Two years at one job. For me, that’s huge. And that’s OK.

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Natalie the teacher.

Newspaper reporter.
English teacher. (at four different high schools)
Marketing Assistant.
Customer Compliance Administrator. (I still don’t know what that is)
Communications Coordinator.
Director of Marketing & Donor Engagement.

You’d have to be crazy to look at my resume and not see a lot of perceived red flags. Some might argue that I’m a risky hire. I’m only 37, and I’ve already had three different careers. I haven’t worked at one location for more than two years since I graduated from Indiana University in 2004.

Until today. Today I have worked for two years at The Rescue Mission, a homeless ministry in Fort Wayne, Ind., and for the first time ever, I hope there are many years to come. I work at a job that I absolutely love. I love the people I work with. I love what I do each day. I love the people we serve. I’ve attained something few people in this world have: job satisfaction.

So was my job-hopping and searching for the right fit for me worth it? Absolutely.

There were certainly some rash decisions in there. For example, I was so determined to get out of teaching in 2012 that I accepted a job that paid almost half the annual salary I was making as a teacher. My debt skyrocketed that year. But I believe all of those crazy decisions led me to where I am now.

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Natalie the Director of Marketing & Donor Engagement.

My career is important to me. It’s been more important than starting a family. Would I rather have my own family right now, or a job that I love? I can say with certainty, a job I love. Granted, now that I have that piece in my life, I would love to have my own little family, but finding job satisfaction was apparently something I needed to attain first.

I would probably never tell a young person that job-hopping is a good idea, but if you can sit in an interview and explain each hop in a way that makes sense, you can certainly get somewhere. Clearly it never stopped anyone from hiring me. And because I never gave up on finding a career and employer that I love, I wake up every day happy to go to work.

Your career moves are your own. You can get a lot of great advice from other people, but it is ultimately your decision. Some decisions deemed “career suicide” are not always as bad as they seem.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the part my faith has played in all of this. God has always made it clear to me that what I do with my career should be honoring to Him. He also gave me the patience and perseverance over the years to not give up on finding work I love.

Today I celebrate two years at The Rescue Mission. It hasn’t been perfect. There have been days when I’ve cried in the bathroom. There have been times I’ve had to leave and go to Starbucks just to get away from someone who was irritating me. There have even been days I’ve hopped on Indeed.com.

But I haven’t touched my resume. It still reads that my most recent job was the one I was at two years before The Rescue Mission. And I don’t plan on updating it anytime soon.

Two years. For me, that’s huge. And that’s OK. I’ll never regret my journey to finding a job that I love and the fact that I never gave up on finding it.

At the feet of Jesus…. or the Lincoln Memorial…

It was one of those Sunday mornings where I really didn’t want to go to church. It was a last minute decision to haul myself out of bed, throw something on, and go.

We sang some songs, listened to announcements and then sang another song. And then, before the sermon, we prayed. The worship leader said he wanted us to take everything to Jesus. Whether it was problems at home, at work, with friends, with family… whatever it was, take it and put it at the feet of Jesus. He’ll take care of it.

Having the wild imagination I was blessed with, an image quickly popped into my head. There everyone was with the things they were bringing to Jesus. I, for some odd reason, imagined Jesus kind of like the Lincoln Memorial. He was big, stoic, and unreachable other than His feet where everyone was putting down their worries and troubles. They quietly placed them at the feet of Jesus and turned and walked away.9997Abraham_Lincoln_memorial

But I was different.

In my mind I saw myself with good intentions of simply putting down my cares at His feet, but instead I saw myself putting them down and then pausing. I looked up at President Linco…. Er…. Jesus, and I tapped His foot.

“Don’t miss this one!” I yelled.

He didn’t respond.

“Hey!” I yelled louder, as everyone else continued to quietly give Jesus their struggles. “Hey Jesus! Don’t forget mine!”

It’s probably not very appropriate to yell at Jesus, but in my imagination, I really wanted to be heard. And to be honest, right now, in reality, I’m not feeling heard.

I took a leap of faith when I moved to Uganda a year ago. I took an even larger leap of faith when I moved home a month ago. I have a great education, excellent experience, wonderful references, and yet each and every job I apply for is turning out to be a dead end.

At first I was OK with that. Even after I discovered my dream job did, in fact, exist, and I was definitely qualified for it, spent four hours filling out the application one Sunday, and was told two days later that the position had been filled, I still was encouraged. I believed that God must have something better for me.

I took it to the feet of Jesus and let it go.

But then I interviewed for another job I really wanted, and I haven’t heard anything. I was still hopeful about another job here in Fort Wayne in which I had the perfect background for in journalism and education. I got a letter a few days ago saying other applicants were better qualified. They do not want to interview me at this time.

I am feeling defeated. Useless. Unwanted. Like my education and experience have all been a waste.

And on Sunday morning I took it to the feet of Jesus, or the Lincoln Memorial, and I kept hitting His foot to make sure He was hearing my request, that He was taking my worries for me. The giant stone monument offered no comfort.

After the sermon we sang “I Will Not Be Shaken.” I love God’s sense of humor. The chorus of Tommy Walker’s praise and worship song says this:

So I’ll stand in trust.
I’ll stand in faith.
I will not be shaken.

All of a sudden the picture I had created in my mind became so wrong for so many reasons.

For one, when we take things to the feet of Jesus, He isn’t a giant monument. He literally walked the earth as a human. When we put things at Jesus’ feet, we kneel down before someone our size. We give Him our worries, and then He gives us a warm hug.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Jesus is not unreachable. He is our friend, and He cares about us.

Secondly, I do not need to yell at God to remind Him of my situation. He knows the struggles I’m facing in finding a job, and He’s got it covered. He is always listening.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Am I frustrated? Absolutely. I feel I have a lot to offer an employer, and I’m getting nowhere. For some reason, God hasn’t placed me in any of the jobs I’ve applied for. Although it’s difficult, I will stand in trust. I’ll stand in faith. I will not be shaken. I’m taking it to the feet of Jesus and putting it before Him.

And He’s not a giant stone monument. He’s holding me tight as I wait for what He’s going to do next in my life.