“Let us hold fast [to] the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” – Hebrews 10:23
As I reflect back on these past few months, I cannot help but praise God for His faithfulness. I knew graduating would be a transition but I did not anticipate the transition to be so wild! There we soo many tears, frustrations and anger. My experience has been far from perfect but I pray my story gives you hope and pushes you to keep going in spite of what life throws your way.
April 20th, 2017: I passed my oral defense for my ARP (Applied Research Project). There were several times I thought I would not make it but God saw me through. This was probably the highlight of my two-year masters program. The journey to completing my Masters was not an easy one. I sacrificed soo much throughout the years to the point where my health suffered. But sitting in that room and defending my research made it all worth it. I was finally approved to graduate!
Oral Defense Day
May 13th was a great day! I graduated with my Masters in Legal Studies and celebrated with a number of friends, family and colleagues. Even got an amazing surprise from my parents who flew all the way from Nigeria to support me.
My parents and siblings (I love you guys soo much)
Although I did not have a job lined up after graduation, I was scheduled for multiple interviews in the following weeks. (Note: I had been applying to jobs since March). Week after week, I kept showing up for interviews but would never get a call back. With each interview, I made a note to evaluate myself and figure out how I can improve on my skills. I prayed to God for the grace to face rejection and use it as an opportunity to grow. However, as each rejection came through, I started to wonder maybe I wasn’t a good candidate. All the jobs, even entry-level jobs required at least three to five years. How do you get experience when you are not given a chance to grow and apply your knowledge?! My confidence started to dwindle as my inbox started filling with over 30 rejections out of the 459 jobs I applied for.
Samples of rejection emails I received
Although I was tired, I kept applying for more jobs with the help of my best friend, family and friends. They kept sending me prayers and encouragement to keep going.
Encouraging note from my friend Chrissy
July 31st: I got a call from a law firm in Dallas for an interview. At that point, I was soo tired of all the driving (3-5 hours to each city), house hopping and going through the interview process only to be let down. However, my sister encouraged me to go regardless of how I was feeling. Tired Deborah packed her bags and drove 4.5 hours to Dallas.
August 1st: Interview day was great. In spite of the last minute notice, I walked into that conference room fully prepared. After I left my interview, I headed to grab lunch with a friend. On my way to the restaurant, a driver ran the red lights and drove straight into the left side of my car. This was probably the scariest moment of my life and I was grateful that I was not hurt too bad.
My baby was wrecked 😦
That whole day happened so fast. Amidst the cops asking me questions and talking to the insurance, I got an email saying I got the job I had interviewed for! I was excited and I thanked God for the good news in spite of chaos. Then I realized… I don’t have a car anymore. I called the office to explain what had happened and they were very understanding at the time. They knew I was living in Austin so they gave me two weeks to relocate and take care of my car issue. All was good and well.
August 14th: My first day of work. I was excited to head to work after months of being unemployed. Although I did not have my car, I was given a temporary vehicle for the time being. As I approached the office, to be precise about 10 minutes away from the office, I got the phone call that led to a downward spiral. An employee at the firm gave me a call saying the office I was supposed to start at would not be ready until November. I was stunned and asked several questions that revealed unprofessionalism on the company’s part. After the phone call, I cried out to God in frustration. I had moved to a city 259 miles away from home. I left my family, friends and my business for a job that treated me terribly before I even got a chance to start.
The following weeks were filled with frustration, anger, sadness and neglect. I cried out to God and poured my broken heart before him. I was broke, tired and alone. I remember listening to Bethel’s “Take Courage” multiple times a day. There was a line that said:
“Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun
So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting”
I sang that song daily and continued to hold on to the truth that God is indeed faithful. I decided to move back to Houston the day before Harvey hit. Prior to the move, I applied to multiple jobs in Houston. Even though my city was under water, I knew that was exactly where God wanted me to be. I prayed and cried everyday because that was all I could do.
And then… it finally happened. After a few more interviews, I got a couple of job offers and I accepted the perfect place for me!!
September 15th: After over a month of not having a car, I finally got my car back! Just in time for my new job!
God is faithful. Even when life makes no sense, hold on to His promises because He’s never failing. There is no guarantee that life will always be perfect but, we will always be given the strength and grace to make it through the darkest days.
No matter what situation you’re going through, you must keep going! Believe that the best is yet to come!
I believe in you GREATNESS!