a spoonful of humility

Lately I’ve been thinking about what God has been teaching me in the changes of the past year. One of the prevalent and painstaking lessons I have been learning is undoubtedly humility. And one of the clearest avenues that these lessons have come through is by my so called “career” since graduating college. When I graduated in May and moved to Columbia to help with Midtown I had these big plans of getting an awesome job at some non-profit that I would love and that would really make a difference in people’s lives. I cannot tell you how many jobs I applied for. I even had a few interviews for great positions. But rejection after rejection came. I kept hearing the words “young” and “unexperienced”. I mean, I know I look like I’m seventeen and I have a Christian Ministry degree, but I thought having a degree and being a somewhat like-able person would count for something…

It didn’t. I began to get really desperate. I was getting married in a few months and I had no source of income at all. I began riding around in my car and physically going in places and giving them my resume, basically begging them to hire me to do anything. A twist of fate brought me to Budget Truck Rental, and the guy hired me on the spot. And so my illustrious career had begun. After a few months of working under the table for him and still looking for a job elsewhere, a friend got me a job offer at East Coast Metal Distributors. I knew it was going to be much harder work, but at least it was more dependable, had insurance, and I would not have to wait until my boss got paid to get my paycheck.

So I took it. And I worked my but off for a few months with some really cool guys. I had no idea how hot a warehouse would be during August in Columbia. My blue collar days continued with a full fledged blue uniform, complete with a jacket that had my name on it. I was so mad that I had to wear pants in that warehouse-turned-oven.

And after a few months there I randomly got a job opportunity at an insurance company downtown. I was interviewing to be an “assistant account manager” for them, which sounded really cool. However, another guy got that job, but they really liked me so they basically created a position for me and said that I would quickly move into the other position. I thought it was just going to be administrative stuff, and then on my first day of work I walked in and my boss handed me a job description page with the word “Receptionist” at the top. I still told people that I “was training to be an assistant account manager,” because I was embarrassed. But I was a receptionist. I answered the phone and I did the mail. I got called “Ma’am” at least six times a day by people on the phone. I’m serious.

And then a few months later in January, my boss called me into her office one day. She had originally said that I would be getting promoted in January, so I was very excited. I thought that my “career” was finally taking a turn for the better.

But instead I got laid off. The decreasing housing market was killing their business and I was the last person hired so I had to go. It sucked real bad. Not so much the job part, because that wasn’t enjoyable at all…but getting laid off sucked. I had no idea that it could make you feel so miserable, even if it had nothing to do with you and you didn’t even like the job. I’ve heard that a guy’s worst fears are of failure and inadequacy. And that is exactly the way it made me feel.

I got laid off from being a receptionist?…

I didn’t have any good full-time options for jobs, so I decided that I was going to get a job waiting tables to bring in some income, to allow me to be a little more picky about the next job I take. I have been at Olive Garden for two months now, and I still haven’t gotten another job.

So we have Budget Truck Rental, East Coast Metal Distributors, the receptionist job, and now Olive Garden, all within less than a year. It’s no wonder why I haven’t gotten another job…my resume may as well just have dog poo all over it!

But like most crappy situations, I have learned so much from all this…

I have learned that my security is in Jesus, and not in a job, career, or making money.

I have learned that I have the most incredible wife ever, and as long as I have her behind me I will be fine.

I have learned that instead of throwing a pity party for myself because I feel inadequate, I can just shift my thoughts off of myself and onto others. Problem solved.

Most of all, I have learned humility through this. I do feel embarrassed sometimes, like when I am talking to my father-in-law. I really have felt like a failure in this area of my life ever since I graduated, and realized that inadequacy is definitely one of my biggest fears. Sometimes I get down because I feel like all I ever give Kristi is bad news…”No I didn’t get the job. No, we can’t get a house because of my student loans and because of my job(or lack thereof)”. Sometimes I feel like a failure at being the provider for my family.

But I have realized that at the end of the day, I exist to obey my heavenly Father, not to impress my father-in-law. And I’ve realized that leading a family is about so much more than making money. I’ve learned that God blesses and provides, because He has blessed us so much financially since I lost my job. Most importantly, I have learned that any good job I ever get will only come straight from the gracious hand of Jesus. This situation has constantly beat into my head the fact that I am nothing and can do nothing outside of Jesus.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that. If I would have lucked up and landed said “awesome non-profit job” when I first got here, it would have been a lot easier to start believing that I got the job because I am awesome or worthy or whatever. Fortunately, now I have been forced to put those delusions to rest, and I know that every blessing I receive is only a gift from Jesus and that I can do nothing to deserve it. When I get a new job I will know that it is Jesus working and nothing that I did, because it will literally take a miracle of Jesus to get me any kind of job with the current state of my resume! If only it was possible to send in a video explaining why your resume looks so terrible…

“You see, what had happened was…”

Jesus thanks for the spoonful of humility I’ve been swallowing these past months. It hasn’t always been fun, but I know that it is good for my selfish, wicked heart. Help it to take root in the depths of me and work to transform me from the inside out.

24 thoughts on “a spoonful of humility”

  1. It sounds like you have a good perspective on this – God is faithful and He will provide. For us, his means of providing have seldom been in the ways that we think would make sense.

    One suggestion about the Olive Garden-I worked nights at an OG for about five years while my husband was working his way back up to management after getting laid off. I was much older than you at the time 🙂 ( mid 30's) Maybe approach this season with this job as a missions project. If it's anything like the one I worked at I'm sure there are plenty of college aged kids who need a good Godly influence in their life.

    Hang in there – God really is faithful – You will never be disappointed for having trusted in Him, it truly is a wild ride!

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