I’m thankful for a new beginning

Thanksgiving is a time when we focus on all the blessings in our lives. This year, much like other years, I am thankful for a family who support me, friends who love me, a house to live in and a God who sustains me.

Today, however, I am especially thankful for a new beginning.

If you know me or have been following my blog for very long, you probably know that I graduated in May and that I’ve been looking for a “real job” ever since. I am happy to announce that I will begin my new job as the education reporter for The Salisbury Post on December 11.

This is such an answer to prayer! Over the past six months I’ve really struggled to understand God’s plan and his timing for my life. While Salisbury wasn’t even on my radar as a place I’d want to go, I’m excited for this opportunity to start my career at a strong, daily paper in my beautiful home state. I’m excited to learn from seasoned reporters and editors. I’m excited for this new beginning.

I’m thankful that I have things here in Raleigh that will be hard to leave. I’m going to miss working with Drew and the rest of my Chick-fil-A Cary Towne Center team. Never before have I been so sad to leave a job. I’ve enjoyed working on a fantastic, genuine, cohesive team. I’m going to miss my not-so-small small group on Tuesday nights. I’m going to miss people asking me to bake cupcakes for random events, spur of the moment trips to Walmart and talking for hours after Bible study ends. I’m going to miss going to Christmas at DPAC. I’m going to miss impromptu movie nights with my best friends.

Grown up life is going to be intimidating and challenging, but full of rewards. I’m excited and thankful for this new beginning.

Advertisements

Rejection

Last week, I found THE internship that would make my dreams come true. It was in the perfect place. It was in the right field. It even came with the possibility of a full-time job at the beginning of the year. (It was even paid!) I didn’t apply for the internship; they approached me. I had nowhere to live, but the perfect place with great amenities came along (and the move in date was even the right date).

I thought that maybe, just maybe, God was finally putting everything in place for me to move from this season of waiting. I thought that maybe He was finally turning this time of “what-ifs” and “I don’t knows” into something new and exciting.

But today, I was rejected.

I am discouraged. It doesn’t seem to matter how many jobs I apply for, how out-of-this world my resume or cover letter is, or how qualified I am for the position: the answer is always “no.” That’s disheartening.

I’m not the only one who’s faced rejection, though. On my way home from work, I was reminded of an article I read a few weeks ago by my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn.

When Robin was my age, she wanted to be a missionary. In fact, she applied for a full-time missions position as a laundry supervisor in Kenya.

She was rejected.

Instead, she worked with the girls in her church’s youth group. It was there that she met her husband AND was inspired to write a book, which turned into several books, which turned into The Christy Miller series, which turned into several series.

I have personally seen how The Christy Miller series had an impact on my life, my best friend’s life, and even the life of a dear friend who is currently serving as a missionary overseas.

When I was in middle school, I devoured Robin Jones Gunn’s Christy Miller series. I didn’t just read these books once or twice, either; I picked up them up again and again. In fact, this 22-year-old college graduate still picks those books up from time to time. Christy, Katie, Todd, Doug and Tracy were much more than just characters — they were role models and friends.

My friends and I aren’t the only ones whose lives were impacted by Robin’s books. Robin tells this story in the article:

As a result of writing so many books I was invited to teach at an international writer’s conference in England. At lunch the first day I met a young woman named Wambura. She quietly told me that she had read the Christy Miller books when she was in high school.

“You did?” I was intrigued. “Where did you grow up?”

“I’m from Nairobi, Kenya. Your books were very popular with the girls at my school.”

My eyes grew wide. “You’re from Kenya? I have to tell you something. When I was your age, I applied for a position as a Laundry Supervisor in Nairobi.”

“So you have been to Nairobi.”

“No. I was turned down for the position. I was crushed. I thought that was the best way I could serve God.”

Wambura smiled. She spoke a truth over me that day that changed my life.

“Robin, you did not need to come to Africa to wash our clothes. God sent your stories and they have washed our hearts.”

I may never write an award-winning Christian young adult fiction series, but I do know that He has better plans for me, just like he had better plans for Robin.

So even though I am discouraged, I am encouraged.

I know that God has me where I am right now for a purpose. He will use me in HIS way and in HIS timing. His plan is far greater than mine.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21