I've waited a year to say four words that I got to say Tuesday: "I got the job."
Overall, I've really enjoyed my job at The Enquirer-Journal, but I've been restless the past several months. I've been there for more than three and a half years, but have little to show for it. I have more responsibilities, I've gotten my master's and I think I'm a better writer, but no one to my knowledge has received a raise. Plus, health insurance went up, so I'm actually getting paid LESS than when I started. We also have one less reporter and one less editor than when I started, so as the "senior reporter," a lot of the extras fall on me -- typing in religion news, making sure all social news (wedding and birthday announcements, etc.) is in and editing endless briefs. It's not hard stuff, but it's time consuming.
More importantly, I feel like I rarely get to use my seminary degree. When people ask what I want to do with it, I tell them my education was good for personal growth and that I hope to write more about religion. I've been saying the same thing since I graduated in December 2009 and the words don't come out easily. I'm fulfilled when sharing my faith and feel like I could be making a lasting difference, but I have so few occasions to actually do that through my writing with so many other things vying for my time at work.
In the past year, I've pursued four jobs that didn't pan out. Then right at a month ago, a woman from SES (my seminary) emailed me about a job opening: an Internet writer/editor position with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I was excited about the job description but didn't know if it was another dead end. I applied for a job with BGEA back in February and received the nicest rejection letter I think I've ever read, complete with a Bible verse. I figured if I didn't get a job with them then, I probably wouldn't now, but I had to try. The job sounded so exciting. ... In fact, just last night, I looked back at my email to see what exactly the name of the job was that I applied for the first time. I knew the job description was at least similar, but I couldn't remember the exact name. When I found my old emails, I realized that it was the same job I just got! I applied for the same job twice but with two very different outcomes.
It's funny how there have been so many miracles along the way. When the woman from SES told me about the job, I applied that night, then expected a long wait. I got an email within the week, asking when I would be available to meet with them. Everything since then has been such a blessing. I've met some wonderful people and really look forward to working with them and in a new environment. The commute is longer, but I think it'll be worth it. The main person I interviewed with said they had interviewed several qualified candidates but just hadn't found the right person. I thought, "Oh no, what if I'm not the right person?" I knew I would be disappointed, but kept praying that if this is where I'm meant to be, it will work out. I met with more people the following week.
After I got the job, the interviewer told me that the day after we met the first time, he was in a business meeting where there was talk of freezing all the open positions. One guy brought up the position I applied for and said they should still fill that one.
I've also been thinking to myself that God would probably let me get below X amount in my checking account before presenting a new job opportunity. I don't know why I kept thinking about that number, but I wouldn't put it past Him to let me get in a somewhat uncomfortable place to show me who's boss. I just paid the mortgage and sure enough, I'm in that zone. I still have my savings account, but I'm trying not to touch that. At least I won't have to keep watching my account shrink for much longer. :)
If I'd gotten the job with BGEA several months ago when they first posted it, I wouldn't have participated in some great newsroom projects at work and I wouldn't have pursued the web editor job with WORLD Magazine. (I got to the top three!) WORLD plans to publish a story I wrote for them, and I might have a foot in the door for future freelance opportunities. ...
So those four little words -- "I got the job" -- have now turned into those three little words that I've known all along but now appreciate even more: God is good.