Hey! I got a job! If anyone told me a few months ago I would be saying those words, I would have been confused, skeptical, and probably a bit frightened. What about my free schedule? My ability to pick up and go somewhere on a moment’s notice? Well, passion comes in several forms.
Over the last several months, I have been feeling a “shift”. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I even wrote a blog post about it that I never got around to posting. I might at some point, since it’s a a cool testimony of how God lays the groundwork for His plans and we don’t even see it. But in short, I was in a place of feeling like I wasn’t working toward anything, a place I was completely unfamiliar with and uncomfortable with. At the same time though, I was waiting in anticipation for what God’s plan was. I was so comfortable being in a season of rest and submission. I just didn’t know how short that season would be.
While I waited, I set some goals. One of the big ones was to revisit my passion for photography, and start blogging, earnestly, on a regular basis. No more “peaks and valleys” as I have done in the past. Besides an occasional ceremonial appearance at our business, and kids ministry a few days a week, my schedule easily allowed me to pursue these goals.
A week after I set these life changing, profound goals that were going to make me a better, more patient human, an online job posting caught my eye. Cure International, a nonprofit with hospitals around the world that specialize in correcting physical deformities in children, was hiring a handful of CureKids Coordinators, or CKCs. A CKC spends time with the kids who are treated at Cure hospitals, and tells their stories through photos, writing, and video. “What a cool position!” was my initial thought, looking at the pictures of adorable smiling African kids featured on the website. “Too bad I’m not in Africa!” was my closing thought as I moved on with my morning.
It’s worth mentioning that my brain takes a while to wake up in the morning. The switch in my brain hadn’t toggled to the “ON” position yet, the switch that processes critical thoughts such as “Um, there’s a Cure hospital in Davao that you’ve visited several times. You know, the place you’ve began volunteering at? The place you watched go from a concrete shell to a fully operational facility? You think maybe there’s a position there too?” All my brain could muster at that point was, “Wow…cool”.
A bit later, post-walk and post caffeine, I wandered back to the listing, I don’t know why, I guess I’m a sucker for pictures of cute kiddos. I clicked the “more information” tab, and out of the blurry, overwhelming sea of words that made up the job description and applicant requirements, the only words I saw were “Philippines-January/February 2015”. OK, game changed.
You know when something grabs you out of nowhere and won’t let go? I hope you do. That’s called passion, and we all need it. My heart began to race, and I had a knot in my stomach. This is what I was waiting for. So many things that were “right” in one tidy (albeit long) job description. I had that moment of “I want this!” quickly followed by crushing lies that I cleverly label “reality” that said “You’re not equipped, you don’t have time, you’re too old (huh? That one was weird…)”. The knot in my stomach suddenly soured, and I resigned to the fact that it wasn’t meant to be.
But, God doesn’t give us gifts and passions for us to give up. I cautiously talked to a few people who would give it to me straight, my husband, Dan, included. Survey said, go for it. In fact, Dan insisted. Not just because the extra income would be nice, but because he knows me well enough to know that I needed the nudge, push, er, two handed shove. The following week, the week before Christmas, you know, quietest week of the year, was consumed with writing, filming, and photography. After spending most of Christmas Day editing, I was ready to hit “submit” on the online application. I had the same feeling I get each Spring when I hit “submit” on our tax return. “Whew, glad that’s over! Now I can move on with life”.
After the longest weekend on record, I received an email from Cure, requesting a Skype interview, and some more information. January was consumed with waiting, a few emails, more waiting, feelings of “Just tell me I didn’t get it already!”, and did I mention waiting? I managed to block out all positive messages from well meaning friends who were far more confident in my chances than I was. If I had a dime for every “I know you’ll get it!”, I wouldn’t need a job, I could retire, and probably do a fair bit of traveling. I know it was all in love, and I needed it. Every interview and email was, in my mind, one step closer to the final generic “Thanks for your interest, but the position has been filled” farewell. But, that email never came. Instead came the “When can we chat?” email. Turns out 2:30 am is as good a time as any. Gotta love a 13 hour time difference. That email and chat led to a job offer…I think. Again, 2:30 am. The emails since have confirmed that no, I was not in fact dreaming or hallucinating. This is real!
I’ve been with CURE now for about 4 months, which has of course caused my personal blogging to take a back seat, but I’m writing every day, and I promise I will share more stories here. But for now, you can check out what’s happening over at www.cure.org. If you click on the green “Real Time Updates” bar in the middle of the homepage, it will take you to stories of kids in CURE hospitals worldwide, now including cute kids in the Philippines!
So often we are afraid to go for what we want. It’s why we end up doing jobs we hate, living places we dread, and associating with people who bring us down. We believe the lies of “It’s too good to be true” and “I don’t deserve this” too often. Hey, guess what? Sometimes it’s too good, AND it’s true. Accept it! Claim it! God has more for us than we could ever imagine, we just have to step out, be vulnerable, and trust that He has the very best for us.