God My Career Counselor
By Joy Thomas
Even though I loved my husband, I knew that God had not wanted us to get married. After a painful but necessary divorce, my relationship with the Lord took on new depth. He was the friend whose love I could trust. His forgiveness was supernatural. He was faithful to provide for me, heal me, and lead me. I wanted to know him better, and to do whatever he wanted me to do. There was a Bible school nearby in Dallas. Even though I was a single parent, the Lord made a way for me to go.
Most of my classmates were young and passionate. I became young and passionate, too. I danced with my hands raised high. I sang with abandon. I studied the Bible. I wanted to do great things for God.
At this school our classes included hands-on ministry. I did internships at group homes for children, counseled teens at juvenile detention centers, helped with vacation Bible school and preached in prison. I’ll never forget looking up at cells three floors above me with prisoners clinging to the metal bars. The week that it was my turn to preach, I had outlined my message, and practiced, but I was still shaking as my wavering voice echoed across the crowded room. I said God was a kind husband, not a slave driver expecting us to be perfect. In order to live the Christian life he gave us his spirit to live inside of us, to help us. Afterwards, a few men shook my hand with tears in their eyes.
I longed to be used by God in a big way, but as the time came closer to graduation I still didn’t know what He wanted me to do. I had a teaching credential and business experience and I knew that if God sent me I’d be a missionary wherever I went. I asked God to make his plan clear.
Graduation day came, and I felt a leading stay on for the summer session. The theme for that summer was prayer. How boring! I wanted him to send me somewhere, not stick me in a prayer closet. I reluctantly signed up for four classes on prayer.
My teachers encouraged us to write our prayers down and see what God could do. They taught us to listen and ask God what to pray. God amazed us. We prayed little prayers, like asking for $20. God answered. We prayed for relatives to get saved, and they did. We prayed big prayers, and my nephew was healed from leukemia. It was like watching fireworks.
Fall came, and I moved back home with no idea what to do next. I turned down my sister’s suggestion that we work for a local ministry in their customer service department. I needed flexible hours so I could home-school my son. Then she found out the local Christian television station had openings in their prayer department. It made sense to apply because I had just taken these classes on prayer. I could pray with people who called from all over the United States. Was this what God wanted? I told my sister I’d have to wait. I needed to hear from Him.
That Sunday I went to a tiny church where my South African friend from Bible school worked with the children. I felt the Holy Spirit direct me to the back row at the far end of the little meeting room. The service was refreshing, and afterwards I hung around. The woman in front of me turned and greeted me. She asked about me, and I told her I had just graduated from Bible school. She asked if I needed a job. I told her I did, because I was almost out of money. She cheerfully asked me, “Why don’t you come work for us?” I answered that I was sorry, but I didn’t know who she was. She said, “I’m Gloria, the supervisor for the prayer department at the local Christian television station.”
I worked in the prayer department for more than two years, joyfully knowing that God had sent me, and joyfully knowing that he would answer my prayers