It’s been nearly a month since my last post and I’ve longed to share with you what God has been doing throughout the past few weeks. On January 17, I started a new job. I’m working at an organization called Bottom Line. We work with low-income, minority, first generation students providing support for them from high school to college and college to career. I’m serving as the Career Team Manager and leading a team of 6 counselors who support college juniors and seniors by giving them the tools to be career-ready.
(Fun fact: During my junior and senior year at the University of Central Florida, I worked for Career Services as a Career Peer Advisor. My life has a tendency to move in spirals or circles – depending on your perspective – so in many ways God’s preparation for me for this role began a decade ago.)
(Also an important sidenote: I am still serving as the Youth Pastor of Radical Culture at Leon de Juda. By the grace of God, I’m continuing to balance every day miraculously.)
Almost a year ago, I was sitting at my favorite coffeeshop, Ula Cafe, working on the Color Me Yellow book, when I heard two people at the table next to me talking about an organization that supported students through the transitions from high school to college and college to career. That organization was Bottom Line. My eavesdropping led me to googling.
I checked the job postings at the time and there wasn’t anything that interested me, so I left the name on a post-it and moved on.
And then about 7 months later in August 2016, I saw the post-it and checked the website again. That’s when I saw the Career Team Manager position and I applied, thinking what’s the worst that happens: I never hear back.
Well, I didn’t hear back.
Until the middle of November. I had completely put the application process out of my mind and mentally moved on. So, when they called to schedule an interview I was in shock. After the first interview, they told me they would reach out in two weeks to let me know about final interviews. But less than 24 hours later, I received an email from the Program Manager asking me if I could come in for an interview in 2 weeks.
That 2-hour interview was the most intensive interview of my life. At the end, they told me the same thing: “We’ll reach out to you in two weeks.” Four days later, they offered me the position as Career Team Manager. I had the weekend to decide.
Honestly, I had no clear sense from the Holy Spirit about whether or not this was a God-thing or a distraction from the God-thing. I’d kept this whole process extremely private and the Sunday before I made the decision, two conversations were spoken into my spirit.
The first, came from a prayer about choosing the thorny road or the comfortable road. As my friend prayed, she told me that she didn’t know which was the thorny one or which was the comfortable one, but that she knew that deep down I knew. And I did. It wasn’t about this position giving me the comfort of having a salary, health insurance, title, etc. Accepting this position was actually the more thorny of the two. It was the more complicated, the more challenging, the more transforming.
The second, came from a conversation about my concerns related to time and having enough of it to balance everything. My friend essentially said to me, I have other concerns, but I’m not concerned about your time, because in a special way God always gives you more time than other people. You’re gonna have time to do everything.
I accepted the position.
In the month leading up to my start date, God had been reminding me about my God-design and the way He’s framed me and called me to frame my life. In particular, reminding me of a line in my personal vision statement about building people up into their God-design. He whispered the word “build” to me over and over again. Build people. Build systems. Build ideas. Build networks. Build capacity. Build. I have known for a long time that one of my roles in the kingdom is to be a builder. It’s not just because I love Legos, although I’m certain that God was up to something when He gave me that child-like love! It’s because I genuinely desire to build God’s kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.
In my 495 square foot apartment, there’s a wall that is the last thing I see when I leave and the first thing I see when I return. I recently did some rearranging and purging, so that wall has been empty for months. While God had been whispering to me “build”, I got a vision to use that wall as a visual representation of these words. I had a vision to create a word map with the word “build” in the middle of the wall and then connect different images and words to the word that would be a reminder to me of what and how God has called me to build His kingdom. I would include images and words from my personal vision statement, my core values, and other inspirational images and words that would help me build.
The “Build Wall” is now up in my apartment.
I leave asking the question: “What will you build today?”
I return asking the question: “What did you build today?”
God started a movement when He created all things. Jesus continued that movement to bring us into a reconciliation that we could not achieve on our own. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to empower us to continue that movement. To build His kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.
What will you build today?
In the tension together,