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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
God Is Working When We Are Not Looking - Eleanor Shepherd
for three years, that my friend, Marie (not her real name) would find the right
job. Shortly after I met her, I was
speaking to our pastor one day about the people in our congregation who were
unemployed. I had a list I worked
through, praying for one of them each day.
At her suggestion I added Marie, who
had not worked outside her home, since she had her children. Now that youngest child was in school, she
wanted to return to the work force. Marie was specific; she did not want to
work, just for the sake of working.
Rather she wanted to work somewhere where it would make a difference in
the lives of other people. Her
preference would be some kind of Christian non-profit.
Over the months as I faithfully kept
praying for Marie, I wondered if my prayers were making any difference. Despite all her efforts, nothing surfaced. I had no idea her answer would touch me
In His time, the pieces of the
puzzle were being put together, without the awareness of either of us. One part introduced a role that played by my
husband Glen. Early in 2012, as the CEO of a Christian non-profit organization the
Board conducted a performance appraisal.
During discussions of this with the Board Chair, an obvious lack
emerged. Glen needed an executive
assistant to function to the best of his ability. However, no budget provision allowed the
creation of this position.
I knew Glen’s frustration in trying
to operate effectively without adequate support. I was not surprised when he decided to
consider another job offer that came a few months ago. Despite his discontent,
I did not believe the time was right for him to leave the organization. Too
many possibilities arising on the horizon would fulfill his dreams to make a
difference. We prayed for wisdom.
A critical Board of Directors
Meeting for Glen’s organization was
approaching. A new Chair of the Board would be elected. As Glen was having
dinner with Eric, (not his real name) one of the candidates for this position,
Eric asked Glen if he was planning to stay with the organization. This led to a deeper conversation about the
job. Glen felt he, could honestly share
his feelings, concerns and uncertainty. As they talked, Glen grew more
convinced about what he should do. At the end of the meal, He knew he should
stay. I was pleased when he called to
Eric affirmed the need for Glen to hire
an executive assistant, and was convinced they would find the money for
Another piece of the puzzle
confirmed the rightness of Glen's choice, two days later. Glen was attending the Board meeting of the
organization that offered him the job.
This Board also was electing a new Chair. The other members of the Board concluded
unanimously that Glen was the best person for the job. Obviously, if he accepted this position, he
could not take the offered job. He could not be on staff and on the Board at
the same time. When he got off the plane
and shared this development with me, I sensed his peace about the choice he
Pieces were now falling in place
quickly. The next day, Sunday, during the coffee time after the worship
service, Glen bumped into Marie. She
asked him if there was any possibility of a job at his organization. He said he
would love to hire but he regretted there was currently no funding
Monday morning, at the office, Glen
was greeted by the unexpected resignation of his second in command. Speaking with the Chair of the Board about
it, Glen was advised to consider the possibility of restructuring the
organization. Perhaps this would
generate funding to hire an executive assistant.
Glen began to seriously search for
someone for executive assistant, beginning with staff already in place. No obvious candidates emerged. What could he
During that week, it just happened
that Marie came in to do some work for the organization as a volunteer. Leaving no stone unturned, Glen asked her for
a copy of her résumé. She had it with her. When he read it over, he was delighted to
discover how perfect a fit she was professionally. Another piece of the puzzle fell into
As an extra bonus, the Director of
Finance discovered a subsidy available from the Quebec government for women who
were reentering the work force. Marie qualified to receive this.
Through all of these seemingly
unconnected events, not only was my prayer for Marie answered the career
decisions of my husband were also confirmed.
I knew this was more than coincidence when the Director of Finance, whom
I considered quite a hard-nosed accountant, commented to Glen, ’Obviously, God was in
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