Interview of a Lifetime

Interviews are painful.  I get nervous. Sweaty palms. Dry throat.  Beating heart.  I wear my best clothes. Wanting to impress. Hoping I’m not overdressed or underdressed.

I prepare for each interview.  I study the company’s website, trying to familiarize myself with their business.  I review my resume so I can respond to their questions about my work history.  I read and re-read the job description, so I can be prepared to discuss how my experience and qualifications would match the position they’re looking to fill.  I even study interview questions and prepare my answers ahead of time.  I think of questions to ask a potential employer.  Oh.  I want to be prepared.

Days before the interview, I’ll drive by the office.  I don’t want to be surprised to learn on the interview day about unexpected construction delays or street closures.  I want to be prepared.  I want to be familiar with my surroundings.

Multiple interviews in one day. Multiple people in the interview.  Taking turns asking questions.  Feeling me out.  Would I be a good fit?  Do I pass the test?  Am I the right person for the job?

They see my qualifications. They read my resume. Would I fit in their organization?

It seems that I get tripped up by at least one question in every interview.  I walk away feeling like a failure.  Wanting to kick myself.  Thinking that’s the only question the interviewer will focus on.  Because it’s for sure the only one I can remember.

Sometimes I get called for a second or third interview.  I’ve even had to complete fake assignments while at the interview.  They’re testing me.  Can I really perform the job?  Am I telling the truth?  Do my actions match my words?


I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us.  Philippians 3:14


I’m in training right now for the interview of a lifetime.  Oh.  It’s not really an interview.  It’s a judgment.  One day I’ll stand in front of God my Maker.  My Heavenly Father.  My Creator.  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Every day is a test.  Really.  It’s moment by moment.  I’ve made the decision to be a follower of Christ.  So the question is this.  Do I live like a follower of Christ?  Do my actions, my words, my thoughts reflect the attitude of Christ?

When my heart beats for the last time and I stand before God, will I pass the final test?  What will my judgment be?  Oh.  I’m not good enough.  But I try.  I do my best.  I mean well.  I study the Bible.  I pray.  I try to be kind.  and patient.  I try to show God’s love to others.  I tithe.  I give offerings to needy causes.  But am I doing all that God requires of me?

Some days, all I can think of is that one sin.  Why did I say those words to her?  Why did I have such a bad attitude?  Why did I eat like a glutton?  Why can’t I just be perfect?

There is one I will stand in front of one day.  He has seen all I have done. He has heard every word I’ve spoken.  He’s known my unspoken thoughts.  He reads my intentions.  He won’t have to ask any questions about my performance.  He will already know.  He will be my judge.

Will he offer eternal life or cast me to the depths of hell?

Have I repented of my sins?  Have I prepared for the big day?  Oh.  I know I need to be prepared.  The results are for eternity.

A Picture of Broken

We may think we aren’t broken.   We may say we aren’t broken.  We may even try to hide our brokenness.  But who hasn’t been shoved?  Or bullied?  Who hasn’t had the wind knocked out of them by a verbal sucker punch?  Who hasn’t been lied to?  Who doesn’t know a little bit about dysfunction?

Sometimes our pretty covers our brokenness. For a time.  And then it’s out in the open.  Never to be hidden.  Oh.  Others will talk.  The gossip will be ferocious.  The truth may never be uncovered.

Kate Spade.  When it seems you’ve got it made, there’s something hiding in the background.  Secrets don’t stay secret forever.  What was it that was haunting you?  What had happened?  What was it that caused you to decide that life wasn’t worth living?  Were you prepared for eternity?  Did you know what was awaiting you on the other side of your darkness?  Was it worth it?  If you could go back now and undo that scarf, would you?  Knowing what you know now?  I’m not judging you, Kate.  You’ve stood before your Maker and Judge.  He was fair and right and just.  May you rest in peace.

I don’t know the true reasons for your actions, Kate.  I don’t need to know.  Different stories and scenarios are circulating.  Some say bipolar disorder.  Others say a divorce was on the horizon.  The thing is.  The reason should be private.  Only those close to you need to know the answers.  If answers can be found.  It’s a sad day.  A very sad day for your family.  For your teenage daughter.  For those who loved you.

Kate.  You had the world at your fingertips.  You designed a lifestyle that others envied.  You sold your empire for more money than most will ever have.  People pay a lot of money to buy your designs.  Oh.  If only that was enough.  If only happiness could be bought.  And bottled.  And prettied up.

Anthony Bourdain.  A colorful life lived on the edge.  You cooked well.  You ate well.  You traveled well.  You were a show of your own.  But still.  That wasn’t enough.  Whatever the reason for ending your life, your life wasn’t in vain.  You were outrageous.  You  made people happy.  You challenged strangers to try new foods.  As you traveled the world eating exotic foods, your life was one to be envied.  But still.  That wasn’t enough.

What was the turning point for you, Anthony?  You, too, had a young daughter.  You seemed to have the world at your disposal.  Your mother said you had everything.  But yet, everything can feel like nothing when you’re going through a dark time.  What was unraveling in your life?  What secrets may now be exposed for the world to know?  If you knew now what you knew before you reached for your bathrobe, would you change your mind?  Would you seek help from others?  Would you turn to your Maker for comfort and encouragement?  Oh.  You’ve now stood in front of your Maker and Judge.  He was fair and right and just.  May you rest in peace.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  Psalm 34:18


Life is not without problems.  You can lack nothing and still not have it all.

