Sitting down to join my fellow ladies at the local coffee shop, the thought hit me, “I don’t want to work here.”
I had just turned in an application to work at that local coffee shop and, shortly after, realized I actually don’t want to be employed there. Before applying, I felt God had opened the doors for me to work part time. Since I had just joined YWAM Ships Kona as a full-time volunteer staff months prior, I was pumped when the opportunity came my way.
In the midst of seeking God for His direction on whether I should take the job or not, I never checked my personal feelings about it until after I had turned in the paperwork to be considered for employment.
I was so focused to follow/be obedient to God that my own feelings never came to the forefront of my mind.
“Crap!” I thought. “What am I supposed to do now?!”
Well, let me back up a sec. I started being a full-time volunteer staff at YWAM Ships Kona in January 2016. I had staffed a DTS and, afterwards, had continued on in various departments. One of the challenges that almost all of us face while doing full-time volunteer work is finances.
I had stepped out in faith to staff the DTS and was blown away by God’s financial provision.
I was doing the same thing now, stepping out in faith for God to provide finances and He did, with an actual paying job. The challenge before me was taking a job I knew I didn’t want but being willing to be obedient in spite of that.
So how do I walk this out? He had answered my prayer and yet I wasn’t wanting the result. I had to look at the bigger picture. I thought, “There must be a reason for this.”
Instead of going with my “want” in that moment, I went with obedience. They hired me at the cafe and then I chose to go to work.
The job wasn’t hard. I’ve worked in different coffee shops before so there really wasn’t anything new for me. The biggest challenge was to take the job and continue on in it until God told me otherwise. It was a big step of obedience for me. Overtime I would question God about when I could leave or why I needed to continue to be there.
Pretty much without fail, when I would doubt my purpose in being there, I would have a conversation at work with someone about God or YWAM. When that happened, I would say to God, “Alright. I get it. I’ll stay.” I saw the importance of being there to clarify people’s questions about God and to show them that not all Christians are wanting to judge the world according to their own beliefs.
Since I usually worked at night, my shifts were pretty slow. I would use the time at work to chat with God about life, where I was at and the things I faced throughout my days. I would make sure to come in on time, do my job well and get to know my fellow workers. Unbeknownst to me, I was setting a tone to my co-workers of what kind of person I was.
I kept hearing nice things about myself and how people enjoyed my company.
During my shifts, I would get revelations about my co-workers. For instance, one night I saw that one of the waiters was having a rough day. I thought maybe he just needs to know that someone cares, not just for that night but whenever he worked. I made it a point to show kindness to him and anyone else that needed it.
I also felt that some of my co-workers might be dealing some challenges at home. I just wanted them to feel appreciated.
Even though I enjoyed engaging with my fellow workers and being there for them, the job continued to give me challenges. I went through a couple of months of being frustrated about working Friday night when all I wanted to do after a week of volunteering at Ships was to relax and hang with friends.
Walking out obedience in the day to day is not as glamorous as you might think. Sometimes it can be tiring and frustrating while other times it’s fun and worthwhile.
The journey of following God is not always getting what we want but it’s God’s way of shaping our character. He uses whatever means possible to get our attention. With this job, I grew in my relationship with God. It wasn’t about what I was going to receive from God but what I was willing to give up to go deeper with Him.
When I found it hard to keep going, I remembered those times that I would talk with my co-workers about YWAM and especially about God. It was those memories that kept me going.
Before I started working there, I felt that this job was only temporary. I knew I was called to be a full-time volunteer staff at YWAM Ships Kona but I also wanted to honor God through working at the cafe. 6 months after I started working, I prayed to God and felt that June would be when I could give my notice.
In the end, I was able to endure through the hard months and get to the finish line to “Finish Strong”. I’m so thankful to of have the opportunity to grow and learn through my job.
I know God taught me many lessons, some of which I’m still learning. What I know for certain is His goodness. He knew I needed encouragement and, at times, reasons to stay and keep working.
He knows my heart and loves me but He also loves the people who don’t know Him. I was able and willing to be used wherever He placed me. Being someone who is used by God is of the highest honor and to do that in the place I call home is something I’ll always be thankful for.
By Jaime Gomez
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff