When Ashley was little, I used to attend MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) programs in a Princeton church. This would have been around 2002 to 2004. The kids played together and us moms had a speaker or some encouragement in how to raise our children as Christians. Of all the programs I attended, one has stayed in my heart. I don't remember her name, and I don't remember the specific topic. The message that stayed with me was to always tell God what is on your heart.
The speaker was a single mom trying to change her life. She told God exactly what she wanted in a new relationship -- he must be a man of faith, and he must love her children as much as she does. I remember her list was much longer and detailed than that. Basically she said "God this is what I want, now I'll sit back and trust you to work it out." She did not want to waste her time with a man who was not worthy, who would not treat her or her daughters properly. At some point she went to a wedding as a friend of the bride. During the reception she met a man (a friend of the groom) who was a pastor. Ding, ding, ding. She was still cautious until she realized he also loved her children and met the other items on her lengthy list.
Why am I sharing this story with you under the heading of "New Job?" It is because I applied her wisdom and advice when looking for a new job. In the past year I sent out about 44 resumes and had 20 interviews. I would have been happy with any of the positions, but ecstatic over the one I did land.
As the search continued I honed my wish list and shared it with God.
I wanted a part-time position working for a company I could believe in with a short commute, flexible hours, encouraging of women (added after I interviewed for a company that was encouraging of women), allowing me to dress up for work (but didn't have to).
Last night someone told me she tried to be encouraging when I told her my list, but really thought I should expand my options geographically, hours-wise, etc. She is stunned I landed something so close to that list.
Now that I've been hired, I would add I want to work for someone who believes in me more than I believe in myself and who is asking for heart over perfection, as these are traits I see in the new place.
As of Monday I am the Director of Development for The Bridge Academy, a small private school helping students with language-based learning disabilities. Since sharing my news with my Facebook friends, I have discovered nearly a dozen connections to the school from families of students, to a teacher, to a board member, to someone who did her student teaching there. It truly feels Spirit-driven.
Yes, I did look for a year. As much as I wanted to be ready, I wasn't. This summer I took three long vacations. I temped full-time at Princeton University (reinforcing that I am not ready for full-time work with set hours). I met lots of neat people on the journey.
I hope someone reading my story feels inspired.