Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Road signs

If you're looking for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge questions you'll find them here. This post is part of today's One Word Blog Carnival hosted by PeterPollack.com. Visit Peter's blog to read more entries using today's word-road.

Daughter1 graduated from university one year ago this month. As college wound down and graduation approached she dove into the job search with great diligence. She knew she didn't want to move too far away from collegetown because the boyfriend still had a year of school to finish before his graduation. She wrote letters, sent resumes, had a few interviews, contacted people she knew...all the usual stuff you do when you're trying to become gainfully employed.

About a month after graduation she landed a job. It was a nice job, not her dream job, but a paying job nonetheless. We had many a phone conversation prior to her accepting the position about whether or not this was the right road to take. She was feeling a lot of stress and pressure to find something so these phone calls home were fraught with emotion. While we as her parents, aka the bank, were anxious for her to become self supporting, hubs also cautioned her against taking a job just to take a job. He reminded her of everything that is wonderful about her sweet self which included, but was not limited to, the college diploma. In the end we all agreed that she should take the job and get some practical experience. She could remain in her then apartment and avoid the expense of a move as well as the upset of leaving the boyfriend and everything familiar to go live somewhere new and most likely alone.

I think we tend to remember the road leading to our own foray into adulthood thru the lens of rose colored spectacles, or at least I do. To be honest I see most of life this way but that's a post for another day. When I graduated from uni I went straight to grad school because there were no jobs available in collegetown and I couldn't possibly move away from the boyfriend who still had a semester of school to finish. Sound familiar?

As luck would have it, a job did become available for me just before the public school year started so I took it and did the work/school combo thing for a year. I am sure there was much hemming and hawing and angst and drama but I don't remember that. I only remember everything working out in the end and life being rosy and me feeling like I could take on the world.

Back to Daughter1...she and the boyfriend talked and knew they wanted to be in the same town or at least not too many states apart once he graduated so she started looking for a job in the big city shortly after Christmas. Boyfriend hails from the big city and we lived in a suburb of that same town once upon a time. She put out resumes, wrote letters, and even had some interviews, yet nothing materialized. She was frustrated and unsure of what was next but continued working hard at her less than dream job and we talked often about all the what ifs....What if you get a job offer in the big city?

Where will you live?
How will you get moved?
How will you afford to live on your own in a much more expensive place?
Is it safe?
How will you interview in State B when you're in State A?
Is this the road you should travel?

So many things to worry about and this is when I began to really pray in earnest for the right living circumstances to go with the right job at the right time in the right place. Who else hates the gray zone?

At the end of March she sent a resume to a company she knew had an opening. They were located in the big city and they immediately contacted her for an interview. After months of dead ends suddenly there was a one way sign pointing straight ahead. I think it might have been flashing.

I've been going to a women's bible study on Tuesday mornings this year. These women don't know my daughter yet they included her in their prayers each week. Daughter1 had three interviews with her future employer. Each one of these interviews fell on a Tuesday morning. Coincident? Hmmm...I think not.

Her very first interview occurred in a week when her current employer's office was closed for some maintenance work so she did not have to ask for any time off to travel to another state. During her second interview she met with the HR Director and quickly discovered that like my daughter, he too had spent his high school years living abroad. Expats feel an instant connection with one another as no back story is needed. They get where you've been and the pros and cons associated with that experience so the conversation is usually easy.

When Daughter1 knew she'd be going to the city for an interview she got in touch with a very good friend from uni who'd been living there since they graduated. This very good friend was living with two roommates and one of the girls just happened to be moving out in May. They were very excited to have Daughter1 move in and fill the vacant spot. This same sweet friend was so kind and helpful during the interview trips too. She even took a day off from her own job to help Daughter1 make a practice run using public transportation so she'd not waste time looking for the office on interview day. And she has continued to give her lots of practical and moral support throughout the transition.

Daughter1 was offered the job and her new employers were anxious for her to start right away. Her old employers back in collegetown were kind enough to allow her to leave on good terms with less than thirty days notice and she was able to spend Easter at home with us before heading to the big city. The new role is a logical step in her career aspirations and speaks to her creative instincts as well as making use of her wonderful communication skills. Conveniently we were able to move her belongings from State A to State B on a weekend we'd already planned to be in State A. We live in State Z. If you read my blog you know logistics are usually very complicated for us.

When Daughter1 first started the big city job hunt I will admit to some anxiety. Hubs and I both love collegetown partly because it's lovely but mostly because it's safe and familiar. As the pieces to this job fell so perfectly into place we both recognized this move was the right thing. "The right living circumstances to go with the right job in the right place at the right time" It doesn't get much clearer than that.

Not all of life's decisions are laid out before us like the wide open highway. Most of the time we hit a speed bump or two, some dead ends, sudden merges, crazy circles and more often than not a fork in the road. But the road to this opportunity was like a freshly paved superhighway and my daughter was the only car on the road. I cannot remember when something big unfolded in such a way that it brought peace and clarity and confirmation regarding the right way forward.

