Faithfulness in the New Year

Forgive me WordPress for not faithfully using your site for quite some time. I am unsure why it is that I have not written many posts since I have ample time after graduating and am now considered a fun-employed individual. Maybe it is due to the fact that not much has been going on in my life. It has been rather slow and depressing.

I am known to be a work-horse. I always try to keep myself occupied. Anytime or day that I have a spare hour makes me feel lazy. Every break I have had-winter, Thanksgiving, summer- I have worked at Panera. It was until a dear friend of mine convinced me, with tears in her eyes, to quit out of self-respect when I had told her of the horrors that came with the job.

But, I digress. Happy New Year. I welcome all that 2017 has to offer me.

Up until graduation and now, I have constantly been bumping into people who ask me that dreadful question every graduate hates, “What are your plans now? (or do you have a job lined up?)” I’m sure they have good intentions, or maybe they are nosy, but it irks me nonetheless. I repeat the same story to each individual and go on my way, saddened, yet again.

I have been working towards a certification as a Strength & Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association since I received the study materials (Christmas gifts). There are 24-chapter and each have an extensive amount of information that I have to absorb and apply on the exam. The exam, being over $300 forces me to be absolutely certain that I am ready to complete the four hour exam.

Because I could be potentially unemployed (excuse me, fun-employed) for the next day, month, year or so, I have been applying to smaller jobs to earn cash (and to begin paying back my students loans, ayyy). These jobs would have to be flexible with hours if I were to get another part-time job or dropped quickly if I were to obtain a full-time position. These jobs are good for the “in-betweens” and are known to have a higher turnover rate.

You know how some people (the hipsters) have always wanted to work at a coffee shop, and it is a cool thing to do? Well, today, I finished signing papers for my “coffee shop” job: the AMC movie theatre. I am abnormally ecstatic to be working at a job that I have secretly wanted to work for since high school. I applied late at night after watching Rogue One at that same movie theatre.

Meanwhile, I have been obsessively searching and applying for all sorts of jobs. Each day as I check for more jobs, I get lost in the sites that are already been picked over and highlighted on the Google Search. Variations are typed into the Engine: “strength coach,” “strength and conditioning,” “high school strength and conditioning positions.”

I poured my life and time out into these applications, cover letters and resumes, in hopes that I will have caught some sort of fish even if that fish is a small fry. I feel as if I am limiting myself in my searches as well as I require to stay at home (finances, duh) and require the position to be located less than 45 minutes away.

I search into the night to find that one “perfect position” if there was such a thing. My friend shared with me a PT job as a Senior High Leader of a church and told me that I was ready for this. After my friend fell asleep, I continued to work on my cover letter, which was essentially a partial testimony (probably unconventional for an application). Long story short, I received an email three days later from the Director. Enclosed was a sincere apology that he was looking for a male Senior High Leader and that he assumed that was clear- it wasn’t. I sat crushed as I read the email.

Applying for jobs is a job in itself. It’s the type of job that forces you take your work home with you and makes you feel all sorts of emotions. That is the application process though, something that I have been inevitably waiting for since birth (a bit dramatic, I understand).

Foraging on…

I have been looking up the athletics of local colleges to send in my cover letter and resume to. After searching the athletics of FDU, I discovered a link to the university’s Strength & Conditioning program. I read (stalked) the philosophy and fell in love with what their values are. I created a new cover letter, my most professional one yet, edited my resume (and sent it to a few trusted individuals to check over), and sent it over to the Athletic Director.

During the application process, I find myself stuck inside all day and have to force myself to touch the outside world and see daylight. On my run the following day, I was again, thinking about careers. I thought about my weaknesses as a Strength & Conditioning coach- I was totally inexperienced at programming, I could never create a training program for collegiate athletes! At each internship, I asked about programming, and although they explained to me what they did, I was never able to put it into practice. I strongly desired a mentor who would take me under his or her wing. I stopped, took my headphones out and prayed to God for a response within 24-hours. I know how powerful prayer is and that if it was in God’s will, I would hear back from someone.

I always leave my phone on the table when I am out for a run (unsafe, I know), but as I unlocked the doors to my house, I saw it vibrating. You know that adrenaline rush you feel when you have to pick up your phone quickly but cannot get to it fast enough? THAT happened.

I missed the phone call.

To my surprise, the person left a voicemail. I opened it to find that the Coordinator of Strength & Conditioning was calling because the AD forwarded my email to him.

Freaking out.

I scripted what I wanted to say and called him back within an hour. I explained who I was and why I was calling. I asked if there would be any opportunities that could potentially turn into full-time positions.

He responded with surprising enthusiasm. Within the first minute of speaking, he told me that their internship program would consist of programming, reading up on journals and articles, and requiring that the intern go to two schools to network. As for full-time positions, he said there was not any available yet, but he was really trying hard to get another graduate assistant position of the Fall semester. He also advertised that if this did not happen, he would go out of his way to help the intern find a career. I was completely blown away by his preparedness, willingness and authentic spirit. FDU didn’t start the spring semester until January 23rd. He told me he was open to having me stop by to check out the facilities since there was not much to do until school- I scheduled to meet with him the next day.

I had already been looking at a Master’s program at FDU (which was suggested to me by a client of my dad’s, another story in itself). Even though I was not enrolled in a graduate program, if there was eventually a GA position with the athletics, I could potentially go to grad school there (and possibly get a scholarship)!

This internship, even though it might not lead to a full-time position and it might NOT be paid, it was only ten minutes away, I would get the exact experience I needed AND I would have another reference! I also had another job (AMC) that would give me the money I needed.

Immediately after the phone call, I was jumping up and down with giddiness. I group texted my family and notified another friend of my meeting with the S&C Coordinator.

 

My friend texted me, “Call me anytime now dear!!”  I called her and explained the entire story and how perfect this position seemed. She was just in awe. “Praise God!” she said. I was amazed by her response and slightly embarrassed that I had not praised God more for this opportunity.

She told me of a crazy God moment that day. She said that she had been struggling to find passion that she once had for God and prayed for that. She finally was able to sit down earlier on that day to “pray for more than one second” and thought about me and her friend Bri.

When she got my text at work, she almost cried. Because just five minutes earlier, she had received a text from Bri about an interview for a job that seemed perfect, it was scheduled for the next day! I told her how I prayed for immediate results earlier that day on my run and how crazy it was how quick those prayers were answered. Again, she was astonished because Bri said that same thing.

There was so much power in our prayer. Three people at once asked our Heavenly Father for a response and we each received an answer. Even my dear friend had a response. Even though she had not recognized God’s power in her life in that moment, she saw Him work in others and was encouraged by it.

In the conversation she mentioned, “…he could mentor you…” I immediately stopped her. “What did you say?” I asked. She repeated herself and I told her how I desired to have a mentor. Everything that had just happened was perfect and too coincidental to be coincidental. This was all God.

She ended the conversation excited for me and that she would continue to pray for me. I would also be praying for Bri and her interview the next day. She told me that she sensed that I could be paid for this internship too, which in the past has not worked so far (I’ve worked for free in every internship I ever had). I am praying for this too, that I would finally be paid after all my hard work that I have put into my internships — God redeem me!

Happy New Year. I welcome all that 2017 has already offered me.

Dear Lord. Thank You for hearing my cries and prayers. Let Your will be done in my life. Even if this does not work out, I still praise You. Amen.

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