I’ve been a technical writer for over a decade. In mid-2010 I got a contract as a Training manager – a bit of a departure for sure, but I loved every minute of it. When that contract ended I started looking for software training jobs. In December 2011 I got an email from an HR professional regarding a job I applied for that I really wanted. The email was asking about my availability during the second week in January. I responded and waited eagerly for a confirmation of an interview date. The second week in January came and went but no word. Late one afternoon I was praying and I was feeling low, so I prayed a short prayer and asked the Lord to please intervene. About half an hour later I got an email from the company confirming an interview! I was so sure that job was mine.
The interview was scheduled for the following Monday, and on the Saturday morning I developed a severe cold. By Saturday evening I lost my voice. I rested it for the rest of the weekend, but by Monday 6am I couldn’t speak above a painful hoarse. I got out of bed to make myself some tea and then my nose started to bleed. Badly.
From my earliest memories I regularly suffered from nose bleeds. Soon after my family moved to Nigeria from the UK when I was six years old the bleeding stopped. So much so that I totally forgot about them until over 30 years later. I was in New York, it was winter and I had a series of scary bleeds. I had both nostrils cauterized twice. Didn’t help at all.
In January 2011 I had an interview for a job I really wanted. This was probably my first interview in months, and I was so excited and hopeful. I had a septoplasty, which dramatically lessened the bleeding episodes, but didn’t stop the bleeding completely, but stopped them enough that they weren’t part of my everyday life. So this nosebleed, coupled with the loss of my voice was very annoying and inconvenient. No devil is going to stop me from going for this job I thought to myself. I went for the interview truly believing that the Lord had given me this job. The interview lasted about an hour, I spoke in a whisper and the interviewer was extremely understanding and accommodating. I was so sure this was my job. A few days later I learnt that I didn’t get the job. Thing is, even till this day I still think that job was/is mine. Crazy huh?
Pondering on the job made me think about passion. My older sister is one of the most talented and hardworking people I know. She’s an interior designer, who had her own business making passimentrie and even had her collection sold at Bergdof Goodman in New York. She works so many hours for much less than she’s worth. She goes the extra mile for her employers and sometimes doesn’t even get the credit for her work. But she’s passionate about it.
I have a friend who was determined to go to university even when he had no financial or moral support either. He persevered and did what he had to do and eventually got admitted into university at a time when his age mates had already graduated. He had to work and save most of his money to fund his education. There were times when he felt like giving up, especially when it was time to pay his tuition and he wasn’t sure where the money would come from. God, however on many occasions, blessed him through people who decided to help out even without his asking. In his own words, “what kept me going was my trust in God and I kept telling myself every time discouragement came, He who started this work in my is faithful to complete it (1 Thess 5:24)
Do you have a dream, or something that you believe God wants for you that you are yet to achieve? How do you handle the obstacles or the passage of time when life and circumstances seem to be saying the opposite to what you’re believing for? How do you hold on when people are asking you, hey what happened to that plan you had? Are you still…? Even more difficult sometimes, how do you encourage yourself when it would be so much easier to throw in the towel?
I think sometimes the lessons we learn during the waiting process, or during the journey is as much a part of fulfilment as is the manifestation of the dream.
This blog is as much a blessing to me as it is an intimidation. We have so many accomplished and brilliant writers contributing to it, that sometimes I wonder what I could possibly have to say that would be as interesting. Weeks before my turn comes around to post, I wrack my brains trying to come up with something witty and interesting.
But then I remember that God gave me a story to tell. I have written it, and although I am not yet published, I may have something, just a small something that could encourage someone else. The reward for writing is not necessarily tangible. The strongest reward is in knowing that no matter what goes on; you’re doing what God requires of you. And even though you may never know the impact of your gift, the passion never leaves you so you keep carrying on, believing that God will use your story for His glory. Now isn’t that gratifying?
And by the way, the Lord did heal me of those nosebleeds and I haven’t given up on that job either. ;-)
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.