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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)

TITLE: Staffing Concerns
By Donna Haug
02/05/13


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“What can I do, Mark?” I sat at the kitchen table, newspaper in hand. The “Help Wanted” ads blurred as frustration welled up in me. My husband glanced over at me from the chicken sizzling in the pan as he stirred up his latest concoction, a mouth-watering chicken curry.

“You can come make the rice and set the table. Company's coming, hon.” He grinned over his shoulder at me while shaking generous amounts of seemingly everything in our spice cupboard into the pan.

I sighed and folded up the paper. Pulling out the pot and measuring out the water, I said, “You know what I mean. I need a job, but I don't qualify for anything out there! I have a Bachelor of Theology degree. What good is that here? Unless I'm working in a church or overseas, it's pretty much useless!”

I lugged the bag of rice out of the pantry and measured out the rice. “Don't you sometimes wonder what God's up to?”

Mark put the lid on his curry and turned to me. “You'll find something, hon. God has always provided for us. He won't stop now.”

Just a few months before, our family had left Africa to come back home to Canada. Family concerns had brought us back much earlier than expected. Mark had gotten work right away in the construction industry – his back-up job since his days as a teenager.

Mine was a different story, on the other hand. For the past seventeen years or so, I'd been a stay-at-home Mom, pastor's wife, missionary wife and home-school teacher. I felt woefully unprepared to join the work force in Canada. What did I have to offer? I had very little experience in office work.. My few months working as Mark's assistant in an African Bible College office when the senior missionaries left just made me realize how little I really knew about administration. I wanted to learn, but I felt so intimidated by the super-efficient administrative ladies I'd met on both sides of the ocean.

Pushing aside my worry and fret, I turned my attention to preparing for our dinner guests. Before long, we sat around the table with our friends savouring our curry topped with raisins, coconut and tomatoes. Chatter and laughter filled the room. Later, Kathy sat with me in the living room, and I told her about my concerns and about a few jobs I'd thought to apply for. The one that had really caught me eye seemed so far beyond reach. There was an administrative assistant position open at my Alma Mater. Master's College and Seminary was looking for someone to assist the Registrar. I looked longingly at the ad. The list of qualifications required for this job seemed so daunting, the list of expected tasks unending. Though I was very interested, I didn't feel I qualified.

Kathy listened to me ramble for a while. Finally, she stopped me. “Why don't you go ahead and apply? The worst they can say is 'no'. Give it a shot. You'll never know till you try.”

“Hmm. Maybe I should ...”

* * * * *

Three and a half years later, I'm still working on staff at Master's College and Seminary in the most fulfilling, challenging paid job I have ever had. I have learned so much. I have grown in confidence and been stretched to organize and administrate as never before. I have learned so many skills which I feel will be very useful to me in the years to come.

Did God know how my prayers would be answered in that kitchen that day? Yes, He did! Yet, I worried and fretted. Instead, I should have trusted. His plan is so much greater than mine. His provision astounds me. Truly, the Lord is my Shepherd!


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This article has been read 155 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Darleen Coon02/09/13
Amen! It is often easier to worry than to pray and trust that God has a plan. I am learning that lessen daily.
Lois Farrow02/09/13
Excellent story, and I'm so glad it worked out so well for you. Women so underestimate themselves at that time of life of returning to the work force. I am sure so much in your life had prepared you for that position. Well done.
John Huckstep02/10/13
It never ceases to amaze me how God guides and directs our path and the curry made my mouth water. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 02/12/13
I love the detail that gives this first-person account interest--the chicken curry made my mouth water (until you added the raisins).

I'd suggest that you not begin a story with dialogue. Most publishers don't recommend it.

Good ending--very satisfying and an excellent read all around.

CD Swanson 02/13/13
Nicely done. God Bless~
Sandra Renee Hicks 03/05/13
Hi -

This piece much engaged and encouraged. Yes, it has love, hope, comfort and GOD'S results.