It was another beautiful spring morning in Columbia, South Carolina – April 2006. I was driving down Columbia College Drive vibing to some nice gospel music on my favorite radio station. I was a block away from my destination and my heart started racing. Finally, I pulled up into the parking lot and paused for a second and took a look at the quaint little building in front of me – Conyers Daycare. I took a few deep breaths, checked my time hastily, and then bowed my head and prayed for an extra dose of anointing to cope with the “terrific” two and three year old pupils in my class at the daycare. As soon as I stepped out of my car, I was startled when heard my name coming from a car at the stop sign to my right. Who could it be? I thought. I scrutinized the car, a Lexus sedan with a lady inside. I couldn’t make out the face, so I inched closer and closer to see who it was. OMG!!! That’s Linda! (Not her real name) I was finally able to see her face clearly. “Linda!!” I screamed and then motioned for her to pull into the parking lot. Wow! Linda! I hadn’t seen her since graduation. She wasn’t looking bad at all. Life must has been good to her since graduation.
Linda pulled into the parking lot. She jumped out of the car, we hugged and exchanged greetings. “Sana, it’s been a while! I haven’t seen you in forever! Wait, you work here?” She asked. “Yes, I do” I replied. I was both shocked and embarrassed by what happened next. Linda let out a huge laugh and began inspecting the façade of the daycare and even took a peek inside through the window, and then laughed some more. “Sana, you of all people work at a daycare. Hmmm… I thought you would be in graduate school by now, or landed a good job like the others. You always acted like you were so smart back in college.” I resisted every urge to respond to Linda the way my mind was telling me to, but instead, I smiled and ignored the insults. “So Linda, where do you work now?” I asked. “Well you know, I work at Benedict College now. I have my own office and all.” Linda responded. “Good for you Linda, I’m happy for you! Look I have to go inside. Take care.” I walked into the building.
That night, I replayed Linda’s words in my mind over and over again. The truth is, just like Linda, I had expected to land a good job after graduation at least to help pay off my tuition debt. I had settled for the daycare job after months of job hunting without success. Linda’s words replayed in my mind again, but the voice of God was stronger: “For surely there is an end, and your expectations shall not be cut off”. Proverbs 23:18. Immediately, I felt the peace of God. Like David in the bible, I began to encourage myself in the Lord. I prayed a simple prayer that night… “God, I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m glad that I am exactly where I need to be right now – In Your will. Direct my steps Lord, and do not let me go one step ahead of you, or one step behind you. Amen.”
Two months later, I was driving to work on a hot summer day. I looked in the rearview mirror and smiled as I saw my well-pressed dark brown skirt suit hanging in the back of my car. In two hours I would be going for the last of three interviews at the South Carolina DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control). I had fasted and prayed, sowed a seed, anointed my head with oil, decreed, believed, and claimed it!! God really needed to come through for me on this one. DHEC was where I really wanted to work. An hour thirty minutes to the time, and I was already out the door. The interview was great for the most part except that my interviewer believed that I had applied for the wrong job based on my resume. “Ms. Ndon, all I see on your resume are Computer Science experiences – internships and workshops.” He said as he lowered his glasses and looked closely at my resume. “I would advice that you either get a job in that field, or further your education in Computer Science.” He concluded. I had a feeling that the interviewer was not going to offer me the job despite my convincing answers and taking about all the Environment Science courses I took in college. However, I was sure that I was going to be offered at least one of the three jobs I was interviewed for at DHEC.
The next few days were nerve-wrecking waiting for feedback from DHEC. One week passed, nothing. Second week, nothing. By the third week, the letters started coming in the mail one by one. “Sorry you are not the successful candidate for the job. A more qualified candidate has been selected.” When I got the third rejection letter, my world came crashing down and the thought of returning to the daycare job was beyond depressing. I woke up the following morning with a throbbing headache and had no desire to go to work, so I called in sick. Few hours later, the daycare owner called. “Sana why did you call in sick when you know how understaffed we are?” She asked. “I am so sorry, but I am really not feeling well today.” I responded. Nothing prepared me for what she was going to say next. “Sana do not come back here again. You are fired!!!”
To be continued…