I wrote this back in October, but never posted it. As I am waiting on a job again and do not have the affirmation of my professors close at hand, it encouraged me to remember what God did in the past. I may not "feel" the joy I did the day I wrote this, but I can choose that joy today.
Yesterday I felt undiluted joy. It has been awhile that I felt giddy like this. I actually went running down a hill to meet Danny.
The reason? A job and the public affirmation of a paper I had written. Kind of depressing when I think about it, but there are some deeper reasons why it brought so much joy.
I am growing: Personally and professionally I am changing, growing, and adapting. This is something to be joyful about after so many years of not feeling like I was developing new skills. After so many years of being bored in my undergraduate study, it feels good to be challenged. However, it was nice to to be public affirmed for the kick-ass-paper I wrote. After three years in ministry at Cal Poly it feels good to be chosen for a job in the "real" world. It has been a struggle to find a job that validates my experiences and learnings from Intervarsity. I did not do ministry to get a job, but it has been a frustrating 6 months of looking for a part-time job. My skills of public speaking and self management that InterVarsity taught me were to my advantage in this interview. I was actually compared to Bill Clinton! So, it gives me joy to see that through the sludge of growth, a couple of flowers are beginning to bud.
I have been noticed: This is not taught as a good thing, but I can't lie. It feels good. Plain and simple. My little heart is desperate for recognition and now I have received it. It is a challenge for me to not be so swayed by others opinions of me and I am working on being less dependent on others' opinions of me. However, I don't think we notice each others' accomplishments enough. Critique is long lived, but congratulations is only momentary. More affirmation needs to happen to compensate for the its transient nature. I need to take this advice myself and celebrate those around me. I need to notice the kind actions and the job well done of those around me and proclaim it.
I am excited about the vision: The reason I can write a good paper is the fact that I LOVE what I am studying. The reason I can sell myself well in an interview is because I truly believe in what they are doing. I am excited to work with people who are striving for justice in the juvenile justice system. I love going to class and talking about theories with classmates who are self reflecting and changing their own behavior.
I'm challenged: Growth is happening. People see it in me. But just because today is a good day, I also know that the next challenge, which will help me grow further, is just around the bend. I know that this job and the next paper will keep me thinking, improving, and changing professionally and personally.
The joy comes from the fact that I am where I am suppose to be, even when it's hard.