When I was younger, I had a dream to be a diplomat. Promptly I was told by two family members that I was not pursuing subjects to pursue that career, history being one.
I remember that distinct feeling of defeat and because of this I started to consider other areas like Tourism Management. I had now become so excited about Tourism and had even applied to university and was accepted to pursue this field. The closer I got to registration, the more I pondered if this was really what I had wanted. I had still loved International Relations (IR) and I didn’t desire to end up studying a field I was lacklustre about.
I went on to do my own research and found out that not having a background in history was not a deterrent to my dreams. I was back on track again and even though I was told the process to change my major could only be processed after my full first year, I took the chance to register for IR.
When I got into university, I was told that the IR intake was full. As the curves and turns of life would have it, the system was odd, and I decided to register for the IR course just the same. Because the system had me as a Tourism major, it admitted me, assuming I must just be doing a minor in the area. Getting this chance meant so much and I made a formal request to have my major changed to IR and hoped that I would be well on my way by year end.
It would however take a full two years before my request to change my major was honoured and I missed out on opportunities like the well sought-after internship at the end of the second year. Many of my classmates were successful – one went to the Foreign Ministry where I had hoped to work one day. I remember feeling like they had such an edge over me, but still I prayed, trusted God about this journey and tarried on.
One day on the bus home, a colleague from my former high school and some others began talking about the job market and our choice of studies. She said I was wasting my time and parents’ money having chosen IR as many of the graduates had issues getting jobs. She believed her choice of management studies was a way better option. On top of this, one of my university lecturers pointedly advised the IR majors that many of us wouldn’t get jobs, in IR or otherwise. Can you imagine hearing this while on student loans?
I stuck to my choice because I knew what I had wanted, and I kept trusting God to take me there as he had worked out every step thus far. I finally completed University with an Honours degree in IR and on graduation day, I was one of the few graduates already with a job.
By God and his amazing grace, I have never been unemployed because of my choice of degree. I got innovative and translated my resume into Spanish and French and that gave me that edge I needed at times to land an interview. I didn’t look for job ads, I mostly applied to all the places I wanted to work, one of which was the Foreign Ministry. I was invited to do the entry exam for the first time well into my first job, but I wasn’t successful and I kept job searching. I had always left one job for another and though I was never interested in Immigration, when an opportunity arose, I saw it as my ticket into Government.
While there, two interesting things happened. That very same colleague who laughed at me on the bus had graduated just like me but was unemployed and still searching for a job. By now I had been in my third job when she asked me to submit her resume to my current company. Happy to help, I did as she asked, but unfortunately she didn’t get the job. She did however eventually get another job. The very same lecturer who had told us that many of us would never find jobs, walked up to my desk in the immigration hall one day with her family for processing. I did the honours of processing them and before saying goodbye reminded her of that day. I simply said, ‘See, I am employed.’ And she smiled.
I kept randomly applying to the Foreign Ministry until one day I got a call from Human Resources. My resume had caught their eye. There were no available posts now, but I should keep trying. I prayed about it and in the June of that year I sent another email reminding them that I was serious about a career there. They advised that a post on my level was out and that if I qualified, I should apply. The post aligned perfectly with me – all my experiences and qualifications to this time seemed to just line up for this post. It was a mid-level position, so although I expected to have got in at entry-level like most others, God’s plans for me were way bigger. I applied and got the job. To date, only two persons have ever entered that Ministry at this level, and I was one of them.
I am reminded of a saying ‘what is yours will always be yours’. I had this dream which I committed to God and kept working at it despite all the odds. I have found that all those setbacks set me up for that grand opportunity. The journey was not how I anticipated, but I got there … and it hasn’t ended.
The Reverend Bill Thomas explained that ‘God's perfect timing does two things: It grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in God and it makes certain that He, and He alone, gets the glory and praise for pulling us through. ‘My times are in Your hands...’ (Psalm Chapter 31 verse 15).
Kimberley Salmon is a praise and worship leader who remains passionate about touching hearts through singing and writing as she thrives to become a published author of Christian women’s fiction. She loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is grateful for God’s saving grace which continues to transform her life. As a senior Press Service International Columnist, she is elated that she can now share her journey with God with the world.