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ENGINEERING MY SUMMER

Savannah Wood, 19

I hung up the phone, and the tears started to fall. I’d been planning my life around a summer internship that I thought was guaranteed. For weeks, I had waited to hear when I was going to start. Weeks turned into months, and soon I began to wonder if they had received my application. When I called to ask, they casually said I wasn’t even being considered for the internship. I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach. My world came crashing down on me. I was counting on the experience I would gain from this internship to further my career goals. Now my future looked bleak.

Lionel train FTR TSP 100299406Too short on time to be picky, I halfheartedly accepted a summer job at a Lionel train museum. At the museum, I was a toy train engineer. I operated a switchboard that controlled 12 or more trains; and I fixed trains, avoided crashing them, picked them up after they crashed, and explained to visitors how the whole system worked. I’m a right-brained person, which means I enjoy being creative. Operating several antique trains on the same track doesn’t leave much room for creativity; it involves precision and perfect timing. The first few weeks of my job, I was totally overwhelmed and couldn’t help but wonder, Why, God, did you put me here?

The summer got better. With lots of practice and the assistance of coworkers, I learned to do my job well. It may not have been the job I wanted, but I learned a lot. Pushed out of my comfort zone, I developed patience and perseverance. I learned that I was capable of more than I thought, and I realized God knew what was best for me after all.

devozine, Sad GirlLet’s face it: Disappointments are, well, disappointing. They’re painful, frustrating, depressing; and they leave us asking, “Why, God?” One of the challenges we face is how to keep from losing faith and hope when everything seems to be going wrong. Whether the disappointment involves relationships, health, finances, spirituality, or careers, sometimes we have a hard time being optimistic. Even though we know that God is in control, our emotions tell us otherwise and doubt creeps in.

I’ve learned that when my feelings don’t match up with what I know is true, that’s OK. In those times, I express my frustrations to God. The book of Psalms is filled with voices crying out to God, expressing feelings of frustration, fear, and disappointment. I try to remember that faith in God is not dependent on our feelings. Faith is trusting God even when everything seems to go wrong.

I’ve also learned that dwelling on disappointment doesn’t do any good. I may be sad, but I don’t pitch a tent and stay there. Psalm 30:5b (The Message) says, “[God] gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” I try to refocus my attention and pray about everything going on in my life. God is my friend. I can talk to God, vent, ask questions, and express frustrations.

 

DIG DEEPER

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” —Helen Keller

Write about a time when you were disappointed. Who or what helped you to move forward, to see other options opening up for you, to risk moving out of your comfort zone? Remember, God is in control, and God loves you. Somewhere down the road, you will see that God was at work for your good, even in your greatest disappointments.

 

—from devozine (May/June 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

 

Savannah Wood, 19 , is an Iowa girl who works with people who have mental and physical disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys nature, music, reading, her cats and fainting goats, and good conversations.

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