Patronizing Patience

My Grandmother has a friend who loves to constantly repeat the phrase “Patience is a virtue.”  To be honest, I never really knew what the meant.  I thought that this was something parents usually said to their children when being asked for money to purchase something.  However, over the past two years, I have begun to see how patience has played a huge part in the success of my life.  

The very first job that I had right out of college appeared to be my “dream job.”  I was actually using the college degree that I had worked so hard to obtain.  But, the honeymoon did not last long.  Luckily, I was able to find another job rather quickly.  I was on cloud nine.  I thought that I was making a true difference in the world and helping others.  Until I found out the company had very shady business ethics.

I then went through a series of horrible jobs.  Working at a fast food restaurant would have been better than what these jobs entailed.  My husband and I had only been married for two years.  We were struggling to make ends meet and were lucky enough to be able to pay the rent.  I was desperately seeking a full time job.

That’s when my mother brought up the phrase about being patient.  But, when you are constantly worrying that you will not have enough money to purchase food or that your crazy landlord may kick you out onto the street at any moment, being patient seems an impossibility.  Especially when I became unemployed for a month.

I cried myself to sleep too many nights to count.  And I prayed constantly.  I wanted (and needed) a full time job and I needed it NOW.  I always thought that my mom just didn’t get it.  She has her dream job and dad makes more than enough money to support them both.  I felt like she didn’t understand the struggles that Matt and I were going through.

One thing that I refused to do was give up.  I was constantly on Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com.  I would refresh the page every hour on the hour.  I knew that I would accomplish nothing by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

I have noticed that just when I think my life is over or that bad things/situations will never get better, God always comes through.  I received a call for a job interview at the local college I had graduated from.  A few days later, I got another call offering me the position.  I was still a part-time employee, but it was certainly better than being unemployed.

About four months into the position, I learned that our office (A) was feuding with another office (B).  I couldn’t understand what the issue was.  Something about we had “too many workers.”  Soon, I was told that I was going to be moving to office B and become their employee.  While greatly confused, I was just thankful to still have a job.

This is where God and patience came in.  I worked in office B for a year.  One day, I noticed a job opening in office A.  I decided to apply.  Lo and behold, I got the job.  My former co-workers seemed so excited to have me “back.”  And I felt like I was home.

After a month of being back, one of our full time employees quit to pursue other job opportunities.  I was asked if I would mind doing part of this person’s job in addition to my current responsibilities. I accepted without hesitation.

The following month, the job posting went up for the position.  At a co-worker’s encouragement, I applied.  Honestly, I didn’t think that I had a chance.  I had only worked at the college for a year (and a few months).  While I have my Bachelor’s Degree, I feared that I would not have enough job specific experience.

I was stunned when I received a phone call requesting an interview.  When that day came, I was a nervous wreck.  I usually have a good feeling when leaving an interview.  Not this one.  Everyone was so stern and tense.  All I kept thinking was “I blew it.”

Upon returning from winter break, my supervisor and his/her supervisor called me into his/her office.  They offered me the job!  I thought I was going to cry.  All of my prayers were being answered.  And while it took a lot of hard work, it also took patience.

The timing of it all still amazes me.  If I hadn’t been back in office A, I wouldn’t have been able to begin learning portions of the soon-to-be-posted position.  The new office director wouldn’t have seen my intense work ethic.  And I would have never applied for the full time job that I will begin this February.

Being patient wasn’t easy.  In fact, I struggled with it daily.  But, my 91 year old Grandmother knew it all along.  “A smart girl like you?  You’ll move up quickly.  Just be patient.”  So, keep trying and fighting for your dreams.  Sometimes, we need to step back in order for God to step in.

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