The young adult years are perilous. So many of life's biggest decisions are made during these years and there are a lot of people living with regret over missed opportunity, poor choices, moments of weakness and a multitude of other things they did or didn't do in their early twenties. All their lives my children have heard me say that God loves them. I remind them often that He has a plan for their lives and that He is in the details of our everydays. Most of the time we have to look back at our life to see that He was indeed going before us and making the way clear. It's not often we can see that in the moment but when we do, its nothing short of amazing.

I hope one day my daughter looks back at her own road to adulthood and sees it not just thru rose colored glasses but in black and white too. I hope she has tucked this experience away and can call it up when she encounters life's inevitable speed bumps. That the expression, "God cares about you" is not just a platitude but a promise she carries with her throughout her life, thanks to a road she traveled way back in 2011.

I hope she remembers feeling like she could take on the world.
And I hope she remembers why.


  1. I think God has a plan for everyone and sometimes it doesn't make sense and patience is required and some prayer. I'm happy everything worked out for D1! Could you have your Bible group say a prayer for me to find a little job in my rural town here....to keep me out of trouble!! Maybe they can fit it in in between the floods, war and hunger..it's up there with American Idol and DWTS request I know! :)

  2. I hope (and I'm sure she will) daughter remembers that she also had 2 wonderful and supportive parents that also helped her on the road to adulthood. Job well done Mom!

  3. I'm reading your post with particular interest because my daughter just graduated from college last week. She didn't want to move to a big city (boyfriend-now-fiance is in collegetown) but that's where the "dream job" was. Thankfully, the Lord provided a decent job in her field in collegetown. It's not the best one, but all things considered, it seems to be after all. We'll see what happens next! God only knows.

  4. Joyce...this post really spoke to me today. As you know, my husband lost his job recently, so we're at a bit of a crossroads. We've been praying about it and he now has 3 job interviews lined up for the next couple of weeks. Tomoorrow, in fact, he flies to Portland, OR. for the first one. I really hope and pray that we get to remain here in the South...we've never lived anywhere else. At the same time, I'm trying hard to trust in God's plan for our family because He knows what's best. So glad to know that things panned out for your daughter! Sounds like she has a bright future ahead!

  5. Wow, Joyce! Isn't it amazing how God orchestrated everything? He's given her this amazing gift of seeing His hand in her life in a very tangible way. No matter what happens in the future, she'll always be able to look back and see how He provided.

  6. Not all of life's decisions are laid out before us like the wide open highway.

    True that. Yet we still expect smooth travels!

    Nice to meet you, Joyce. I love the name of your blog. If God calls the nations a drop in the bucket, then I suppose the ocean is a drip in the bucket.

  7. Thanks for writing this all down for me to look back on one day-I'm already forgetting all the job searching angst. Thanks for paving this particular road with lots and lots of prayer! Love you!

  8. I can appreciate this post in many ways, except I think it'd be a lot harder if it were my daughter, not son, moving to the big city. Our son's girlfriend (soon to be fiancee) is in NJ and I think she will be moving down to MD as soon as he proposes. Not sure how much more schooling she has, but more than they want do handle with this weekend commuting from State A to State B. I can hear your emotion as a mom about the details of safety. I appreciate your hubby's perspective about not taking a job just to take one (even though it's tempting in this economy). I look back on my college days with one rosy lens and one dirty grey one--a mix of elation and regret. But God has forgiven me of the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways. Glory to Him!

  9. Yet another Joyce post for me to bookmark for a later date. Right now I'm still trying to convince mine that her high school grades matter but I know that in the blink of an eye she'll be in the same position as your daughter.

    Great post!

  10. He always knows.. long, long before we do.

  11. How wonderful when God answers in such a clear manner. So many times it is not so and like you wrote there are speed bumps. But I¨m sure He has something special planned for her life, and that He will be looking out for her.
    God bless her in the new job!

  12. God does answer prayer doesn't he? So happy for your daughter.

  13. I hope your daughter will be happy and successful in her new job!

  14. http://skootsonemom.blogspot.com/2011/05/thronetrip-tuesdaywhich-road.html

    you always inspire me

  15. Praise the Lord for open doors (and open roads.) May your daughters life continue to be free of speed bumps as she continues to trust the Leading of the Holy Spirit when He says, STOP or GO as God knows what is best.

  16. I particularly enjoyed this post, Joyce. It's subject matter that's near to my heart as my Brad continues to search for a decent job. His road has been filled with lots of bumps, twists, and dead ends since finishing college. I'm glad things are working out for your daughter! I know that things will happen for Brad, too, in God's own time.

  17. What an awesome post! I so enjoyed reading it. Hubs and I are in Atlanta so I will miss Hodgepodge tomorrow. And while I really hate that, sometimes there really are more important things than blogging. :0))) See you next week!

  18. Yes, that gray area is always a bit fraught with anxiety isn't it. But yes it somehow all works out once we look back on it doesn't it.