little bit of patience, faith, and perseverance seem to help things…