Have you ever found out you weren’t someone’s first choice… AFTER thinking for quite a while that you were their first choice?
Back in 2017, I left a stable job at a 100 year old company for a remote position at a start up. That start up was a service I already loved and supported as a customer. And, that year I developed a desire to work remotely so I could travel more. When I saw the job posting on Instagram, I applied without hesitation. It felt like a longshot, but I had nothing to lose.
And, I got the job.
Of course, I thanked God and praised Him. I was overjoyed that He put this opportunity in my path, equipped me with the confidence to try, and then allowed me to have it. Allowed me to work from home—or from anywhere. It was life-changing!
And, I did travel more. In the three years I worked for that company, I traveled a LOT. Mostly international. Mostly solo. Always thanking God for every trip, and for the remote job that allowed it to happen.
But, if I’m being honest, getting that job made me a bit prideful—even amidst all my genuine gratitude toward God.
I was still too focused on me. On how I took the leap to apply. On how I trusted God with the unknowns and the outcome, either way. How I let God have control once I applied.
See the mindset pattern? I… I… I…
While each statement is technically true and not inherently wrong, I gave myself far too much credit, when in fact, I didn’t deserve ANY credit. This I discovered quite unexpectedly over a year after I accepted the job.
It was sometime in 2019. By then, I’d transferred to a different role with the company, answering email inquiries on the customer service team. Tackling the inbox one day, I took the next email in the queue and read it over. Wait… what? I read it again. It took me a minute to process.
Without revealing any confidential details, here’s what I read…
The email sender had turned down a job with the company back in fall 2017—the same job title that I originally accepted, in fact. The sender acknowledged having a change of heart and was now (2019 now) hoping there might be another position available.
Here’s what I needed to process…
When I was hired in fall 2017, I was one of two people hired for the same job title. And, we were the only two hired for that role around that time.
So, given the above information, I concluded fairly quickly that one of us had been the alternate choice.
Was it me? I had to know.
Having access to all previous email interactions from the company inbox, it took only a few minutes of investigating to see the dates of all three offer emails in fall 2017: the offer to this sender, the offer to my coworker, and the offer to me.
And guess what?
My offer email was dated two days after the other two emails. Boom. I had my answer.
I feel like a failure
I’d love to tell you that my initial response was humility. It wasn’t.
I sat there alone, staring at my computer screen and feeling like a failure. A fraud. Thinking that the past year and a half or so had been a lie. I didn’t really earn the job. I wasn’t good enough.
For several minutes, the failure feelings overwhelmed me, and I let this unexpected information dictate how I felt about myself. But, you see, I was still so focused on “I”…
Nudged by the Holy Spirit
It must’ve been the Holy Spirit nudging me, because, an instant later I abruptly thought, Whoa. God wanted me to know this.
I mean. What are the odds, right? The odds that I switched departments… The odds that I happened to be the next available customer service rep to take that email from the inbox… The odds that the person who sent that email even decided to send it over a year after declining the job…
Seriously, what are the odds?
Well, with God, there are no odds.
No doubt, this was a message straight from Him.
A humbling message from God
What was the message?
That I got the job because HE wanted me to have it. Simple as that. I was not the first choice or the best choice, but I was God’s choice—and that’s all that mattered. I was good enough for God. It was a gift that I didn’t earn. Just like the grace of Ephesians 2:8-9.
Speaking of gifts, it’s funny that I originally thought that remote job was a gift so I could follow my passion to travel. A passion God created within me.
It’s funny because that’s not the reason why. Well, not the only reason why. Being able to travel was just a bonus.
Here’s why I now believe God wanted me to have that remote job…
Working remotely allowed me to up and move to Tennessee almost too easily when God asked me to live here with my sister. (Read that story here.) It allowed God to use me and show me I can trust Him with the unknowns.
But that’s not all. About five months after I moved to Tennessee, I met John—my now husband.
God wanted me to have a remote job for THAT purpose. How else would I ever have met John? Me living in Sarasota and him living in Knoxville. HOW ELSE?
There are no odds with God.
Looking back, I’m so grateful God took the time to show me I did not get that job through any merit of my own. God showed me that HE made it happen to lead me to my future husband in a completely different state. Several years later.
God keeps me humble every time I think about it.
Have you ever been humbled by God?