Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.
- Joyce Meyer
It was last year in July when Sikhumbuzo, my fiancé at the time, told me that he may be getting a job offer in Johannesburg. We had been talking about career growth for some time, but we had never talked about relocating to another city. He was nervous and wasn’t sure whether he should go ahead with the opportunity. What would happen to us? How long would it take for me to secure a job and join him? How would we plan for our wedding? Were we emotionally ready for a long-distance relationship, and eventually marriage? Although there was a lot of uncertainty, I told him to go ahead. I encouraged him to apply for the job, go to the interview and we will take it from there. The interview must have gone well because he was offered the job end of August. He was to serve his 1 month notice in September and start his new job in October.
I had been with my organization for 5 years. I loved my job. I lived for the kind of work we did. But I will be honest that I was also getting to a point of thinking about what I wanted to do next. What would be the next step for me? It was during this process, Sikhumbuzo getting ready to move to Johannesburg and thinking about my next steps, that a friend of mine forwarded me an advert for a job in Johannesburg. It was a coordinator position in the education sector. I wasn’t particularly drawn to the position. I felt it would be a downgrade from where I already was in my career. I delayed applying until the last day. “I’m not sure this is for me, but I will apply and see what happens”, I told Skhu.
A week before Skhu moved into Johannesburg, I received a call from the company. The HR officer wanted to screen me. She wanted to understand what I understood about the job. What I was doing in my current portfolio? Would I be willing to relocate? She also wanted to schedule a skype interview with other managers. The following week, I was booked to attend a week-long workshop in Johannesburg. It was also the same week Skhu was starting in his new job. We had agreed that we would drive together. It was great for both of us because I also had an opportunity to make sure he was settling in. With my travels to Johannesburg, I asked the HR officer if we could rather meet in person at their Parktown offices. She agreed.
We arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday. Skhu was scheduled to start his job the following day. My conference was planned to start on Tuesday. I had Monday free for my interview. To cut the long story short, the interview was great. The interviewers were very impressed with my resume. But they said I was overqualified for the job. They had fears that I wouldn’t last a year and they would have to repeat the recruitment process again. They were right. I already had a plan to use the position to move to Johannesburg but start looking for a job immediately. I was disappointed but I understood. I left. Skhu was disappointed when I told him. But I assured him that all would work out and that he shouldn’t worry.
The following morning, I received a call that one of the Executives wanted to see me urgently. I was confused because I had already accepted that the job wasn’t mine. I was also worried I would miss my workshop. But after consulting with another colleague, I found that the workshop was starting on Wednesday. I had another free day. I immediately made my way to the Parktown offices.
It was an hour-long meeting. We were mostly repeating some of the things we had talked about the previous day. Just went I was getting more anxious about why they had called me, the Executive manager told me the same thing the HR officer said. I was overqualified. However, the reason they called me was because they wanted to find out if I was interested in applying for another position. They explained what this entailed. I was intrigued. I immediately said yes. They said they would be in touch, but they foresee me starting in January, if all goes well.
I was beyond excited. Once again, Jehovah has been faithful and executed His plans accordingly.
Mentally, I had already prepared myself for the move. But I waited. October ended with nothing. Then came November. Still nothing. I went into the December holidays with no communication from my future employers. Had they changed their minds? What was happening? Whenever I called, they assured that things were still going according to plan, but they could no longer provide me with a clear date of when I would start. I was shattered. I was sure this meant they didn’t want me anymore, but they didn’t want to say. I ended my 2018 in that heartbreak. I wasn’t sure whether I was coming or going. I wasn’t sure whether we should even proceed with wedding preparations because of a lot was hanging in the air.
We started 2019 in that shaky note. I would fall into depression when we eventually started the Lobola negotiations. I still didn’t know when my move would happen but Skhu and I decided to carry on with the wedding preparations. In between praying for my letter of offer to come, I was also praying for my family. I had underestimated the pressure that comes with Lobola negotiations. It was particularly hard in my case because my parents were never married. Ma was adamant that my father shouldn’t be involved. It broke my heart. I knew first hand how Ma struggled raising us on her own as a single parent. But at the same time, I wanted the dignity of having my father present in planning my wedding. It was an emotional rollercoaster that led to us postponing our plans until further notice.
It would take a hard conversation between Ma and I to resume negotiations. Wedding plans were underway once again. But there were no new developments from my future employer.
I eventually gave in and told myself, “what was meant to happen will happen”. We set our date for the 12th of April. I became so consumed with wedding plans that I started to forget about what would happen next. I no longer refreshed my emails every hour. I stopped calling them. I even stopped looking for new job.
It would be the 28th of March when I received an email with a letter of offer. When I looked at the dates, I was laughing. It finally dawned on me what God has been doing. He had intentionally delayed the process of my move to Johannesburg. I was set to start my new job on the 2nd of May. I was set to start my new life after my wedding. I was set to officially move in with Skhu when I had become his wife. God didn’t want to negotiate with anything less than that.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
This is one lesson I take with me into the new year. God is very purposeful. He’s very intentional. He often sits back and watches us as we try to navigate our way. And like a dog with its tail between the legs, we go back ashamed of why we didn’t trust Him before.
I saw this several times. I saw how gracious He has been when I came out with my story. I saw His mercy when I had to tell Ma I was HIV positive. How I had doubted Him for many years because I wasn’t ready. I’m always amazed. I’m always stunned about how, with Him, things ALWAYS fall into place.
There are so many plans in my heart for the year ahead. We would like to publish a book. The process has been so challenging, in more ways than one. But I trust Him. I trust Him with all my heart. It’s stories like the one I just shared now that He had previously had my back. He won’t stop now.
As you go into the New Year, I also know you have several plans. You have things you would like to achieve in the New Year. You want a house. You want a job. You want a car. You want to go back to school. You want to go to University, but it doesn’t look good financially. You have exhausted every possible option. You are on the verge of giving up. But see that’s when God shows up. Habakkuk chapter 2 says, "Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
I pray God’s blessings over your life. I pray that He may continue revealing His purpose. Until 2020
, have a wonderful festive season.
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