Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stepping Stones

Today, let me encourage those who are seeking employment in this difficult job market.

I've written previously about how my husband, Bob, a career officer in the Army, resigned his regular commission after six years of active duty to answer God's call to full-time ministry. In January 1973, we moved from Arizona to Springfield, Missouri, where he enrolled for the spring semester at Central Bible College to prepare for the ministry.

The G.I. Bill would cover his tuition, but I would need to work full time to cover our rent and other living expenses. We had enough savings to see us through until March 1, but I had to find a job by then. After getting settled in our rental house, I began the wearying task of job hunting, praying that God would lead me to the job He had for me.

Because Springfield is a six college town, February is the most difficult time of year to find a job there. With an abundance of workers, all available positions had already been filled. I have a degree in elementary education and music, but school districts don't hire mid-term.

So, I checked out the Classified section of the newspaper and the employment office and went on a couple of interviews but was declared "overqualified." I asked my Sunday school class to pray that I'd find a job. One lady in the class told me that the Trailmobile dealership where she worked was looking for an accounts payable bookkeeper. In high school I had taken bookkeeping, so I applied and was hired on (you guessed it) March 1! The Lord is never too late, but sometimes to stretch our faith, He waits until the last minute!

Six months later, I was given two weeks notice that I was being laid off. I shed a few tears then prayed. Once again, God's timing was perfect. By the end of the first week, I was hired as a copywriter for the Advertising Department at the Assemblies of God Headquarters--with an increase in pay!

While I had good writing skills, after the trial three months, it was decided that copy writing for advertising was not my style. More tears. What would I do now? At the last moment, I was given a temporary secretarial job in the Youth Department. When that ended, the position of editorial assistant for the three youth magazines, Youth Alive, Hisway, and CAM opened up unexpectedly. I was in the right place at the right time, and again, my pay increased. The editors encouraged me to submit my own short stories and articles on a freelance basis, and several of them were published in the youth magazines as well as other in house magazines, including The Pentecostal Evangel.

Two years later, I felt the Lord leading me to transfer to the Church School Literature Department, where I wrote and edited Vacation Bible School materials. Before long, I was also writing Sunday School and Children's Church curriculum on assignment. After my husband completed seminary and we moved to Upstate New York to plant a new church, I continued writing curriculum on assignment for Gospel Publishing House for the next 25 years.Not only did my husband get his ministry degrees, but God led me into a lifelong ministry of writing that now includes two published books and another one on the way.

An old hymn says, "God leads His dear children along." That has certainly been my experience. The job changes were difficult and required stepping out in faith, but when one door closed, God opened another. The setbacks were really God's stepping stones.

How has God led you?

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