bend

When Life Bends

 

bendThe word ‘Change’ is probably the most ‘uncomfortable’ word found in the English Dictionary.  Most of us do not like change. The Facebook profile layout has changed so many times, I really can’t keep up. Every time it changes, your newsfeed is filled with complaining status updates. It takes time to get used to the new layout. I guess one could say any changes in your life, re-arranges the whole layout of life.

The whole book, Crossing Intersections was like telling the story of my life…

In 2009 I attended the Youth With a Mission  (YWAM) Discipleship Training School (DTS) for six months. A time which changed the course of my life. During one of our weekly lectures, we had a teaching on pursuing your calling. Everyone had to write down their dreams for the future.  With much excitement, everyone got started.  Still holding my pen in my hand, I was staring down at a blank page in front of me. I had no purpose…

After a year of working in the missions field, I decided to take on the corporate world. In ten years time I was planning on becoming a well-known events manager and call my new home, Cape Town. For six months I desperately looked for a job.

During the whole job seeking experience, I mostly applied for events management positions. I had one call back from a famous Wedding Planner in Stellenbosch. The interview went very well and I was chosen out of 100 people for the position! I was thrilled and it was a tremendous boost for my confidence. However…things were not all bunnies and rainbows.

When meeting my employer for the first time (his colleague did the interview), I realised that this was not for me. I had to dress and act a certain way to fit in. ‘Pretentious’ came to mind when meeting him and his staff. I knew then and there that this not for me and miraculously he also knew it.

Our ways parted and I was on the job-hunting spree once again – doors constantly closing behind me. I then saw a couple of job ads for in the line of community work. I started applying for it and the doors to interviews flung open. Even though I did not get any of the positions, I knew that this was to be my path.

Down and out in Cape Town, I came to another intersection: Cape Town will no longer be my home. A job offer came up in Johannesburg. I absolutely loathed Johannesburg. As a nature freak, my biggest fear is the concrete jungle. But deep down in my heart, I knew it was time. Kicking and screaming I joined a non-profit organization and helped organize an annual fundraising event.

‘Well, there you go, you are living the dream’, you might say. Well, that was not the case. I worked alongside a very tough, critical and stressed-out manager who absolutely broke my spirit. I became stressed, depressed, overworked. I had no time to make friends or join a church or even have some form of a social life – it was the loneliest time in my life.

During that time I got engaged. Even though it was supposed to be a joyous time in my life, I could not see anything getting better. I now had to move to a small Afrikaans town with limited options for work. I was probably going to end up working at the local university as an administrator (I absolutely loath doing admin).

I am a person who is colour blind to race and cultures and strongly believe in breaking down invisible walls between them.  I started getting frustrated with the narrow-minded outlook of some people on the issue.

I found myself becoming more and more depressed. I had no friends and no job. My then fiancé encouraged me to volunteer with an organization called Mosaic and I started helping out at their preschool based in the local township.  The children’s unconditional love for me saved my life. I had purpose.

After a few months, the two founders (a married couple) approached me to help them out with their administration once a week. Slowly but surely I could see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. After a couple of months, they employed me in a half-day position and today I have a full day position.

Today, I am meeting people from all over the world, learning more about South Africans then ever before. I have the privilege of doing something I am absolutely passionate about…in a small town in the middle of the North West province.

A very special and dear American couple once taught me: ‘ Flexibility is the key to success’. I have made this my life motto and it has helped me tremendously in taking on life’s intersections.

If I did not make the choice to not work with the Wedding Planner, I wouldn’t have ventured into the Non-Profit sector. If I had stayed in Cape Town, I would not have ended up working in a fast paced and harsh environment in Johannesburg. My time in Johannesburg was tough, but it taught me to persevere and be positive!

If I had stood still at the intersection and not took the brave move of trusting what God had planned for me, I would have not been led to the ‘dream’ I am living today.

 

 

Written by Carine Gericke

Carine Gericke

Carine Gericke lives in Potchefstroom, South Africa. She is married to the most amazing guy, a woman can ask for. She works at Mosaic SA, based in Ikageng (a local township in Potchefstroom) she works alongside a team with orphaned and vulnerable children who are part of the Mosaic Foster Children Programme. Her destiny is a one of service.

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  • http://www.themaximizegroup.com Grace Samson-Song

    Dear Carine, the unpredictability of your life events have led you to a place of finding your purpose, what an encouragement to know that even the unexpected twists and turns of life can lead to purpose, and a bend in the road is not the end of the road! So proud of you, keep following your heart, God bless!