“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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