They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall all run, and not be weary; they shall walk; and not faint.
I grew up with a God-fearing, church-loving, down south, black woman. I call her Nana. But sometimes when I'm upset, I resort to "Bobbie Jean." Growing up with my grandmother afforded me a "church" mentality, that I had no choice but to adopt.
As my "growing pains" began to settle in college, I took my first step in questioning my beliefs. Was "God" just something I believed in because my grandmother told me to? Everything she said was never questioned as a child. In hindsight, I recognize that black families need to do a better job of opening space for children and their curiosity.
Anyway, as those "pains" kept stabbing and life took me through its twists and turns, I realized why I believed in God. Because academic knowledge is too objective and no human being can be trusted-not with my life....and honestly, not with their own. When "bad" things happen to "good" people (and I try not to give into such dualisms), there's no amount of science or "self preservation" to fix it. In short really....shit just happens. And if I can't explain it....clearly something else is rolling the dice with my shit. If I can't pull myself out of the mud...clearly there is SOMETHING that pulls me through. Because it damn sure isn't me...if I barely want to get out of the bed sometimes to shower in the morning.
So then what is this "God" then? If we go through so much-our 20s, JOB SEARCHING, new relationships, bad relationships, generational trauma, broken families, broken communities-is this "God" just something I pray to and POOF! I get what I want? Do I just go to church, read my devotionals, give offering (sometimes), remain celibate, and POOF! God just gives me everything? A genie. That's what God is.
Or do we call God "Sky daddy?" You know...I just go to God when I need something, act out when God "punishes" me, and check up on God sometimes to make sure everything is still everything?
God. Genie-in-a-bottle or sky daddy?
Coming from the person who's been job searching for a whole year....I'd like to argue...neither.
I went through the majority of my job-search very...optimistic. Because "God always got me" and "God favors me." Right? That's what I was always used to thinking. But, somewhere along the way, perhaps after my 100th application (and yes, I said 100th), I lost that optimism. God was not my genie, and this shit definitely wasn't poppin' like Atlanta (my home for the past two years). Rejection after rejection...my dream of moving back to Atlanta or living in D.C., working as an Analyst.... was NOT happening. My wishes......were not coming true.
God- 1. Adia- 0.
So, what was it? Was I not trying hard enough? I mean....can you imagine how utterly hard it was, to be happy for my peers' new jobs....while I was a grown woman asking my parents and family for money? Was I not smart enough? I mean...these student loans should be good for something if I got this Master's degree. Right? While I kept scratching off the jobs I didn't get, I felt like God was not hearing me. God wasn't taking my $5 and $10 offerings seriously. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to try to think I could buy God off with $10 (what is that? A meal from Zaxby's?).
Then, "it" happened.
I went on an interview, and it.was.ASS. I'm talking stammering, guessing on a software assessment, and railroaded with a PANEL interview, ASS. It was terrible. And I did....terrible.
When I was railroaded with the assessment on a software I knew NOTHING about, I thought to myself...."Dia, are you going to guess? Or are you going to be honest and tell this lady you don't know what the fuck is on this paper?" Well....I went with the second option and informed her, I was only familiar with SAS, a software I am quite comfortable with since my time at Emory University. She looks at me and says..."Well, I hear they're pretty similar. So, just try." My jaw dropped. She came back 30 minutes later to collect my assessment, me barely finished, and it was on to the panel interview. I stared at three white faces and one black man.
Me: Ahhhhh shit.
Well...the interview was "supposed" to be 30 minutes. I finished in less than 20. See? ASS. I left the room quietly laughing to myself because it was so bad, and proceeded to call a friend to tell him what happened (In hindsight, I think I was really laughing because I was so embarrassed).
The next morning, I wake up at 7:24am to the job I thought I really wanted. It was in Atlanta, and I was damn near already packing-ready to go.
Thank you for your interest....and for taking the time to talk with us over the phone. We wanted to let you know we selected another candidate.....
God- 3. Adia- 0.
Four hours after that email...my phone rings.
Me: This looks like the people from yesterday....(looking confused AF). Damn. They're calling me to tell me I did so bad.
Lady: Adia, hi-this is......
Me: Hi...... (sounds awkward)
Lady: We finished scoring the assessments and interviews from yesterday. You did great and were our highest score. If you're still interested...we'd love to have you and need to fill out some paperwork and get a drug test.
Me: Drug Test?
Of course, I'd ask about he drug test (LOL), but FINALLY.
God- 3. Adia- 1.
Let the record show...I applied to this job on a whim and was in no way, my first choice. I applied on a whim thinking I wasn't qualified, DESPITE my higher degree. So, God-genie-in-a-bottle? Or sky daddy?
Well....I'd argue....neither. Because you see....if there's nothing else I've learned a year later from my horrendous job search...and MANY sad days later...God doesn't punish or "ground" us. We can't just "call" God everyday and think that everything will always be good. You'd be doing yourself an injustice if you do. So, what is God if God is neither of these things?
I don't have a final answer-and perhaps...I never will. The essence of having a finite answer would be a limit of God's INFINITE being. So, it's neither. And while I may not have all the answers...here's what else my tumultuous job search has taught me.
-First off, I really wish we'd stop putting a gender on God. Yes, I know "Him" and "His" are in the Bible. But once again, it's a dualism....and limiting. God is not man. God is not a woman. So, how about we NOT call God "Sky daddy".
-God is a higher power beyond any finite being.
-God doesn't grant wishes. God doesn't promise us all of our dreams.
-God is NOT in alignment with what WE want....Instead, God is in alignment with what we need.
-God is not a punisher. I'd like to think...God is....an opportunist.
-God will not do all of the work if you do nothing.
-God won't give you everything at once.
-God is love.
-God is...everything we deny to see in ourselves.
Not a genie. Not a sky daddy. God is everything we CAN'T put into words....even though I, for one, tried my best above.
I hope that whatever struggle life takes you through...you're not cursing in your prayers, like I was. I hope you're not taking yourself....so seriously. I hope you're riding the wave and doing a better job of "trusting the process" than me. Life can be....trashy. I think the rainbow AFTER the storm, though,....is what makes life so beautiful.
So, relax. Because it really is true....God's got you. And God's got me, too.
A New Full-Time Analyst