The first semester of my first "big girl" job has come to a close (until summer programs begin), therefor I thought it would be a good idea to sort of reflect on these past few months. With the nature of my job I cannot be crazy specific or include pictures of me on the job but I still believe some good can come out of this post so lets get started:
I suck at my job. And I am 100% okay with that. This is not some self deprecating statement or something that I am claiming so people will pay me compliments or feel sorry for me. That is really not the case. For most of high school and college and had mentorship roles in many young ladies lives and I felt like I was pretty awesome at it. I loved the girls and the girls loved me. Over all it was a near perfect situation. So when I saw an opportunity to apply for a girls mentorship non profit I instantly thought I would be a shoe in and would also rock this job... it would be a piece of cake.
During that time I am sure God was chuckling and saying "Michaela you have no idea what I have in store for you." I remember coming home from my first full day...as soon as I walked through my front door I cried harder than I had in a very long time. The days always went back and forth from being extremely difficult to being sort of hard. I wanted so badly to relate to these girls but I knew nothing about what most of them go through. In the school district I help out in about 20% of children come from a two parent home. That means 80% of those kids live with one parent. On my first day I remember telling a girl to put a toy away and she could bring it back out when her parents came to pick her up. She asked me if I meant parent because she only had one. Her voice was so normal, like she assumed that was not what I meant to say.
The girls would make references to things I knew nothing about. It was like I was a seventy-five year old in a room of teenagers. If I had a nickle for every time one of them said something along the lines of them not liking me I would be very rich. Many days it would feel like I was trying way to hard and nothing felt natural. Some days I would get a hug from the same girl who yelled at me the day before. Other days I would have a genuine deep conversation with one of the girls then she would go back to disliking me the next day. I would think to myself "This is supposed to be my thing, this was what I was good at."
During this time I thought back to my second to last semester of college. One of my classmates had shared something very profound. She was about to go off to her big girl gig and The Lord reminded her of something: she was not qualified for what she was doing, none of us are. But God would give her the tools she needed. Then a dear friend of mine sent me a quote talking about how when we are in a place where we have no clue what we are doing, feel unqualified, confused, scared, etc. that is exactly where God wants us. He is using us for something so much bigger than we could ever imagine. We just can't see it right now.
My job has more difficult days than it has easy ones. But wow is this job so important. I have been so incredibly humbled by Jesus. He showed me that no matter how much I think I know, there is always more. He showed me that my strength as a human will get me nowhere but He will get me everywhere. He showed me that there is so much more I need to learn about racial and social inequality... because no matter how many hashtags we use or articles we share, we will never understand even a fraction of another persons pain. Research and awareness are great but it means nothing until you look someone in the eyes who lives differently than you. And even then there is still so much more that can be done.
Be thankful for the challenges. Be thankful for learning. Be thankful for hard work that may not get recognized. It sucks. But when you can come to a place of acceptance and lay down your pride, the overflow of joy from that pain is the sweetest thing there is.