I have kept my job-hunting to myself and a small group of people, not so much for secrecy but for sanity. People mean well, but constantly being asked, “Have you heard something?” is not very helpful. For the past 7-½ months, I have pursued potential opportunities as they have come up. Yet, it was a recent interview that I want to share with you. The location and potential employer are not as important as the lesson I learned the moment I left the interview. It’s been a little while since I have interviewed for an instructional position (about 6 years), and I was both excited and a little nervous to prepare and share why I feel as though I am the man for this particular job. But as I left, I got that feeling. You know exactly what I am talking about; that moment when the mental transcript of everything you said, every movement you made, every perceived missed opportunity on a loop for your review. From the first step I took out of the school, the feeling swarmed my mind. The silence of staring out the car window was broken by my own summation, “I’m not too sure that went well.” And then came the texts from the few friends who knew about the interview. I worked out a diplomatic response to how things went—“Things went OK”. But had they? Every time I tried to assure myself that I had done “OK”, I would think about it and begin the critique of what I should have done and said. And on top of the perpetual critique came the attacks – “James, you blew this opportunity to get a job that you need!” “This is a great opportunity – something you would enjoy and you screwed it up!” It was relentless through the afternoon and evening.
I fought back as hard as I could, but took one wound after the other to my courage and strength. And just like I am doing now, I retreated to my back porch, to try to find cover – literally and spiritually. Instead of declaring the perceptions of a missed opportunity, I asked God for a reprieve and some encouragement. And that’s when the ceasefire began. He wasn’t the one attempting to bring me down, accusing me of failing, or making me believe that my responsibility was to solve it all. I had prepared and given the interview my very best. Most importantly, I had spent time in prayer and asked God to guide the whole process. From start to finish, it’s in His hands. I do not doubt that God has a specific location and position for me and that He will let me in on the details when I need to know them. The enemy is aware and his goal is to just chip away slightly, when possible, of that confidence. When my hope of deliverance is in a job, a paycheck, a person (flawed just as I am), etc., I am wide-open for the assault. However, when I look to God as my Deliverer and trust and rest in His promise to deliver me, there is nothing that will ever be able to take me down.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”