When Doing a Good Job is Not Enough

Wow, this is hard to write.  I lost my job yesterday.  I’d been looking for a job for a long time and although I have felt led to do certain things using my talent and in ways that I truly believed would bless the Lord, I haven’t yet “found” the way to make that work and so a job finally came along.  Not a good “fit” for me . . . not enough salary to live on . . . but I took it and told myself it was God’s will and He’d see that His purposes were fulfilled.  I believed that.  After 5 weeks in this job, they let me go with vague statements and no cause.  It shattered my world and left me wounded and beaten.  That was yesterday.  This morning, I am bewildered but trying to listen to Him.  Thoughts of “but I did a good job, isn’t that enough?” and “but I need . . . how am I going to . . . “ are mixed up with “but you gave me this ability and surely you want me to use it?”  I don’t know what “THE” answer is, but I do know some answers.

  • A friend who was on his way to a scheduled event with several other people answered the phone when I called to tell him what happened and got off the highway, changed his plans and schedule, and came to my house to pray and listen to me, and take me to dinner.


  • Late last night in the quiet of my room, my confused thoughts tore at me and so I . . . prayed?  No, I went online and surfed.  I found a friend online and started chatting with him.  Instant messaging.  We were online chatting for a couple hours.  His love and friendship blesses me.  I slept well after speaking to him.  My friend, I should add, is very ill and will likely within days be with the Lord, but you’d never know it.  He doesn’t say “why me?” when we speak.  He says “how are you?” 


So, this morning I’m thinking and also trying not to think as I’ve been accused of “overthinking” sometimes.  Ask my friend Rick.  He’ll tell you.  Maybe.  It’s true though.  Anyway, as I sat quietly, I realized all that was “wrong” about the job I lost.  I also realized that I’d prayed for God’s will to be fulfilled, and for the opportunity to find provision while using the talents He’s blessed me with for His glory.  I love Him and trust Him, yet I found myself feeling relieved that “it” was over when I got this small part-time and totally “wrong for me” job and was shocked and shaken when it ended even though the job did not use those talents He’s given me. 

Is there a different way to look at this?  Yes, I believe so.  You know, I’ve taken a lot of road trips.  Love to do that.  As a rule, along the way there’s the need to get out of the car, stretch, use the restroom, have a snack, buy a postcard or two, and then venture on.  Sometimes, those “rest stops” are pleasant, yet we do not stay in that place, nor do we reverse direction and return to the place we left behind.  The rest stop serves its purpose and we move on ahead.  Yet, I couldn’t see this yesterday as I sat in the parking lot outside the place I’d been recently working.  Today, the sun is shining and I can see a bit more clearly.  At those rest stops on the road trips, the purpose was clear.  God’s purposes in what He calls us to do is not always clear to us, but it is always good.  I don’t know what His purpose was in my taking that job I lost, but I know it was of Him and that it had a purpose.  I can beat myself up with “why” and “how” and try to find all the reasons and all the shortcomings in those I worked with and in me and rationalize it to bits, but He doesn’t want me to do that.  It serves no purpose.  His purpose was fulfilled.  It’s time for me to move on ahead. 

I paused at a rest stop on my journey with the Lord.  My ultimate destination is ahead of me.  I’m holding His hand and striving to trust Him more as I move on.  “I trust in, rely on, and am confident in You,  O Lord; I say You are my God.  My times are in Your hands.”  Psalm 31:14-15

10 Responses to When Doing a Good Job is Not Enough

  1. chrisco1 says:

    Wow. A courageous and candid post today. Your story fits quite closely with my own right now. I will pray for you that your spirit remain strong and your way become clear. Thank you for the reminder that we are not to ‘resign’ ourselves to God’s care but to trust Him. Amen.


  2. seahall says:

    Martha: Singer/Songwriter Harry Chapin penned the line “It’s got to be the going not the getting there that is good.” I once lost what I thought was my “dream job.” I spent 3 months in the wilderness without a job and 6 months on a job I hated just so I could pay the rent on an apartment I hated in a city I despised. But I spent six months with God. Just the two of us. I look back on that time and realize it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I would not want to go back there, but it prepared me for the job he would give me a year later. The real job of my dreams! I will be praying for you. You are a great inspiration. http://www.keziahcarrie.com


    • Wow, thank you so much! I moved from Boston to SC a bit over 3 years ago and my job hunting has not gone well and the 3 or so sensible (I thought) jobs have not lasted for one reason or another in spite of my good background professionally and my education and so forth. I am however so blessed by what has happened in me in this time. My personal relationship with the Lord has taken me to heights I’d never have dreamed of and I’ve realized that the places I lived were not really ever what I wanted, none of the jobs have been what I wanted even though I did them well and generally was promoted and so forth. I chose “sensible” over that which gives me life and the Lord has revealed this to me. I feel called to a certain purpose which “makes no sense” and from which I cannot envision earning money and paying the mortgage and other typical bills BUT if I am in His will and quit exercising my own in place of His, all will be not just well, but MORE than could desire or pray for! Thanks for your wonderful words of encouragement and sharing.


  3. Lisa L says:

    Hi Martha, i feel for you. I have experienced this as a single woman, and it felt like a huge blow. I also have experienced it married, when my husband was out of work for 4 years. All I know is that God is and will be faithful in it. It sounds like you know this already, but I just wanted to encourage you again that He is and will continue to be your Provider. 🙂


    • Thank you Lisa. I’ve been feeling like the Lord is leading me in a certain direction but haven’t really believed it could provide income to sustain me. I am single and thus there’s no option of a second income provider . . . but I’m finding myself drawn so strongly in this new way that I’m feeling I need to trust Him to show me and two friends, one a priest, are urging a change of life . . . sounds like I need to listen!


  4. John says:

    Well said, Martha.


  5. shanonnelson says:

    George C. Fraser once said, “Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end.”–This is the beginning of purpose for you! Walk in it Martha! Often when we share things on our heart, God knows exactly who is sitting by in need of that word. I was simply obedient this morning in writing that blog, but you read it, which means there are some clues to how to move forward in there for you. BELIEVE ONLY Martha! You can do this! http://www.shanonnelson.com


    • Thank you. He’s been seeking my trust and asking me what was in my heart. He knows, but He needed me to answer and yet my answer was mostly “that’s not practical . . . . I can’t do that. I have bills to pay . . . ” and so on and so forth, and now I begin to see that He’s been trying to give me the desire of my heart and I’ve not been letting Him. Wow.


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