I really enjoy working at Bath and Body Works. The people are amazing and so much fun. It's a cheery, positive environment. I really love the product (and buy WAY too much of it WAY too often.) Even when I don't really feel like going to work, it's hard to stay in a bad mood once I get there. We always laugh a lot and it's a great team to be a part of.
The challenging aspect for me has been adjusting to working a retail schedule. I am used to a very scheduled week. Almost the same exact hours every single day...my evenings and weekends free...Which of course is not the case in the least when you are working retail.
I never really know my schedule from week to week. Will I work evenings, afternoons, mornings? Will I have an on call shift? It's been difficult for me to figure out how to balance a messy work schedule with the rest of my life. Church, family, friends, moving to Mexico....I feel like I am always and forever checking my schedule because I am certain I am going to forget a shift or forget if it's an actual shift or a call in shift. And on top of that I am having to make plans and back up plans with people to try and make something happen. Having to prioritize what I can make and what I will have to miss for work and also disciplining myself to not waste away the portions of days that I am free.
Honestly I am not whining. I am SO incredibly thankful for this job. Especially since it was supposed to be just for the holiday season! What a blessing that they asked me to stay on and I have a way to make some money in this transitional part of my life. I am working very hard to be VERY intentional about thanking Jesus for this place and this season and this job every time I would rather not because I am certain that He placed it in my hands for a reason. I never EVER want to be a Christian or a person that wastes places and spaces and seasons and moments in my life. Just because I am in between here and transitioning to something else, just because Bath and Body Works is not forever, does not mean I should not serve and give my all. I know in the deepest part of me that it's more important for me to serve and give everything I have here probably more than anywhere else simply because this is where it's hardest to do so. This is when it really counts.
I was saying all of that to say this:
I had a come to Jesus moment a couple weeks back. I was exhausted. Drained. Frustrated. Unsure of how to balance it all and fit in everything and everyone that truly is important. I was seriously considering quitting. Because that seemed like the easiest solution...but then how would I make money or get another job in such an awkward and short amount of time...? And besides...I was and am so sure that Jesus gave me THIS job and He is asking me to be faithful with it. I actually think there was some intention with it too. I think He most certainly gave me a job with a whacky schedule and on call hours to keep me on my toes and further teach me that I have got to let go of the knowing and the control and my plans and timelines. I also think there was this part of me that was frustrated with myself. What happened to the Rachel who welcomed a challenge and enjoyed being busy and on the go? Had I lost that girl somewhere along the way? There was a huge part of me that wanted to find her and embrace her agin...that needed to find her.
So. I sat down with my journal one night. I talked it out with Jesus. Gosh, I am so thankful I can do that. I just told Him honestly where I was and how I was struggling. How I couldn't seem to get a grip on my life and my schedule and my relationships with things the way they were. And graciously and patiently, he reminded me that we have balanced much crazier and more unusual schedules with more people and commitments to fit in and less sleep at that.
"But Jesus, I was younger. I was a crazy college student...I was supposed to run myself ragged and never sleep and write huge papers while drinking super strong coffee the night before the semester ended..." -Me
"No, Rachel. The difference is not your age. The difference is one little pronoun and another little word you have been referencing often. We not I. Perspective." -Jesus
So. I took a deep breath. A really, really deep one...that was actually more of an exasperated sigh. Because I knew He was right. I knew that if this is what He had given me for now then we could handle it. WE could handle it. And I started to remember that those times in my life when I was able to handle so much and run in so many directions and balance it all were the times that I had been closest to Him. The places when we had been on the same page and working together.
It may not be the most comfortable season and I may not feel at the top of my game every single day...I might actually feel like I am barely holding it together and I might feel like that every single day...but it could be done.
Because He never calls without equipping.
And because He will almost always give us more than we can handle on our own.
That last statement may have surprised you a bit. I think the statement more commonly goes, "He never gives us more than we can handle." At least that's the phrase that gets tossed around a lot.
The point of EVERYTHING is complete reliance on Jesus Christ. Realization that we are nothing without him or apart from Him and that we are helpless, lost, hopeless, weak without Him. Thus, whatever He has to do, wherever He has to put us for us to come to that place, He will.
My perspective was off in this situation though. Honestly because of my pride. Goodness it's almost always about my pride. I guess I made the mistake of thinking that because this was just an in between season and a place of transition, I could just coast. It's just a little mall job, right? Just straightening up candles and selling soap...right?
Even in this job. In this place. I need Jesus. I must rely on Him in all things. Perhaps the job is not one that I feel intimidated by or unsure of, but the scheduling is kicking me in the butt. I need Him to give me the strength and the wisdom to steward my time well and to balance all of the things that He's placed in my hands now so that I can honor Him with whatever it is He's given me. And let me make no mistake in recognizing that it's all been given to me by Him. This job, this season, this year, these friends, my family...all of it. And the least I can do is give my all to manage it well. But of course I am not capable of doing so without Him...a whole lot of Him to be exact.
Oh that Jesus would forgive me for the pride in my heart that somehow decided that this was too small and unimportant for me. That I could get away with giving less than my best self and save up for bigger, "better" things down the road. The pride that somehow convinced me I could handle this stuff on my own.
No job or task or season is too small or too unimportant for us to not need Him nor is an excuse for us to give anything less than all of ourselves to what's in front of us.
So I have determined to do just that. To ask Him for strength and grace and wisdom every single day. To thank Him for here and now and all that comes with it. To trust Him with the details. To give Him everything I've got and to trust that when I reach the end of me He will be there ready and waiting to take over and carry me through.
Because I refuse to miss out on what He has for me here simply because I am too prideful to believe there could be anything here. Because here is necessary for the there to come. Because I will not know how to trust Him and rely on Him there if I do not learn how to here. Because if I am not faithful with small things, I will most certainly not be with bigger.
And because I love Him. More than anything. And because loving Him should be reason enough to be content exactly where He's planted me and to give Him my whole heart and every ounce of energy every single day.
Here's what's happening on my Pinterest INSPIRATION board lately. Some things I tell myself in an attempt to thrive in this place and not simple survive....