Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update (part 2)

So a while ago, I was filling you all in on that big decision that I had to make

Whether to continue looking for jobs in engineering, or take a year "off" and work full-time with Power to Change - Students.

After praying about this decision, I felt released to continue working in my field. For the past few years, I've been passionate about electrical engineering, specifically the area of FPGA design. It has been exciting waiting to see where God would lead me.

I've been working for the last 10 months as a technical writer. I write how-to manuals for smart cameras and frame grabber boards. The products are interesting. I love the people I work with. I wanted to do something more technical, more engineering, though.

So I interviewed for a position in FPGA hardware testing and validation. It sounded awesome. I'd be working with some people that I already know (and like). I'd be working on a mostly francophone team (yikes!) in the same company that I've been at for the past 10 months. The company where I've developed a real ministry amongst my coworkers. This is the place where I've seen God move in people's lives. I didn't want that to end. But at the same time I wanted a job change.

Unfortunately, the interview for the hardware job didn't go well. I was so excited about it... and then it was such a let down. I did poorly on the written test, and didn't feel that I answered the behavioural questions well.

I just found out two days ago that I didn't get the job. It took them forever to make a decision, but finally they hired someone else.

After all that waiting, I'm not feeling that disappointed (thanks God). I mean, after a bad interview, and then a month and a half of waiting, I didn't get my hopes up. I wasn't really expecting to get the job at this point. But I'm still a little sad.

And after all that waiting, while I was waiting to hear back about the job, I didn't feel that God was calling me to campus ministry (with Power to Change - Students). I withdrew my application with P2C. I was sad, but I'm not regretting that decision.

So now I'm still kind of in limbo. My boss extended my technical writing contract for 4 months (yay!). So, for these next few months I'll be seeking God, asking him to direct my steps, and asking him to provide a challenging, fun job where I can (again) share Christ with my coworkers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Update (part 1)

I'm back. I haven't gone far, but I've felt some days as if life was running away from me. My stress at times has been overwhelming. I’ve experienced God's faithfulness during these weeks.

God is good. God is faithful. God will provide.

A month ago I was making a decision. That decision was whether to continue looking for jobs in engineering, or take a year "off" and join a great ministry called Power to Change. They work with University students to help students discover Jesus.

I prayed, wrote pros and cons lists, talked with godly people whom I trust, and came to the conclusion that I would take a year to do full-time ministry.

This meant surrendering my goals in engineering for the time being. Taking a year "off" meant that I'd be one year out of my field, meant one year separated from my degree, from my knowledge, and from technology, which is always advancing (and is hard to keep up with in any case).

I began filling out the Power to Change application and contacting references. A few days after that decision, I heard of a position at my company, in another department. An engineering job. Like a real engineering job.

The position is p.e.r.f.e.c.t.

It's another contract, this time for one year. I would be filling in for a woman going on maternity leave. The job is an entry-level position in FPGA design and testing (my favourite!). I already know some of the people who work in this department, and on this project. Great people.

I'm already familiar with the company, with the work, and with several of the products. So it seemed like the most amazing opportunity.

One of the senior engineers said that he and two other engineers would interview me. I had a few days to prep for the interview.

All I could do was praise God. What an incredible opportunity. It seemed that everything was falling into place for my goals (which I never really thought was possible).

I was getting pumped. I would even be able to continue building relationships, the relationships that I've developed over the past 9 months. I love the people I work with, and I'd still see them everyday. Plus, I'd be challenged in this new position, on a new project, and I'd be meeting some new people.

Oh wait – but what happened to my decision to do ministry?? I knew I had to pray.

God, do you want me to surrender this amazing opportunity? I will give it up, if it's what you want.
This job sounds perfect. Amazing. Challenging, but fresh and new and exciting.
Do you want me to pursue ministry, still? Do you want me to give it up, to serve you, to honour this decision I’ve made?

I asked with hesitation, waiting to hear that he was going to cut my excitement right then and there. Hesitation, but willingness.

Your will is best. Your plan is the best plan. I will follow your plan, even if it’s hard. Even if it’s not what I want right now.

But I didn’t hear anything. Not a word.

As I continued to pray, I felt his peace wash over me. I asked if I should take the job, if it were to be offered to me. And all I felt was his peace. I felt released to be able to pursue the avenue that I'd so hoped (for years) would be available to me.

But that's not the end of this story. I'll fill in the rest later!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A confession

Today I told God that I'd be ok if his plan for me was to be single for the rest of my life.

I love serving him, and I can see the many benefits of serving God in singleness.

That feeling lasted all of about 6 hours... until a cute boy started paying attention to me.

Oh why is my heart so flawed, so flaky, so easily distracted? Why do I crave boy-attention so much?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Decision-making is hard!

