Faithful.

I’m looking for a job in Albany. Daily, I go to war on my overwhelming urge to channel the old couple in Titanic and simply lay down and pretend that it’s not happening. This impulse can be largely attributed to both the fact that I can’t stand the idea that I left a job that I loved in North Carolina, and my secret fear that I’m going to have to be a truck driver in New York. Unfortunately, my Dad pointed out that my driving record might have a blemish or two that trucking companies might frown upon. [For both of our sakes, I wish that I could tell you that I never hit a handicapped sign whilst taking my driving test. I wish we could have that.] And so just like the Titanic, my truck driving dreams [nightmares?] have been unceremoniously dashed.

Thus, in an effort to avoid selling cheap, knock-off sunglasses out of the back of a van in NYC, I’m job hunting.  It’s something that I’ve never had to do quite like this—I have happily fallen in to every job I’ve had since graduating from UNC. Serendipitously, my brilliant MBA husband happens to be quite the expert when it comes to resume polishing and job searching [as in, people have paid for his expertise before], and he is determined to help me. [For free! And y’all know how much I love a good deal.] Unfortunately for Kellan, I am technologically illiterate and thus become completely overwhelmed with panic and try to hide under the bed in our guest room when he so much as tries to get me on LinkedIn. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CHANGE ME?! Honey, I’m not trying to change you, I just think there are more efficient methods of networking than liking people’s Instagrams. OHMYLANTA, THIS IS NO TIME FOR A LESSON ON CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY!!!

As you can imagine, the job search is going swimmingly. Also, we are out of wine.

There is something rather soul-numbing about summing yourself up on a resume. We live in a culture where What do you do? carries an implied, What are you? It is ugly and unfair and I am guilty of it. The difficulties of being unemployed in a new city are myriad, and they go beyond the bank account and right to the heart of the matter: my heart. The fight to believe that I am valuable and worthwhile because of Jesus, and not because I do something impressive with my 9-5 is daily. My desire to prove that I am worthwhile exposes an ugly pride that needs to be uprooted from my life.

There’s a story that I love about Mother Teresa. She and a wide-eyed visitor from suburbia, USA spent a dreary afternoon walking through the devastatingly impoverished streets of Calcutta. As they waded through the “least of these”, they passed a filthy little girl too weak to lift her hand to beg. Flies swarmed around a crusted, dirty mouth that could no longer remember the taste of food, and vacant brown eyes fluttered open and shut as if hoping to discover that death had mercifully come. Upon the defeating discovery that she was still alive, the disappointed little girl exhaustedly slipped back into semi-consciousness. She was one in a sea of thousands like her—the untouchable, unwelcome poor. Stricken and overwhelmed, the horrified American turned to Mother Teresa. You’ll never help all of them! You can’t even make a dent. How do you continue this work when there is no way that you can be successful? Mother Teresa simply smiled. I am not called to be successful. I am called to be faithful.

There is a sweet simplicity to that. We are not called to be successful: we are called to be faithful. Wherever God puts us, whatever He calls us to do. Even if it’s something as utterly mundane as getting on LinkedIn.

Here’s to being faithful today.

Comments

  1. Debbi Howard says:

    I would think that if a newspaper editor read your blog he/she would want to hire you as a columnist in a flash. You are so talented! Then you wouldn’t have to hide under the bed or bother with LinkedIn, either!

    • Debbi, you’re very kind! I’d love to get to spend my days writing. :) Unfortunately, I’m fresh out of editor-friends…maybe I’ll meet one on LinkedIn! ;)

  2. Oh Ashley! This is exactly what I needed to read today in the monotony of applying for jobs and feeling like I’ll never land one. Thanks for the reminder of what I’m truly called to do!

  3. Kim Kirtley says:

    Thank you for writing this today, Ashley. I lost my job a few weeks ago due to company finances and the hunt is a struggle I am not happy to be a part of. Again. Thank you for reminding me it’s not about being successful, but being faithful, and that I really am valuable because of Jesus.

  4. Benjamen Ober says:

    “Honey, I’m not trying to change you, I just think there are more efficient methods of networking than liking people’s Instagrams.”

    Trying not to laugh too hard at the library, but that’s hilarious. I hate LinkedIn too.

  5. Kristen Kammer-Hattox says:

    Hey, Ashley…I love your writing! One of my dearest friends lives in Albany…I think she is going to contact you. Her name is Miriam….hopefully you two can meet. It’s always nice to have a new friend! As one who has moved to many different places knowing no one, it is hard…good luck to you!

    Kristen Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 14:38:19 +0000 To: kristenkammer@hotmail.com

    • Kristen, that is so kind of you! Thank you for reading, and thanks for connecting me to Miriam! I look forward to meeting her. :)

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