Here it is… the honest, real reason I’ve been secluded all summer. I was ashamed.
In June I accepted a full time assistant manager position at a popular outlet store. I wasn’t getting anywhere with my job applications, and in all honesty- we really needed a second stable income.
But the look that customers, even my friends give when they realize I have a Master’s Degree and work in retail is HAUNTING. Like I’m some kind of failure. Other’s negativity lead me down a path of believing them, maybe I am a failure…
SHAME ON ME. Having a career in retail is no lesser than having a career in finance, law, or public service. This job that I have right now is exactly where God wants me to be, FOR NOW. I recognize that. He provided a stable income for me right when we really needed it. He provided a job that would allow me to develop my supervisory skills, training techniques, time management, and other leadership skills needed to have a successful career. I know I am growing everyday.
100 Days to Brave– I’ve talked about it before, but Annie Downs pulled me out of my rut this summer. Time and time again Annie wrote of her own journey to her calling. She shares of times when her calling wasn’t her job, and how to find it within your own job. Downs highlights Colossians 3:23 and 1 Corinthians 15:58. Both verses expanded my perspective on life’s purpose, more specifically out life’s calling within our careers.
Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
Whatever you do work heartily,
as for the Lord and not for men.
Whatever you do. WHATEVER you do. God doesn’t tell us to only work hard at our dream job. He doesn’t say only work when everything comes together perfectly. No. He says that whatever you do, whatever stage of life you’re in, work hard to please and highlight God.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
From the outside looking in, many may think my retail job does not live up to my calling. But God tells us point blank- “in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” You can find your calling, and you can still fulfill your purpose in anything you do. By doing so, you’re preparing yourself for when the dream opportunity arises.
So What’s my Calling? Everyone has a different calling. It takes careful prayer, evaluation of experiences, and learning to break down your career aspirations to the bare nuts and bolts. If enough people are interested, I will write a post on how to find your calling.
My personal calling is to serve others. This aligns with my career goals to serve my community in a political arena, but until that day comes, I am not staying idle in the pursuit of living up to my life’s purpose.
I’ve worked in customer service for over 5 years. I’ve volunteered, and have gone on multiple mission trips. But it wasn’t until this summer that I realized everyday, EVERYDAY, I serve others. At work it’s my customers, at home it’s when I do kind things for my husband, or when I serve my family. Constantly I serve without realizing it.
So shame on me for ever belittling myself, my job, or the life-stage I’m in right now. I am here for a reason. No matter the job, my life’s purpose is to shine light and glorify God. I can’t do that if I care how other’s may judge me, or if I doubt His reasoning for how my life pans out.
Point Blank: Don’t belittle your life experiences. If others are judging you, they don’t live your story, so why should you care? If it’s your friends, maybe they aren’t the best influences to be around. You are exactly where God wants you to be right now.