When Working at Target Became My Calling

The ways that God speaks into our lives constantly amaze me.

Sometimes it’s loud and blatant .

Other times, the voice comes as a whisper or a gentle nudging.

And often, it comes in the midst of an ordinary moment. Unexpected. Like a burning bush appearing among the familiar landscape.

One day, as I waited at an intersection for the light to change, I glanced up at the Target across the road. I was just passing time. Yet, my eyes connected to a sign advertising the need for overnight stockers. For some reason, the sign resonated with me.

Why? I have no idea. My husband was working. My days and nights were filled with the schedules and activity that result from having three small children.

The Holy Spirit was nudging through the most ordinary circumstances

As the light turned to green, the thoughts were packed into the back of my mind and I proceeded down the road and onto my day.

Two years later, I found myself listening to my husband share the devastating news that his company would be closing a few months later. A peace “that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7 )” permeated my heart as we talked over a coffee date about the plans for our immediate future. A few months provided a bit of cushion but still….what if he doesn’t find a job? Do we sell our house? So many questions surfaced.

And did I mention Christmas was right around the corner? I had a college degree as well as an M.Div. but I had left my pastoral position to enter a season of staying home with our children. Now what?

As we talked, my mind had not forgotten the nudge about the Target sign I had seen two years earlier. The job would entail nights at work and sleep during the day. How does one do that with a two year old? Ironically, my husband’s company did not have a current space for him to work from so he was given the opportunity to work from home.

God affirmed what had been revealed two years earlier. A new season for me was emerging.

Within weeks, I donned the red shirt and displayed my new title: Target employee.

Though the schedule often left my body exhausted, my spirit felt renewed. The job allowed for adult conversation, a means of providing financially for my family and even opportunities to look at merchandise without being yanked away by bored children.

In addition, my eyes and my heart were opened up to the life situations for many who live “under the radar.” Many people with whom I worked alongside, shared stories of broken dreams and desperation.

A wife became ill, and though retired, her husband resumed employment in order to pay bills. Two corporate executives lost their jobs in a mass lay off. Now, one worked the night shift. Many single moms worked with me. Unlike myself, they navigated sleeping in between transporting kids to school and managing other household tasks.

College students who juggled work with school also became colleagues. Here we were, an eclectic group to be sure, but serving together for one purpose. And I felt honored to be invited into their narratives.

In January, my husband found a new job which meant my job at Target was no longer necessary. I was happy to be done but a bit sad that this season was over. I was well aware that, while I had the option to leave the job, others did not have such a choice.I left with their stories imprinted on my heart and pondered how I could help others in similar situations.

Like Esther, my life entered a new season-for a divine purpose. One, that she hesitantly embraced as it came about unexpectedly and took her out of her comfort zone. But Mordecai exhorted,And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Ultimately this season reminded me that our calling is wherever God leads us. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyplace.

When have you been ordained to “such a time as this?”

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