“He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.”
So this probably isn’t news to anyone (I keep hearing complaints about spamming everyone on Facebook with my “I’m Hiring!” updates), but in February I made a lateral move to become a Recruiter. It’s been about three months and I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty settled and acclimated to the new position.
It’s also safe to say I’m loving it! Recruiting is a nice blend of a lot of my strengths and interests, and my supervisors are gracious to let me mold the position into something that suits me. There are still ups and downs, and sometimes it’s hard interacting with people all the time (I am SUCH an introvert now!), but overall the change has been positive and I am so thankful to God for this opportunity. (In my discipler’s words, God really knew how much I could handle!)
This new position however has led me to think a lot about my first 2.5 years with the company, 2.5 years spent in the wonderful world of Content.
Here are some disjointed reflections (I am seriously TERRIBLE at any writing apart from business writing now [*tear], so bear with me…):
1) God has the best plan for my life.
It’s no secret that I struggled greatly with being content in my last position. Like so many other new grads, I felt like the position wasn’t always the best fit and that my life was wasting away. There were times when I felt so bitter that peers seemed to be thriving and moving in their direction of choice– why had God forgotten about me and my life?
A few sub-lessons contribute to this point actually… (Warning: Monster post that doesn’t contain any additional numbered points below!)
1a) There are actually very few people that are 100% satisfied with their life!
Contrary to what I believed, I’ve found that the vast majority of people actually aren’t happy about their current circumstances. Even my friends that were moving quickly in their chosen direction faced and continue to face struggles in their career and schooling.
Therefore, contentment does not stem from your surroundings, but rather from your mindset. I find contentment when I realize that God is sovereign and that He truly desires good for me and my life. He certainly does NOT desire my life to go to waste, but He WILL, in His sovereignty, allow me to face difficult and unsavory situations to build my character and further His glory.
This applies to career, as well as the rest of my life. We will always be enticed by what we do not have.
Example: Singleness is a struggle as we desire to no longer be single. Then once we start dating, we desire marriage or a different partner or more space/time. For those who are married, the desires continue (children, a different spouse, freedom, etc.).
The vicious cycle goes on and on until we can learn the art of contentment, which stems from belief in God’s sovereignty and learning to savor each moment and season unto His glory.
1b) My attitude is a reflection of my heart, not my circumstances.
It is so easy to blame a poor attitude on my circumstances.
Some of my former favorite excuses: If I were in a more interesting job, I would work harder. If the environment weren’t so stressful, I would be nicer. If caring for others were part of my job description, I would invest in my co-workers and be loving.
I had truly tricked myself into thinking it was the environment that was making me selfish/sinful. In reality, my selfishness and sinfulness were there long before I started any position, it’s just the circumstances that drew the dross of an in-progress heart to the surface.
1c) A Christ-like heart will shine through every circumstance.
Something super convicting from this year’s Passion for the Nations, was this strong word from Epicentre’s Pastor Jon Lo: many Christians have the false belief that when they reach the mission field THEN they will start living a sold-out life for Christ.
The moment he shared this, my heart sank because this notion had my name written all over it. I was living an unintentional, selfish life at work (at least in some aspects), but all the while thinking that as soon as I got to the mission field, then I would be this super awesome, amazing Christian.
For one, there’s a chance I may never be sent to the mission field! If this is the case, then what happens? And then of course there is the truth that as much as we believe we can compartmentalize, if the love of Christ isn’t pouring out of me now, then there is no way the love of Christ will be pouring out of me in a sustained fashion if/when I reach the mission field.
If the love we are pouring out truly is the love of Christ, then that love will pour out in every circumstance and every facet. The love of Christ cannot be contained! And it extends to every person: rich or poor, Christian or non-Christian, Japanese or North Korean or Jewish or African or American!
If love only pours out of me in settings where I am EXPECTED to love, then that is works-based love, love fashioned for the fulfillment of obligations… and in that case can it really be called love at all?
1d) Whatever you do, work heartily! & 1e) Working heartily means going above and beyond to use your God-given strengths.
Around the beginning of this year, all these realizations started pulling together and my attitude began to change.
I found that my heart was growing for my colleagues and my desire to work hard started stemming from a love of God, rather than a desire for praise or fear of being found out.
Around this time, I posted the following verse under my monitor (using our oh-so-wonderful label maker):
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
As I had shared my work struggles with many, this verse had always come up, but it was not until the start of the year that it finally began to sink into my heart and mind.
The verse says work heartily at whatever you do. Whatever you do: a short, yet broad phrase that encompasses, well, everything!
So slowly, by God’s grace, I started striving to labor for the Lord. And though my job description was still essentially the same, I realized a huge part of this was finding ways to use my strengths even if they weren’t in my normal duties.
I was never tasked with the professional development of colleagues, but as God gave me His heart, He began challenging me to train others in my department and truly care about their growth in terms of career. And of course to do this, it meant I had to work hard at my regular duties to free up time to train them.
Of course I still struggled a lot– old habits die hard. But after two years, I think I finally came to realize that my years in Content were for much more than learning about Excel, and Purchase Orders, and how to write super stellar emails, but rather God was teaching me what it means to be content, ironically through the business of Content.
Anyway, what a way to jump back into the blogging world! I guess this just shows me I need to get back to writing more.
Praise be to God that He is sovereign, and that He knows far better than me what to do with my life.
And, finally, KY, if you made it this far without skimming I commend you haha. On that note too, happy 2 years + 1 month, which really does warrant another post, now doesn’t it? ;)