Since I had not made an official decision at this point in time regarding my summer plans, I decided to hold off on talking with my then-future employer and wait to see how things panned out. After all, I had to be accepted to project first and wanted to have another job lined up before I dropped my internship. Those were, at least, my plans.
A few of my engineering friends who had been on summer project in Chicago had also worked for an engineering company in the city. So I looked into contacting them to see if they had any openings for an intern this summer. I was told from my friends that they both didn’t hear back from the company until late April or May. Seeing that it was the second week of February, I planned for my patience to be tested well beyond my comfort zone.
Almost immediately after I emailed my contact, I not only received a pleasant reply but also was scheduled for a phone interview the day after.
Insert crazy divine intervention here.
At multiple points in this crazy story I have had outbursts of weeping combined with laughter due to my overwhelmed heart. This was one of these times.
I have believed the lie that God doesn’t really want good things for me, but God quickly erased that incorrect belief and replaced it with breathtaking truth that He cares for me, more than I can fathom, and will continue to provide for me against all odds. He has continually shown me that He is worthy to be trusted, deserving of every aspect of my life – especially when it comes to financial provision.
After a whirlwind phone interview, I was led to believe that I would hear back in the next few days with an offer.
I completed my application for summer project at the end of that week – the day I was supposed to hear back from the Chicago company – all the while praying that God would provide. I knew that He knew I needed to make money this summer. He knew that I couldn’t support myself as a poor college student without a job, so I continued trusting that if He was powerful enough to change my heart and mind with regards to my summer plans, He was also powerful enough to provide.
About two weeks later, I still had not heard back from the Chicago company and I was beginning to think that I never would. At that time I also heard back from Cru that I had been accepted to Chicago SP.
I found it entirely ironic that I would hear back from Cru before I heard anything on the job front – ironic, but not a coincidence. I began prayerfully considering that God wanted me to trust Him and make my decision based one-hundred-percent on Him and not on anything else. He wanted me to put all of my hope and all of my trust in Him, not in the hope that a job would come through.
Still, I wasn’t ready to surrender my control to the God of the universe. So, of course, being the stubborn person that I am I kept trying to make something happen, still taking matters into my own hands.
The next day I decided to call my then-future employer to see if there was any possibility that they could transfer me to a plant outside Chicago. My HR lady was out of the office and she didn’t answer her cell phone either. After I left her a voice message, I remember telling God how hilarious I thought he was. I imagine He just smiled knowingly, waiting patiently for me to let Him take over.
And so began some of the most fervent, directed prayer I have ever experienced so far in my 22 years of life. This process alone of wrestling with God, surrendering control and then being able to experience His peace-that-passes-all-understanding will take another post altogether. So for now, read on knowing that God has done crazy-awesome things in my heart in addition to His ridiculous provision.
As the week panned out, I still hadn’t heard back from my HR lady and God confirmed that I was to make this decision on my own – apart from any knowledge of future plans.
And so I did.
I decided I was going to Chicago no matter what. God made it painfully clear that He wanted me to follow Him regardless of anything I had planned or tried to plan. I have never felt more peace than I did that day and the days to follow. Despite my circumstances and the fact that I probably should have been a nervous wreck, God covered me with peace. And I’m not just talking like a blanket of peace – it was more like an ocean that I have been swimming in ever since.
Two days after I made my decision, I finally got to talk with the HR lady. Her response alone was enough to leave me reeling. After explaining to her what Summer Project is, my involvement with Cru and my prayerful decision to follow God with my summer plans she said,
“I think we might actually have an opening in Chicago so we might be able to transfer you. I need to double-check, but let me talk with the other HR people and see if we can work something out. I really don’t see why we couldn’t make this work.”
Such grace, such unbelievable understanding. Of all the responses she could have had, I never anticipated that one.
And to think that I had worked myself up all day, expecting her to think I am some crazy, Jesus-freak weirdo (I mean, I am) that they wouldn’t want working for them anyway. After all, I was basically telling her that I had decided to follow Jesus over working for them this summer.
She told me that she would try to get back to me early the next week and I eagerly awaited her phone call. Again, I was incredibly overwhelmed with the way things were working out and knew that God was definitely in control.
The following week was finals week and a welcome distraction for me. I am so grateful for God’s timing in all of this. Despite how hard and trying it was for my patience, God taught me a deeper dependence on Him. How like Him to use difficult circumstances to draw us closer to Himself.
So Wednesday of finals week rolls around – a week exactly after I made my decision to go to Chicago and a month since I had my phone interview; I had completed 3 out of my 4 exams and was in the midst of studying for my last one when I received a completely unexpected phone call.
It was the company in Chicago calling to offer me a summer internship.
By this point in time, I had been in shock so much that I had gotten used to not knowing what emotion to experience. This was, yet again, another outpouring of tears of joy.
And to top it all off, the offer was better than what I already had. Shut the front door.
That night, as I relaxed in our neighbor’s hammock, staring up at the stars I reflected on all that had transpired last quarter. To think that the God who put those beautiful lights in the sky is the same God who personally, irrevocably loves me is breathtaking. He is so incredibly, indescribably good.
The next day I slept in, which I never do, and woke up to a missed call from no one else but my HR lady. She wanted to touch base with me about transferring me to Chicago. After I tried calling her back and couldn’t get a hold of her, I began praying that God would make it easy for me to decide. I couldn’t imagine having to make one more difficult decision after everything that had happened, especially when my HR lady went above and beyond to see what they could do for me.
She called me back that afternoon, again as gracious and as wonderful as could be, letting me know that they, unfortunately, could not transfer me to Chicago. I have never been so relieved in my life! She went on to wish the best of luck and even said something along the lines of “Do what you need to do – we totally understand. I think this summer will be a really great learning and growing opportunity for you.” She left our conversation on better terms than I could have possibly imagined and even told me to stay in touch with her – imagine that!
It has now been a week since I received my offer from the company in Chicago. I have accepted the internship and have been finally able to process everything that has happened in the past two months. It’s been a crazy journey thus far and my excitement only continues to grow for what the Lord might have in store this summer.
Never in a million years could I have planned or thought up any of this. God is the author of this story – my story of His plans for me. I am merely a scribe of a tiny story in the grand adventure of life where His story ultimately prevails. I am so excited to continue living out the plans that He has for me, drawing me ever-closer to His heart and sharing Him with the world. To Him be all the honor and all the glory and all the power, forever. Amen.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Heb 11:1, 12:1-3