Mailing cranky buying houses.
Finding buttons, zippers and fabric for fit samples
Matching thread shades
Running with samples to the washing unit.
Endless journeys by bus
Santhome to Ambattur
Ambattur to Santhome
Going from factory to factory
Answering the phone
Yelling at people
Being yelled at by people
Did I really study design for all this?
When I finished college, I prayed: Lord, let me not join any job that does not give me time for You. Nine months into my first job, I find I have no time for anything besides my job. I have stuck to it in spite of everything because I do not like accepting defeat; if I quit once the going gets tough, how would I ever face the challenges of life? Besides, the Lord would not put me through anything, even an unrewarding, underpaid, backbreaking job, without a purpose. I stick to it.
Nine months. Lord, I think no longer of facing and overcoming the challenges of learning a new line of work and doing well at it. I only find myself drawing farther and farther from you. And that, Lord, is more terrifying than anything else. What am I to do, Lord, I cry out to you!
You answer in just one word:
Quit? QUIT? Okay, quit when?
This is the worst time, Lord! The world is in recession. Textile design jobs in Chennai are virtually non-existent, even at the best of times. And now?? Impossible to get another job! What will I quit and then do? Sit at home? I could not bear it!!
I wish I could say it was easy, that I said, like Mary, that His Will be done. Oh, but I was frightened! I feel like a mountaineer hanging onto a rope for all he is worth, and suddenly being asked to let go. Supposing it isn’t the Lord speaking to me? Supposing it is just my weakness, asking me to give up? I go back to prayer, this time with my mom. Again the clear command: leave the job. Trust Me. Put your future in My hands. I give in my resignation the next day.
My boss’ first reaction is unexpected. He says, good. You are very talented, capable of much more than this job. I’ve often wondered what you are doing here. Oh. After nine months of more negative feedback than not on my performance, this comes as a rather big surprise.
The pressure comes later. Why do you want to leave? Don’t go! You’re good. Look at the world situation, where will you get another job? At least stay till you get some other opening. Complete a year and leave or all this experience will not count. The endless clamouring of the world, of the people whose advice I respect combines with my own doubts and confusions and I face each day with fear and indecision.
Take back your resignation, I am asked. My replacement arrives, and yet my boss asks me to take back my resignation. We’ll put him somewhere else. Mind you, my company is sending home its’ employees because of the recession, and here they are, asking me to stay. I am very fond of my team; they are like family. I waver.
I am reaching the end of my notice period. Lord, I’ve listened to you. I’m afraid, but I trust in you. I trust in you.
Four days before my final day at work, one of my lecturers from college tells me about an opening for a textile designer and researcher in an NGO dedicated to reviving and documenting languishing crafts. It sounds interesting; I give it a try. I find that the NGO deals with the social aspect of using craft to build community and village economy, something I am rather passionate about. The director who is conducting the interview takes one look at my MA project work and finds that it is very close to what the NGO itself is doing. I love research; she desperately needs someone who can write well. The pay? Exactly double my previous pay. The office? Merely ten minutes away from my house. I can hardly take it in.
I got the job.
All kudos to the Lord who gives us far more than we can ask or even dream about. Sometimes God’s will does not involve my climbing the mountain, it is just letting go of the rope. Trust is free falling into nothingness, of letting someone else take over. Trust is listening to my God tell me, like he told St. Thomas, to be not faithless, but believe.
At the end of the day, all it needed was a little faith.