I've never liked making decisions, especially not the big ones, the ones that affect other things or other people. Over the past few days, I've been wrestling with a major decision. I have to make the decision soon, ideally this week.

This decision will affect the next year, and could possibly change the trajectory of my life.

Thankfully, I've got God to help me.
Hold tight - I'll let you all know how it goes!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh hello, Anxiety! Where did you come from?!

Today it hit me that I have 7 weeks left at my job. Seven weeks! Seven weeks to finish my project. Seven weeks to apply for, interview at, and get another job. Seven weeks to say goodbye to coworkers. Seven weeks to go all out for God here at work.

I was praying that I would see two people come to know God in a personal way. I was praying to see lives changed, to see God do great things. There are only seven weeks left for that to happen.

I thought I had been trusting God with my future. I mean, when I thought about the future I didn’t get anxious. I’m not sure why I feel this way now.

Anxiety, why did you show up all of a sudden? You're not wanted here.

Maybe it’s because another month (February) has gone by and I haven’t started applying for jobs. I have ideas; I have a CV; I even have some good connections. But no job applications have been started. Yikes.

Maybe it’s because sometimes I look at my list of skills and my education and think,

"I can mention that I have experience in FPGA design and testing… but it’s not real experience. Is it valid experience if it’s only in a classroom, not in the real-world?"

"Are there really companies who want a recent university grad with no experience in this particular field?"

"Am I going to run into problems because I’m not fluent in French?"
I know I need to bring this to God. I need to sit still, rest in his presence and say, "My future is in your hands, God. Your word says that you love me and you have good plans for my life. Help me to trust you with my future."

Future planning will probably always make me anxious. *Sigh*

So, friends, right now I could use your prayers. I’ve gotten a lot of good career planning/job hunting advice recently. That is useful, too, but right now it’s not really what I need. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The selfishness rut

How many of us ignore our sin?
Minimize our sin?
Rationalize our sin?
Repeat our sins over and over again?
Hide our sin?
From this post over on CallMeBlessed.

I do all of the above. It's so easy to rationalize sin and think, "I'm ok, I'm doing pretty good compared to a lot of people in the world."

It's especially easy because our society has caused us to value:

  • individualism/independence (I need to fulfill my desires first).
  • ambition (I'm going to pursue this direction in life because it will make me rich/successful/important/loved).
  • self-sufficiency (I don't need anyone else).
I've been guilty of such selfishness. I'm not sure if this occurs more often because I am single, but sometimes I get into a selfishness rut. I want what I want, and I work each day to get it. I want to be comfortable; I want people to love me and think well of me; I want to spend my resources (time/money/material things) on myself only.

This is sin: striving for these things without thought of what God wants me to do.

I'm committing to regularly pray that God would reveal my sin to me. That is the only way to grow, to gain victory over sin. I need to recognize it when it happens, or halt the thought before it becomes sin, confess it, and move on. God says that when we confess and repent, he will completely forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

God, show me my sin.

I know I'm selfish, and I often do things solely for my own good. Help me to surrender the things that I want, the things that I put first in my life. Help me to put you first, and to have the strength to do your will.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Great music

There's a lot of great music out there. Personally, I love a song with acoustic guitars, good rhythm, and interesting lyrics (lyrics are key for me).

I listen to both mainstream "secular" and Christian artists, but I prefer to listen to Christian music.


Well, for one, the lyrics in songs by Christian artists are full of hope. I like listening to songs that make me say, "God's got this one. He's in control. My situation isn't as bad as I think it is. I might be sad, but God is helping me persevere through this trial."

I love music by Lifehouse. Sure, they are mainstream, but as far as I know, they are followers of Jesus. Their music often expresses sadness, loss, but in the midst of that they speak of God's power to heal.

This song, Broken, is a great one.
I'm falling apart,
I'm barely breathing.
With a broken heart,
That's still beating.
In the pain
There is healing
In your name,
I find meaning.

One secular artist that I listen to is "City and Colour", a brilliant song writer by the name of Dallas Green. (He's Canadian, which is awesome. Yay for supporting Canadian music!)

 His song "Hope for Now", despite its title, shows a real lack of hope.
But what it would take to live
As if I would not another day
To live without despair
And to be without desdain

How can I instill such hope
But be left with none of my own?

His lyrics often speak of emptiness, loneliness, hopelessness, pain... and he remarks on the fact that nothing can fix his pain.

I love listening to music that I can identify with. I can identify with feeling lonely, lost, in pain, etc. But I don't want to dwell in that self-piteous place forever. I want to give my feelings to God, and know that there is hope no matter what my situation.

So although I love the music, the raw emotion, Dallas Green's voice, there's just something missing, and I think it's hope.

What kind of music do you like? Have you found any "secular" artists whose lyrics are hopeful?