I had just taking my GED test and was officially finished with high school, I had purchased my first vehicle, and had finally gotten my drivers license. Now it was time to get a job. I did not think it would be that big of a deal. In fact, I was looking forward to getting out of the house more and to having a little more spending money in my pocket. With my own vehicle I would be able to get more involved in my local community. I was sure it was going to be great.
I applied several places and sat back nervously waiting for a call. When the call finally came I began to second guess myself. Maybe this was not such a grad idea. Well, it was done, so nothing remained but for me to go to the interview. It went quite well, and by the time I left I was back to feeling fairly confident, if a little nervous.
The first day was a nightmare. It was a busy day at our local Dairy Queen. I had never been to Dairy Queen much, and when I did go I always ordered things like chicken strips, fries, or an ice cream cone. Simple foods, with easy names. Here it was a busy day, my first day, and I was stuck on a register taking orders for things like Hunger Busters. I did not even know what one was! Watching people make ice cream cones looked easy, but let me tell you, it is something that takes a bit of practice. My first cones were big messes, in fact some were not even redeemable and had to be thrown away.
By the end of my first day I was sure I had made a mistake. My feet and back hurt. I was tired, and my mind would not quit spinning.
In the weeks that followed I went to work every day with a sick stomach. My nerves were my worst enemies. I have always been shy, and being thrown into a situation where I was surrounded by strangers all day, everyday, was extremely trying. Then there were irate customers, long lines, and I still did not know the menu.
I prayed many days, “God, I just can’t do this. It is too hard.” But I had commited myself, there was no turning back. All I could do was take it one day at a time and depend on God to see me through.
I honestly thought I would die, but God used those hardships to shape and grow me. Experiencing what it was like to work forty hours every week doing something I did not particularly like made me appreciate the years my dad has worked to so faithfully provide for our family. I learned that with gained responsibility, comes new freedoms, but also, challenges. I did have more spending money, but I now also had bills. I did have a way to get around, but I no longer had as much time to be involved. Things were not at all as I expected them to be. I had been looking at being a grown up through rose colored glasses. It was a rude awakening. This was the real world baby. And I was not sure I liked what I saw.
In the passed few years I have learned a lot about how you can do things you do not enjoy and still have a good time. Whether or not you enjoy life comes out to how you look at things. I am still shy, I still get stressed by having to deal with large crowds sometimes, but I am learning that if I step out of my comfort zone and really focus on other people, it is easier, possible, and even enjoyable.
Life has moved on. I no longer work at Dairy Queen, and though I do not look at my days there with any particular fondness, I can look back and see God’s hand working in my life. I can truly say that I am thankful for those trying days. They helped me learn how to rely more on the Lord, and I would not trade that for anything!