By Genevieve Especkerman, Illustration by Chloe Yong
Hi! My name is Genevieve, and I am 26 years old this year. I would consider myself a fresh-ish working adult, 1 year and 8 months into my current full-time job. This testimony speaks about how I have come to know more about who God is and who I am through my work.
Graduation for me was in 2018. Fast forward 9 months, after 2 short stints of working at MOE and OYP, then attending the School of Witness (a 2-month stay-in discipleship school at OYP), I found myself unemployed, with no inkling of what I wanted to do for a job.
Coming out of the School of Witness, my mindset was something along the lines of: “Okay Jesus, I’ve given you 2 months of my life, surely now you will have a perfect job lined up for me!”
The reality was different though, as the possibilities of what I could do seemed endless – a little too endless. All I had was a prompting that I felt Jesus had placed in my heart, of a desire to work with people with special needs. So, that’s where I searched. And searched I did, for about 4 months.
By this point, it had been about a year since my graduation and virtually all my batchmates had started working by then. I felt left behind, wondering if the Lord had forgotten about me — did He not feel my frustration and anxiety? Would He really come through for me? Was it about time to stop trying to follow the promptings in my heart and take things into my own hands instead?
It was at this time when I had begun to resign myself to the fact that this wasn’t going to happen. I broadened my search beyond jobs relating to special needs, but it was then that I received a reply from my current workplace, a school for students with special needs, inviting me for an interview. Throughout the rounds of interviews, I remember being slightly nervous, but was always being filled with a sense of peace.
Only looking back on those 6 months did I realise that this period of waiting had not been a period of idleness, but one of growth. I look back on this season as a reminder to myself on how things work according to His time. Through the uncertainty, I had grown in my trust in the Lord; through the freedom of time, I had grown in cultivating my life of prayer. Amidst my own doubts, and the voices of those around me that questioned why I wasn’t taking more active steps to secure a job, I had to grow in trust to continue believing that He had a good plan for me, and that things would work out in His time. With much time on my hands, I had the luxury to start building in a habit of night prayer time daily, a habit that I continue until today, and is a cornerstone of my relationship with the Lord.
Recently, I opened up my 2019 planner, and saw a to-do written in April, a few weeks after the School of Witness ended, that said “send in job application to (my current workplace)”. I had somehow not sent in my application then. I know that this was part of the Lord’s plan as well, as I know that I would not be in the same place in my relationship with the Lord had I started work so soon after the School.
Almost 2 years have passed since I started working at my current workplace, and my work continues to purify me, and teach me more about the Lord and myself every day. I delight in how I have come to realise the intimate way that I am known and seen by the Lord through different aspects of my job.
Knowing that I dislike taking trains and much prefer long bus rides, I have a straight bus ride from home to work. Knowing that I would struggle in a cold working environment, I have many colleagues who are faces of Christ to me through a culture of care – some would even drop me texts with prayers of encouragement when they know I am struggling. Knowing that I dislike competitiveness, my department has a very horizontal structure that eliminates this culture of competition to get promotions or pay raises. These, and other particular quirks about my work that match quirks about me, continually bring a smile to my face as I imagined how the Father, knowing me in the most profound way, has gently led me here.
Each day, I am also learning about how being where the Lord calls me to be, doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth-sailing, not by a long shot. Being on the ground to manage students daily in my workplace, can leave me both physically and emotionally drained or overwhelmed. I am also constantly called to move out of my comfort zone to take on more tasks, and grow in my skill sets which are intensely uncomfortable for me. Yet, knowing deeply that this is the vocation that He has called me to in this season, and experiencing the peace and joy about my work when I take a step back comforts me. The truths I have learnt – that I am enough and made good; I belong to the Lord and not to this world, continue to apply even in this new facet of my life. They remind me that my work does not define me, and is instead a way to use my gifts in service of others, and a place to be purified and grown to become more of who He has made me to be.
Is there an area of your life that you wish the Lord would end your season of waiting in? Have you grown impatient in waiting on the Lord, and are wanting to take things into your own hands? The Lord promises that there is no wasted season, no time better spent elsewhere than where He calls you to dwell in at this moment. Choose to trust in the Lord who has engraved you on the palm on His hands – He has a good plan for you.