There was a potential paid opportunity that I applied and interviewed for late last year, that would have been a great stepping stone toward my desire to be a licensed therapist. However, I knew from the moment I started researching the organization that the probability was high they wouldn't choose me as an addition to their team...not because I wasn't qualified enough or because I assumed they felt I wasn't qualified enough...but only because who I am would not have fit into the mold that was pre-established by that organization for the work they do (and they do amazing work might I add).
So, after an initial phone interview and a follow-up meeting, I wasn't offended by the "God has amazing things planned for you (just not here)" Christlike let down that I recieved at the end of that ten-hour long day. I actually welcomed it and did not feel at all like I had wasted my time. I took so many good things away from the experience. The thing is, God had already given me peace about what would potentially happen next... As a result, I was OK with not getting a follow-up call. Actually, I was relieved. I truly feel like God was pushing me away from an opportunity that would have forced me to conform into someone I was not created to be had I gotten the chance. I truly don't think the environment was ready for my African-print headwraps and my urban attire.
Up until that point last year I had been working really, really hard to consistently see myself the way God sees me - set apart and wonderfully made in my caramel complexed skin with kinky curly locs coming out of my scalp. I liked who I had developed into: A woman who loves helping people and who likes to lend her voice to all spaces that reconcile the tension between theology and therapy...even if it means sometimes addressing racial inequalities that are attached to those academies. Because systematic racism is STILL an issue, no matter how uncomfortable it makes some people feel.
So, while I will still continue on my journey toward becoming a licensed therapist and not just a certified counselor, I have realized that I am not willing to release who God has shown me I am as a Black woman, in order to retain the status quo for spaces that don't have room to contain all that I offer. I was aware when I researched the organization that I would likely stand out in the most awkward way. I knew I wouldn't dress, talk, or especially look like the normal demographic of this organization. I was OK with that going into the first phase of the interview process because I was comfortable with the person who I would present to them. But when I actually was invited into that space, God confirmed that the answer I was seeking would be a clear NO. I would not fit that mold. The space I was seeking was just not for me. So I gave God a silent thank you after the confirmation I received. I was grateful for his affirmation of me. He was letting me know that it was OK for me to be who I was, even if it was seemingly too much for where I was trying to be. The peace in that NO from God was such a gift. Oftentimes, the places we are forcing ourselves to be in isn't where God is forming us to be. So we won't fit, no matter how we try to adjust (read: change) our voices, our dress, or our overall appearance. In the past, I have spent way too much time toiling around in areas I wasn't even called to because I second guessed what God told me (if I even listened to Him in the first place). I made a decision back in 2016 [when I started seminary] to get back in the right position with God and stay there! I knew it would take daily deliverance from the things that my worldly eyes desired, but what my spiritual eyes see ahead of me now is so much better. I am fully persuaded that God knows his sheep and He hears me. He's got me...and because He does, he will not let me force my way into a mold that wasn't melded for me. God does all things well...and that "well" will look different for every single one of us.
God's timing is perfect because everything about God is perfect.
We need to get to the point where we do not want anything outside of His timing or His will. If you are waiting on God for anything, wait patiently and He will bring you to that expected end. Don't force yourself into a place that wasn't designed to hold the capacity of who you are (that's tweetable lol). Anyway, I leave you with this Scripture:
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1
My prayer is that 1) we all find that space where God needs us to be and 2) we work hard as we can to get there and/or stay there until God tells us to move.