I’ll never be a billionaire.  I’ve never bought a Kate Spade bag.  I’ve never traveled the world.  I’ve never eaten exotic foods.  But I’ve known my fair share of pain.  Hurt.  Rejection.  Oh.  I’ve hit a rough patch lately.  I’m facing uncertainty in my life right now.  I’m not sure what lies ahead for me.  I’m not perfect.  I’m not without flaws and needs.  It’s a fact that those who seem to have life all sorted out, really don’t.  You can fool some of the people all the time.  You can fool all of the people some of the time.  But you can’t fool all the people all the time.

No.  I haven’t considered ending my life.  The thought hasn’t even crossed my mind.  I feel hopeful that my best days are still ahead.  Oh.  There are days when I’m discouraged.  There are moments when I’m fearful.  But I’m learning to trust my Maker and my Judge more and more.  I have to.  He’s my source of strength and comfort.

Oh.  I have friends and family I turn to.  I have ones who pray for me and send words of encouragement.  I’m not perfect and I’m not judging others who make the decision to end their life.  Life gets tough.  Hope gets lost.  Courage gets muddied.

There is one I turn to when I feel down and out.  One I’m close to and who always hears me when I turn to Him.  He knows my needs.  He knows my fears.  My insecurities.  He knows my value.  I can always count on Him to comfort me and provide for me.  Oh.  His timing isn’t always my timing.  But he is always available.

I have my God.  My Maker.  My Judge.  My Provider.  My Shepherd.  My Comforter.  My Hope.  My Healer.  I have it all.

 

Waiting Room

He was having surgery.  I was sitting in the waiting room.  Alone.  When you have no children, you don’t have instant companions when you need them most.  With no parents around, I sat alone in the waiting room.  Waiting for the news of the surgery.

Oh.  It wasn’t life-threatening surgery.  It was a repair.  But surgery is surgery, and anything can go wrong when someone’s body is cut open and they’re unconscious.

At different times during the surgery, a friend would stop by to sit with me.  Or check in.  Or chat.  It made the waiting bearable.  After all, I wasn’t familiar with surgery or waiting rooms or hospitals.  I had never spent time in those surroundings.

The phone in the waiting room would ring from time to time.  That was the signal that a family would soon be face to face with the surgeon who had worked on their loved one.  That was the sign they would soon learn their loved one’s fate.  Was the surgery successful?  Are they out of the woods?  What are the next steps?  Will they pull through?  What did you find?  Will it be bad news?

At times, the room was quiet.  People coming and going.  Families getting calls from the surgeon.  Updates and diagnoses.  Sometimes the atmosphere was loud.  Children crying.  The bustling of crowds moving through the hallways.  One family, after hearing the news, knelt down in the public space and prayed.  They prayed out loud for their loved one.  The one who was in a fight for their life.  Perhaps it was a discovery of an incurable disease.  Or a brain that was no longer functioning.  Or a repair that couldn’t be made.  Nevertheless, they knelt right there and prayed.  Prayed to a God who could hear and answer their prayers.  If He chose.  But they had faith.  They placed the outcome of their loved one’s surgery in God’s hands and trusted Him.

When the room was noisy, I was afraid I wouldn’t hear my name called.  I was afraid the loud conversations would cover the sound I was listening for.  I didn’t want to miss the call from my husband’s surgeon.  I wanted to hear the words.  He is fine.  We were able to make the repairs.  He is being moved to recovery.


I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  Isaiah 43:1-2


Lately, I find myself sitting in another waiting room.  A waiting season.  Waiting for news.  Will I get an interview?  How many interviews do I have to endure?  Will I get a job offer?  How long must I wait to start a new job?

The waiting seems long.  It seems never ending.  I like to hope the end is near.  There are signs that it’s possible.  But one never knows.  One can only hope.  So I wait.  I hope.  I pray.

Sometimes the noise level in this waiting room is quiet.  I didn’t get calls.  No interest.  Would I wait forever?  At times the noise in my head and heart were so loud, that it was just that.  Noise.  Noise from Satan.  Your work life is over.  You’re retired.   You’ll never see another good paycheck.

At times, the noise has a different sound.  Multiple interview requests.  Interview preparations.  Nervousness.  Anxiousness.  A new waiting begins.

Just when I think the wait is almost over, the news comes crashing down.  You weren’t selected.  And the wait continues.

Waiting is difficult.  Doubt creeps in and fills the space where peace had once been.  Confidence becomes clouded with discouragement.  Trust is eroded by waves of fear.  I have to listen for the voice of the One who holds me in his hands.  He hasn’t let go.  He is near.  I must remind myself that He hasn’t forgotten me.  He knows my situation.  He knows I’m waiting.

Oh.  I have visitors in this waiting room.  I have friends who call to check on me.  I have a friend who will send me a text of encouraging scripture every so often.  I know others are praying for me.  I’ve heard their prayers.  I’ve felt their prayers.  Others will email me.  I’m not forgotten.  I’m not alone.  I am simply waiting.  If waiting is simple.

There have been times when I’ve been down on my knees.  Begging God to pull me through this tough time.  To provide what I need.  To show me favor.  To continue working for me in ways that I can’t see.

But in this waiting room, I must sit quietly so I can hear the voice that is calling my name.  The voice of the One who knows my name.  He speaks to me.  Come closer.  I will provide.  You are loved.  I am working for you.  Be not afraid.

So I sit.  And I wait.  I want to hear the voice when my name is called.