I am a nerd. I am confident enough in my identity to be able to admit that. And when presented with the various opportunities for students after their first year of law school, there was no question in my mind that I would do academic research with a professor. It seemed a perfect fit. I am, after all, pursuing a graduate degree in History in addition to my legal studies, so taking the summer months to brush up on my research and writing skills seemed a totally legitimate use of time.
To my surprise, despite my research experience and willingness, I was having trouble finding a position with a professor for the summer. To make matters worse, when presented with the options for employment after law school, nothing seemed appealing. So I began to pray. Lord, where do you want me to go when I am done with school? What do you want me to do? I know it’s still two years away, but the decisions I make this summer will have a direct impact on my final placement after law school. And as I prayed, I was impressed to speak with YG, the public service director for the law school. Initially I dismissed it as a passing thought, but could not shake it, so I set up a meeting with him to discuss my career path.
When YG asked my summer plans and I told him that I planned on doing research with a professor, he immediately told me to change my plans. That’s nice, I thought, except for the fact that it’s the end of March! Every position will be filled! But I smiled, received his advice on how to improve my résumé and cover letter and went about looking for a summer volunteer internship.
While planning on doing research, I was fine with the idea of being in Virginia, although it meant I’d be pretty much alone. But with the possibility of a different type of position, the thought of going home to Michigan became the desire of my heart, and I earnestly set it before the Lord as I began to look for work.
As I expected, every door was closed. Finally, I found three judges who still had openings, and I quickly sent in the materials that they required. But just yesterday, when I called to follow up with them about whether they had received my package, each office said the position was filled. “Judge N was really impressed with your qualifications,” one secretary who had been enthusiastic about my application told me, “but she held interviews while I was out of town and filled the position before she looked at your materials with someone from a local law school.”
A local law school? The thought that has been haunting me all semester came back. I should have gone to a less prestigious law school back home in Michigan and would have been in a much better position than the predicament I now found myself in.
As I thought about it, I began to choke up. With my qualifications, with my willingness to work for free in a state with a terrible economy, how come no one wanted to hire me? Lord, I had a plan, but what is going on? I followed where You led, and now I am three weeks away from summer vacation with nothing to do to prepare me for fall interviews.
As I prayed, I was impressed again, this time to check PSLawNet. This is a site that YG introduced me to, and I never would have come across it if it were not for him. It lists the public service jobs that are available across the country. So I wiped my eyes, sat up in my chair and navigated my way to the page. Clicked internship positions. Michigan. Search.
My eyes almost popped out of my head and my jaw dropped. Posted 4.15.2009, Intership with a judge in W County. 4.15? That’s today! I thought. I looked at the clock and saw that it was already 5:30, the office was closed. I called to leave a voice message, but the machine didn’t work. It did tell me, though, that the office would open at 8:30 in the morning.
I spent the rest of the night collecting my materials and preparing a packet to drop in the mail at 8:30 when the post office opened. Lord, please open this door! was the constant, unceasing prayer on my lips from last evening through that time. As the numbers on my phone switched to 8:30, I dialed the office. The voice mail picked up again. I sighed, hung up the phone, and dialed one more time. This time it rang. Once…twice…”Hello, Judge MM’s chambers.” The judicial coordinator answered.
I drew a breath, said a quick prayer, and explained that I was a law student in Virginia looking for an internship in Michigan. She asked me when I would be returning to the state, and I told her early May. She then gave me her email address and said, “Mail me your résumé and writing sample, but without looking at anything, I can pretty much tell you the position is yours. Just give me a call when you get back to Michigan and we’ll set everything up.”
I began to smile and said, “You’ve made my day!” “I like making people’s days.” She replied. We finished our conversation and hung up. And I screamed and laughed and shrieked “Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!”
I drove to school, not having to mail my packaged, and emailed her my information. She responded saying that we’ll finalize my hours and schedule when I come to speak with her in May.
I am still in shock and awe, and extremely grateful. I know the Lord is leading me to this position. I was planning on being in Virginia. This is in Michigan. I was planning on doing academic research, not necessarily the most practical thing in the world. I will be getting some of the most practical experience in the law and litigation that a person with my level of education can have. And the position not because of my awesome résumé or writing ability or connections. Only because the timing, God’s timing, was perfect. God arranged for me to have this job. He opened this door.
Now I beg for forgiveness. Why should I have been discouraged? I long ago committed to God that I would follow where He led, even if I couldn’t see the end from the beginning. And He taught me again to listen and follow, even if it’s something like talking to an advisor or checking a website. Lord, I’ll go where ever you want me to go.
I can’t stop saying it: Praise the Lord. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this awesome answer to prayer.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.