The Interview

Kansas City was a season of God withholding what my heart desired and granting what my heart needed. It was a season of intense struggle for me but was a season of intense glory to Him when He led me out of the valley. This is the story of climbing up to the next rise to see a glimpse of His promised land.

My job had been deteriorating for a year, or maybe even two. I was traveling almost continuously to Baton Rouge Louisiana or Freeport/Houston Texas and the people I was working with and for were becoming less and less appropriate. The gore-y details don’t add enough to this story so I’m not going to share them here but by the time I left, 4 hours didn’t pass at work without someone cussing me out or telling me I wasn’t good enough (as a person, as a female, as someone who is under 30 years old, as an engineer) to be in the position I was in or getting blamed for something I didn’t do.

God provided me a new job. He orchestrated long ago, for my Dad to be in the same industry as me, and for him to have mentors and friends. Those mentors and friends caught wind of my situation and offered an interview.

The night before my interview, I was driving around Baton Rouge trying to figure out a part of town that I could see myself living in if I liked the job the next day. I was balling – tears streaming down my face – as I cried out to God that I didn’t have any friends in Baton Rouge and I have wonderful community (finally!) in Kansas City so why would I want to leave? And why don’t I quit construction all together because I didn’t believe that men in construction could be inclusive of a woman like me.

Fast forward to a breakfast meeting that lasted almost 6 hours where I struggled to comprehend that men in power in the construction industry were patiently listening to my opinion on the current state of affairs in our business. They wanted to know what I thought about how to run a project, how to leverage technology to produce faster results, how I could teach others my leadership skills, if I would be alright moving across the country for a job in a different culture, if they would be able to afford my salary to even hire me in the first place.

Lunchtime meant introducing me to another female engineer – the lead process engineer on the largest company project, also under 30 years old, and from Texas with a family full of Aggies (she’s a LSU grad but I won’t hold that against her). She and I were able to talk like we’d been friends for years. God was showing me to trust Him and He will provide me with new community.

I wanted to work for a company affiliated with CII (construction industry institute) because I hold a couple of leadership positions within this volunteer organization to help further the construction industry and didn’t want to walk away quite yet. I also felt obligated to finish the project I was currently working on at my old job regardless of how I was being treated, I was speaking at a national convention on behalf of my previous company, and one of my best friends was getting married in Jamaica in August so I needed a little time to finish everything up from Kansas City. In His generosity, God provided a slow down in the project at the new company so my timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was able to “finish” everything prior to turning in my two weeks notice.

Months later – I look back at my time in Kansas City and I still miss my community and church family. I wish it was colder here in Baton Rouge. but my job has already afforded me tremendous opportunity both for my career and for space in my personal life. I am still excited to see what God is doing with me here.

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2 years

Today is my two year anniversary at my current job. There were no celebrations, no congratulations, no real acknowledgement which, if you know me, I’m thankful for. I struggle with how to respond appropriately when people focus all the attention on me. Don’t get me wrong, I love working for that power and acceptance. I love sinning and manipulating and desiring that all the attention and focusing the world on me but I don’t know what to do with it when it happens.

Two years ago today I was a vastly different person. I think this is true of anyone who has ambition or seeks to live their life. No one wants to be stagnant for two years. Two years ago I thought I was solving all of my problems by switching companies. I was stuck in a job with people that I didn’t respect, who didn’t respect me, staring at the wall without work to be doing and without friends. I had been living in Kansas City for six months and didn’t know anyone. I went to bars and got drunk with some co-workers but we didn’t have conversations, we made fun of people in the room with us. Leading a double life meant I had built up walls that didn’t allow people to get to know me. My life was pretty empty.

I thought that changing the company on my paycheck would solve these issues. I thought the grass was greener on the other side. I thought working for a smaller company in the same line of work (and less pay) would give me more responsibility, authority, and respect. I thought another job would solve my emptiness problem. I thought another job would give me friends.

In God’s graciousness, it did, but not in the way that I was thinking. I do have a little more responsibility at the office. I am working in the field my college degree is in. I make enough money to live on and get to participate in some “extras” in life. I do have friends. My new job introduced me to people God strategically placed in my path at a time when I was so vulnerable. He knew (and continues to know) what I need most. He knew that I needed to start understanding His Grace and Love. and He knew that I wasn’t going to listen if things were going well in my life.

