Lead the Way…
By Donna Van Cleve
Some years ago, a friend approached me about working at the bank here in town when a position became available. It seemed to be a family tradition: My mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and eventually my sister all worked there at one time or another. My children were in school, and I thought long and hard about committing myself to a long-term job. I decided that yes, I was ready.
I called the bank, and an interview was set up for me. This must be some formality they have to go through before I start to work, I thought.
|Donna Van Cleve|
"No, I don’t have any banking experience," I said to the interviewer, thinking that most of the people I knew that went to work there didn’t either. "But I’m willing to learn." I smiled at her knowingly–thinking that we both knew I had the job. I wonder in what part of the bank they’ll start me…
She asked several more questions and thanked me for coming in. I guess they’ll be calling me pretty soon.
The next week I went to the bank to do some business and was surprised to see a new lady working in a teller’s window. I walked up to her to make a deposit and said that I hadn’t seen her there before. She told me she had just started the job, and with a shock I realized they had hired her over me. I hadn’t even known they were considering anyone else. I forced a smile and slunk out of the bank with my deflated ego dragging behind me like Linus’ blanket. I felt so embarrassed since I had been talking to everyone like I had the job lined up–that it was going to be such a big change in my life, but I could handle it, blah, blah, blah.
OK, Lord, so you didn’t want me to take this job. But did you have to let the door SLAM in my face like that? Couldn’t you have told me in a less humiliating way?
Would you have listened?
Not long after that humbling experience, the idea of home-schooling my children began to take root in my mind, thanks to a dear friend. At mid-term, we pulled our children out of school and began the challenge and adventure of home schooling. After a few months, the bank called again and offered me a job–no interviews–the job was mine if I wanted it. I declined, telling them I had decided to teach my children at home for awhile. When I put the phone down and thought about what had just happened, I realized that I might have missed the most wonderful opportunity with my children if I had been offered and had taken that job the first time around. And I cried when I realized that God had sent a balm to heal my bruised ego. I really didn’t expect that, and it just overwhelmed me to realize God cares about every aspect of my life–even areas I hadn’t even thought about or I thought were too petty for God to bother with. It has been over 10 years, but it still brings tears to my eyes when I realize that God had kept me from missing three of the best years in our family life.
Sometimes God shuts doors of opportunity because he has something better for us down the road. We may not understand why at the time, but we just have to keep on trusting him. He sees the big picture; we only see a fraction.
Lead on, O King Eternal. And thank you for shutting the door back there.
Donna Van Cleve is a writer and wife of one, mother of two, and grandmother of Audrie, and is a new member of Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin.