Firstly, let me say a massive thankyou to all those who commented and encouraged me about my guest post with TWLOHA. It’s always scary entrusting part of your story to the world. There has been something very special about being able to read comments from people around the world, people I will never meet. But for those minutes of reading, we were connected. It has been a very moving and humbling experience, and another lesson in the power of words.
Secondly, I realise I owe you an update on what’s been going on in my life. Many of you will have gathered from Facebook that I now have a permanent job at CAP starting in September, and have recently found a flat to move into in a few weeks. It’s a huge relief now everything is falling into place, but it wasn’t an easy journey getting to this point. I could have written this post with different words at different times. But it’s taken this long to get enough distance from from the process to be able to use words that are measured and fair.
As interns we first applied for jobs at CAP back in April, there was limited information available at the time and no one really knew where the jobs would be and how many there were. Interviews started in June and it was four and a half weeks in between my first interview and my eventual job offer, with three interviews altogether. As the weeks went by, more and more interns got jobs and still I heard nothing. I got offered an interview for a specific job which I was subsequently rejected for. By this point I was the only intern left in the process, the one left waiting for a definite yes or no. It was reminiscent of school days, being picked last for a team. No matter how many times people told me that it wasn’t my fault or a reflection on me, I still felt like bottom of the pile. I was tired of jumping at every email, hoping for news. It had been a painful and stressful few weeks and it wasn’t looking like it would bear fruit.
There were some real low points. Like the day, early on, when I found out ten people had got jobs, and I’d heard nothing, not knowing if there were even any jobs left. There was the day when, I got given a ‘no’ for a job I was excited for, and then the email went round announcing which interns were staying and my name wasn’t on the list. And the day when I realised that even if I did get a job, it would be too late to live with other interns, who had already sorted themselves out.
But throughout the process I have been blessed with a wonderful team, who have been there for me through the highs and the lows. It was often their support that helped me to brush myself off and try again the next day. Their prayers and words of encouragement helped me to rebuild my confidence for the next challenge. I have been very lucky to have them in my corner.
By the time I reached my final interview, the interview that would be successful, I was feeling pretty weak and exhausted. If I hadn’t felt strongly that this was where God wanted me to be, I would have walked away before this point. People were telling me that God had a plan, and maybe it wasn’t CAP. This was quite confusing to hear, as I felt God had been prompting me to stay. Would he really set me up for a fall or had I simply heard wrong? Four weeks of living on adrenaline were taking their toll, but instead I had to scrape my confidence up out of the gutter and put a smile on my face. Looking back I can see the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9 at work in my life:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”
I may have felt weak and bruised, but God was still strong. His power and plans were not frustrated or thwarted. His will would prevail.
Now, from the security of a future job, I can see some of the positives from this experience. For one I will be now staying at CAP confident that it’s the right thing, if I had doubts then I would have walked away from the recruitment process. It hasn’t been the easy option that it has for some people, but more of a conscious battle. I have grown through the process, learning confidence in interviews and how to better sell myself. My trust and reliance on God has been tested, and like so many situations in my life, He has brought me through stronger. This has not been an experience I would want to repeat, but I can see that God will use this situation too for my good. It does not do to harbour resentment and bitterness.
As I was planning this post I was thinking about the post I wrote for TWLOHA. I am encouraged by all the times throughout my life, when God has used what would be weakness in the eyes of the world, to display his strength. Three years ago I would have never expected to be able to share my story, from dark times, to encourage others. Me and God have weathered some storms together, and then he has given me the privilege of being able to share tales of his power at work. I can see ‘God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ (1 Corinthians 1:27).
It is true that these past weeks have not been the weeks I would have chosen. But it is also true that they have been another tale of God’s power made perfect in my weakness. And maybe in the long term that will be worth the stress and heart ache.