Two years ago tomorrow, I walked into a fall protection training class on my second day of work. I tried to sweet talk my way out of taking the class since I was pretty convinced I should be the one teaching it – I had been working at elevation in a harness for the last 10 months after all (can you say prideful?). We went around the room making introductions and the girl next to me got all excited when I said I went to Texas A&M. So had she. Little did I know then that she would become my friend, confidant, roommate, and introducer back to faith and the church.

For several months she asked me to join her at church. I refused. I had started showing up late and leaving early at various Presbyterian churches in KC but didn’t want to make the commitment. I finally agreed to go one Sunday with her so she would stop asking me. I’ve been at Redeemer Fellowship every Sunday I’ve been in KC since!

Two years ago today I was chasing idols with my career. I was dying, literally, for the job. I was a slave to it. Jesus died on the cross to drain the cup of wrath of all my idol chasing and other sins. God placed people and situations in my life for my good. He chased me from my old company to my new one to provide me with opportunities to get to know Him better. There are still plenty of times (each day) where work still has idol powers for me. I still get frustrated, respond out of hate, boast, gossip, slack off, and don’t focus on God but He is redeeming me to learn how to work like He works, to love how He loves.

My goal two years ago was to create a well known and respected reputation while making lots of money. My goals for the next two years are to show people the love of Christ while working in the oil and gas business. I would like to make a decent living that allows me to love people in Haiti and my local community well and provides opportunities to seek the Kingdom of God. I am blown away by the power and plan God has for me (and everyone). I am so thankful He guided me into making a company switch two years ago. I am looking forward to the next two years!

The Kingdom of God, Pt. 2

Day 2 of the mini-workshop on singleness as Redeemer Fellowship started with a review of what we discussed last night.

  • Singleness is a season of building your legacy in the Kingdom of God, not just reserved for waiting to be married
  • The Old Testament shows us that the Kingdom of God was a birth-right that was passed on by getting married and procreating whereas the New Testament is about creating disciples regardless of status
  • When God calls us/gives us desires, he also provides us opportunities and the talents needed to complete the call
  • What does it look like to invest in the Kingdom of God? What does it look like to take what God has given me and invest it in someone else?

Hunter then delved into 1 Corinthians Chapter 7. He believes there are two main reasons people are remaining single longer than in previous generations:

1. Youth take longer to transition into full adulthood. College is mandatory for a successful existence now and when people graduate, they still have roommates and split bills and invest in themselves and good times instead of independent living.

2. Sexual Revolution that occurred in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This started the pop culture ideas of porn and sex and unrealistic expectations.

The rest of this post may be a little disjointed because I’m exhausted but I want to get all the mains points out…

Man (and Woman) are made in God’s image. He is so beautiful that it took two genders to show all aspects of his glory. Porn is the view of a woman from a man’s unrealistic lustins and does not showcase the beauty of God. You should flee from porn.

Should I desire to be married? Paul addresses this in verse 25. He qualifies that both marriage and singleness are acceptable, viable options – there is not sinning in either choice.

Verse 29 discusses how people tend to over value the here and now which leads to separation from the Kingdom of God. You should buy and sell goods but not be possessed by any. You should rejoyous and glad but look to the life beyond the grave as being extraordinary. Live lightly in terms of this world because you realize this is not all there is.

Verse 2 & 36 state that sexual desire and temptations are good reasons to marry. If you meet someone and you like them (and you date them) and are tempted then you should think about marrying.

Verse 8 & 37 introduce the idea that some people do have self control over their sexual desires. Ceabicy is no the lack of desire but rather the control and understanding that sex is not a need like food or water. It does not have to be fullfilled. When it is fullfilled outside of marriage it diminishes humanity. If you have this under control, you do not have anxiety about it and are actively investing in the Kingdom.

What mission are you pursuing that is the reason for being single?

Singleness does not equal alone. You should seek out relationships and community with people, all different kinds of people at different stages in life. You need people who point out your sins and remind you of your accomplishments.

You are sexually incompatible with anyone but your spouse. No need to worry about how good sex will be when you are married.

Disappointments show us where our heart is. They provide us with opportunities to re-evaluate our positions and adjust back to focusing and investing in the Kingdom of God.